AKA Hillingdon Sport & Leisure Complex
Gatting Way Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 1ES
0845 130 7324
Added bonus: People are impressed you’re going in, if that kind of thing makes you feel big or clever.
Negative: I realise that I may be opening a can of worms labelled ‘Orpington’ by coming here, as it’s officially Middlesex. But heck, it's a cold water lido, on the tube and within the M25. Also, yeah? it’s my blog, I make my own rules?
‘People don’t call it Uxbridge Lido’ said the taxi driver. ‘People call it Hillingdon Sport and Leisure Complex’. Woah, I thought, the people of Uxbridge are loquacious. Want a shorter way to express yourself? No, thanks, they say, we prefer things official, verbose and preferably a bit of a mouthful. Verbally dextrous the people of Uxbridge may be, but it seems they don’t like cold water swimming - or not yet, anyway.
We got a cab from the station because the marathon trek to the end of the line was as far from home as some holidays I’ve been on. My swim pal Jackie must have felt the same because as we arrived she said ‘it’s like travelling to a holiday cottage and hoping it will be OK’. The sign at the entrance was OVERSIZED and unpromisingly-council but once we went through a small brick archway reminiscent of stable blocks in National Trust properties (what do you mean, too middle class a reference point?) straight away, you know it’s more than OK. The pool is laid out at your feet right in front of you, and it’s bloomin lovely.