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Outdoor Pools/Lidos

Gourock Outdoor Pool

Benefits Of An Outdoor Swim


I thought about doing a series of blogs on the world of outdoor water, big subject to cover I know, but I wanted to focus on the kind of outdoor water that man has managed to harness. From outdoor chlorinated pools to fresh and seawater pools, I’ll be covering the most basic tidal swimming pools to the more modern heated sea water lidos.

 Even though I prefer a warm heated pool there are certain benefits to swimming in cold water, a Czech study found that people who immersed themselves in cold water three times a week experienced a significant increase in their white blood cell count — immune cells important for fighting off infection.The researchers put this down to cold water acting like a mild stressor, activating the immune system and giving it a workout.

Another, similar study found that cold water immersion may improve our sex lives by increasing the levels of testosterone and oestrogen in men and women respectively.

But it is swimming in salty sea water that may be particularly beneficial. A study published in the  International Journal of Dermatology found that magnesium-rich sea water  promotes the retention of moisture in  the skin.

So swimming in the open could add a few fun filled, psoriasis free years on to your life, what’s not to like.

No1 Gourock OutDoor Pool

My first foray is into my local outdoor pool, Gourock, because our hooded towels are stocked there and Kenny the manager is always very helpful.

Gourock Outdoor Pool

Gourock Outdoor Pool


The pool originally opened in 1909 with the water heating system being put in 1969. The seawater goes through a cleaning and filtering process before being heated to 29C, at first I thought warm seawater just didn’t seem right after spending a lot of time at our Oban house freezing our n***s off, but now I’m a convert and should really spend more time here. Being on the coast you get all the smells of the seaside without the cold bit until you get out, then on a cold day, it’s a quick dash to the changing rooms. These have had a revamp, along with the gym and the seating area and it is all looking very spruced up, especially as it has my husbands showers and taps in situ.

Saving the best till last here is a photo I took today of the beautiful view across to Loch Long and The Holy Loch from Gourock outdoor pool.

Gourock Outdoor Pool

Views over to the Holy Loch






3 Responses to “Outdoor Pools/Lidos”

  1. Didn’t you catch Gourock on a lovely sunny day! Nothing beats it on a good day. No where I’d rather be!

    • Went to Gourock Outdoor Pool for the first time today as I was in Greenock for a funeral. I then drove home to Stonehaven where our pool had midnight swimming tonight. Can anyone else claim that they have swum in both of Scotland’s only heated seawater outdoor swimming pools in the same day? I feel so exhilarated and it is a full moon tonight so a really brilliant night for a swim.

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