Can you keep a secret guys?? Not many people seem to have noticed it yet, but a year and a half after the Olympics there's some exciting stuff going on in Stratford again...
Yep living near the Park is paying off nicely at the moment - my new local council swimming pool is none other than the Aquatics Centre! It's been open to the public for the last few weeks and I have to say it's a pretty special venue - I still get tingles every time I walk in.
It's £4.50 per swim session for an adult and there's an easy peasy online system to book in advance. There are 2 full size pools inside - the Competition Pool for the hardcore swimmers and the Training Pool where they separate the lengths into two 25m sections. Personally I found a 50m pool to be ridiculously long in real life (my superwoman stamina is a err work in progress) so I tend to do laps in the 25m lanes.
You choose a pool and a start time online but it's pretty lax once you're in, and you can stay as long as you like. The water is a nice slightly warm temperature and it's usually a uniform 1.2m depth all the way along (though somehow they can change the depth of different sections - the mind boggles!).
It's not all lanes - there are also sections of the pool roped off for 'fun' as well as swimming lessons. Also saw signs for a total wipeout stylee 'Splash Time' for kiddies at weekends that sounded like great fun if anyone wants to lend me a child?!
The reason it misses a 5th star is that the changing rooms and shower facilities are just not that great. It's spacious yes and there are plenty of cubicles, hairdryers and lockers, but the layout is a little confusing (quite a wander from the lockers to the female showers), they seem to have too many staff/cleaners milling around not doing much, and the showers themselves seem temperamental and need you to wave a hand past every 3 seconds. Is this how Michael Phelps showered?! (*pauses to enjoy the mental picture*) Ahem. Yeah I expected better.
So remember to bring your own towel+toiletries, a plastic bag for your wet cozzie (I haven't spotted a drying machine yet) and a £1 coin for the lockers. And please only tell your special friends - the nicest thing at the moment is that it isn't too busy on weeknights! See you there :)
Went to see the Diving World Cup event here. The building is very impressive and looks like it will be great for watching swimming. Seats feel close to the main pool. Facilities are set on the outside and are adequate. A bit too much space is used up between the lower and upper tiers of seats with a walkway, but it is probably for disabled access and evacuation measures. The seats are not very comfortable and feel too plastic to stand the test of time. My biggest issue is with diving pool. The seating dwindles away as you get to the pool so you can't get close to the action. The 10m platform starts in the dark so it is not easy to see from far away and photography is almost impossible. The air is very warm inside so light clothing required. The roof is very impressive and seems to help the atmosphere.
Had the great priveledge of being a spectator at one of the The diving events as London Prepares at The Aquatic Centre. I just loved the building Designed by Zaha Hadid you really feel you are under the belly of the whale. It is beautiful the best swimming pool I have ever seen. You just want to jump in and make a big Splash it feels so inviting. Apparently the building has walls which extend to allow for more seating when it is full to capacity. The diving pool has been designed with windows deep down so that the competitiors can be filmed under water. I guess that facility exists in the swimming pool. Not sure what happened to the air conditioning because it was extremely hot. But a terrific experience. COME ON GB!!!
This user has arrived from Qype, a European company acquired by Yelp in 2012. We have integrated the two sites to bring you one great local experience.