Five alternative pools to the Kingfisher in and around Kingston

Swimming is a fun activity for all the family and a great way to stay fit without the dumbbells or deadlifts. There are so many benefits to a dip in the pool, yet it has become increasingly difficult for Kingston residents to find one that is open and does not demand a pricey membership fee.

Kingston Council recently announced it has delayed all plans to build a new swimming pool and leisure centre for locals. The news came almost four years after the closure of the Kingfisher Leisure Centre, which has since been demolished.

Since there is no sign of a swimming pool coming to Kingston, where is left to go to get a few laps in?

The Kingston Courier has rounded up five local and reasonably priced places to get your dose of arm bands and goggles. You also do not have to commit to a membership for any of these pools so no pressure to visit twice a week to get your moneys worth.

1. The Malden Centre

One of the closest pools is at The Malden Centre in New Malden. It is two stops away on the Waterloo train from Kingston station.

It offers a structured lane swimming session available to anyone looking to swim lengths and improve their fitness. Spaces can be booked in advance for £5.60. They also advise contacting them before booking to enquire about discounts.

Sometimes joining your children at the pool is not possible with busy work schedules so Malden Centre offers Junior Gym Sessions for 11–15-year-olds who will be supervised by a member of the gym team. It lasts one hour and costs £10.

2. Teddington Pool and Fitness Centre

Teddington pool advises booking before arriving due to high demand, but it is worth planning in advance to get a spot in one of the cheapest pools on this list. Prices start at £4.30 for children and are free for children under five. Adults can swim for £5.60 per hour.

Visitors can sign up for specific sessions including lane swimming, aqua aerobics, and lessons for all ages. The lessons follow the world leading Learn to Swim Programme written by Swim England.

Fitness classes and family swimming sessions are available without a membership.
Photo: ZOLTAN BALOGH/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

3. Hampton Pool

This site boasts a 36-metre pool and a learner pool dedicated to children and their parents. The pools are heated to a toasty 31C all year long and are located on the outskirts of Bushy Park. 

It is a 20-minute drive away from Kingston town centre and free parking is available although spaces are limited. Unfortunately, it takes almost an hour to reach on public transport, but it is only one bus journey and a short walk afterwards.

Pay-as-you-go swimming sessions start at £8.50 for adults. Sessions are free for children under three and concession prices are available for children aged 12-15, students, pensioners, and disabled customers.

4. Richmond Pool in the Park

Richmond also offers swimming with a view. This time it is of Richmond Park which you can enjoy from either their main or outdoor pool open Monday to Sunday. The only downside is the travel time. It will take around 30 minutes if you catch a bus from Kingston centre.

It is owned and run by Richmond Council and offers sessions to children for £4.30 and adults for £5.60. Swimming lessons are offered for ages three to five and five and above. This includes diving!

For the adults, there are fitness classes including aqua fit and deep-water aqua. Also, for the whole family they offer a relaxing family swim time after school and over the weekend.

Wimbledon Leisure Centre and Spa offers SWIMBIES classes to build water confidence in babies. Photo: East News/Shutterstock

5. Wimbledon Leisure Centre and Spa

Located off the Broadway, Wimbledon Leisure Centre and Spa will take a short train journey to reach. The pool is only a minute’s walk from Wimbledon station inside a Victorian Grade II listed building.

It’s not just one of the cheapest pools for families; Wimbledon is the cheapest pool on this list. It charges just £2.80 for junior swimmers (three to 15-year-olds) during peak times. The price rises to £5.25 for adults, but is the still cheapest currently available. 

Parents, grandparents, and guardians can also take children aged from three months old to the Swimbies class. Qualified teachers provide a fun syllabus to help build water confidence and let you join your child for their first splashes.

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