Brightlingsea Lido


We’ve always had a soft spot for Brightlingsea. It was the first Essex Day Out for our second son, when he was just a week or so old. There’s lots of parking right behind the long stretch of beach huts, there is the beach and a little shallow paddling pool, and a cafe for ice creams and tea, and wonderful views over the water to East Mersea. Over the years we’ve visited (more recently to walk the dog) and often talked about visiting the lido there. It was closed recently and the future for the lido looked bleak, but after a lot of effort by local people, a lot of them volunteers, the lido is open again and we paid a couple of visits over this past week to check it out.

It was busy on both days. The Friday was busy, but the Sunday was so busy that there were queues to get in when we were leaving at midday. So on the weekends get there early or late in the day, or be prepared for a queue!

There’s a shallow paddling pool at one end, then a much longer main pool that has plenty of space for non-swimmers, and a deeper bit at the end which gets up to 1.8metres. This deeper end has a No Inflatables policy but you are allowed to dive and jump in!

The changing rooms are fine, there is plenty of space by the side of the pool to set up camp, and there is a caff serving a range of food. So if you have younger children you could spend a lot of time there. Check their opening times at their website. During the term time they don’t open to the public during the week until 1 (10am at weekends) but during school hols they are open much longer.