It’s official: Jesus Green Lido will remain open for its third winter. And swimmers are now being invited to have their say on the Cambridge pool’s autumn and winter opening times.
Operator Better, which runs Jesus Green Lido on behalf of Cambridge City Council, is running an opening hours survey to gauge opinions on which days and times to have the outdoor swimming pool open.
With the winter temperatures sometimes dropping below 5oC over winter, the number of people using the lido falls from November through to March, but the Friends of Jesus Green Lido and Better are committed to keeping the unheated lido open, and wish to encourage more and more swimmers to take part in cold water swimming.
Cold water swimming (generally swimming in water below 14oC) has many well established health benefits, from addressing circulation issues to improving mental health. But it’s the “buzz” you get from chilly dips that attracts many thousands of winter swimmers across the UK, and why increased demand in Cambridge has prompted Better to keep Jesus Green Lido open all year round.
Winter swimmer Jo Lockhart said: “There is nothing quite like the exhilaration of getting into the lido no matter what the temperature, but the colder it is, the more alive I feel. Hearing the shrieks and squeals (and sometimes swearing) that surround you by fellow swimmers and dippers makes it such a joyous occasion. Cold water swimming at the lido is good for the soul, body and it certainly keeps me sane! I feel the benefits all day after my early water foray into the water. Last year, I broke ice during a dip and I hope to do it again this winter. I love being part of the special and supportive community at the lido and sharing the magical place with good friends old and new, especially through the winter months. If you haven’t swum over winter before, now is the time to start. This allows your body to acclimatise safely as the temperatures drop. Give it a go, there is no safer place with experienced winter swimmers galore and the wonderful lifeguards to give you advice. I bet you will get hooked! See you there?”
Fellow swimmer Nicky Blanning added: “Winter swimming is a combination of a shock to the system, exhilaration, a breath-taking and magical experience, all wrapped into one. There is a tingle which runs through the body that simply makes one feel alive and energised. You feel wonderful when you come out of the water – and it doesn’t matter whether you are in for a minute or for longer – the excitement and chatter of other swimmers around the lido encourages you to keep going, and there’s always support to keep you safe.”
Making the colder temperatures slightly easier to contend with is the news that the refurbished shower blocks have heated floors, while Better is also looking at other ways to make the Lido even more accessible all year round.
Take the survey: https://forms.gle/otrRi2KiCTELzCWo7