We’ve been eagerly waiting for the opening of the King’s Cross Pond Club for over a year. And this week, ahead of its opening, whilst they were still building it, we went for a behind-the-scenes first dip. So ahead of time were we that when we first published this blog there wasn’t even a date for when it would open.
HOWEVER WE CAN NOW REVEAL THAT THE KINGS CROSS POND CLUB WILL OPEN ON MAY 22!
BOOKING ALSO OPENS ON MAY 22 – FIND OUT MORE AT kingscrosspond.club.
But for now, this is what swimming in it is like:
First, you walk past a series of plaques explaining the plant filtration process that’s being used to make this the world’s first man-made natural swimming pond:
Then you pass the funky graphics leading to the toilets.
Then you hop into the kitschy red-and-white changing rooms designed to accommodate the maximum of 40 people that will be able to book to use the pond at one time.
Next, you have to take a pre-swim shower.
Then it’s time to lower yourself in – there’s no diving allowed, so you’ll need to use the steps.
Or you can do a tiny little hop in from crouching position.
But be warned, at this time of year it’s still a tad nippy.
In front of you spreads a quirky view which encompasses a working construction site. After all, it’s not so much a facility for aquatic work-outs as it is an art installation intended to contrast the urban and the rural.
And it turns out that it’s actually quite a pleasant-looking place to go for a swim.
As you near the end of the pool, you’ll find a section you can’t swim in whose floor is filled with gravel and aquatic plants which suck up the water and purify it (you can see the wooden rail that separates the two areas in this photo – we were only allowed to cross it for investigative journalistic purposes).
At the bottom, it’s surprisingly like being in a natural pond.
Then, right at the end of the pond are a few small plants:
They’re pretty tiny now, but over the two years the pond’s open (yep: this isn’t permanent) they’ll grow to create a leafy border that’s part in the water, part out of it:
The bookable sessions are between an hour-and-a-half to two-and-a-half hours long, but until the weather’s warmed the water up, we recommend not swimming for too long. Otherwise, when you get out, you’ll look like this.
Then it’s time to leave. But before you go, it’s time for one last look back at how surprisingly nice a place it is to swim:
By Alexi Duggins. Photos by Rob Greig.
The Kings Cross Pond Club is open to the public from May 22. Opening hours are 6am-dusk from Monday-Friday 8am-dusk on weekends. Tickets range from £6.50 for peak swims to £3.50 for non-peak swims. Find out more about how you can book here.
Until it opens, find more lidos in London.