Pells Pool to re-open for new season earlier than usual

Pells Pool in Lewes. Photograph: Rob Read
Pells Pool in Lewes. Photograph: Rob Read

Swimmers will be able to take their first dip at Pells Pool in Lewes earlier than usual this year.

The popular outdoor venue, on Brook Street, has today (Friday, March 23) announced its 2018 event dates and opening times.

It will re-open a week earlier than usual – and the earliest start for many years – from midday on May 5.

The pool has also confirmed that its early morning swimming sessions from 7am to 9am will run from the start of re-opening rather than in June, and that after the end of its summer season on September 9 it will run an autumn season again from September 10 to October 14. An autumn season was trialled last year – the first in living memory – and is said to have attracted hundreds of swimmers.

Pool manager Phil Ransley said: “We’re delighted to be able to have these new longer seasons – opening earlier than ever and extending right into the middle of October with an official autumn season.

“I look forward to welcoming back familiar faces and making new friends of the Pells.”

Among new developments for 2018, the pool is upgrading its poolside showers with a donation from the Jo Holden Charitable Trust so they have hot water, introducing a heatwave policy to manage demand on the hottest days and allowing season tickets to be bought online.

As usual there are a series of events planned at the historic site, including the annual Midsummer Madness party with Lewes covers band Tongue & Groove on June 23, and community arts charity Patina Lewes will be hosting a fundraising party on June 16.

The pool team will be preparing for re-opening on April 28 and 29 with its annual volunteers’ weekend. The public is welcome to lend a hand with weeding, painting and cleaning duties to get the pool ready.

Pells Pool is thought to be the oldest freshwater outdoor public lido in the UK. It opened for its first season on May 29, 1861.

For a full list of events and opening times, visit