While it shines – head to the Wycombe Rye Lido
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If this is Autumn I want more of it. Despite my childrens’ pleas to go to the crappy local indoor play centre, I decided to take them to Wycombe Rye Lido instead in the centre of High Wycombe.
I wrote about it a few weeks when I compiled a list of the best outdoor swimming pools in Bucks/Oxon, with the caveat that I had yet to try it myself. Well, now I have and I can report that it’s really great.
1. It’s a 25 metre pool but the shallow end is toddler shallow – what a brainwave that is. So sensible that I can’t believe more municipal pools don’t do it. Basically if you’ve got really little kids or even those who aren’t very confident like me, you don’t have to grapple with frightened children climbing on your head. They can play, swim, stand or splash in their comfort zone which makes it a much more pleasurable experience for everyone. Older children still get the fun of the bomber dive in the deep end.
2. There’s an outdoor grass area behind the deep end of the pool, that also leads straight out from the cafe. This means you can enjoy the sun and stay near the action (see pic below). There’s also a cafe veranda that looks out onto the main park if you prefer.
3. It’s new. It’s clean. It’s functional. It’s got cool concrete tiers to sit on/sunbathe around the pool and feels vaguely Antipodean and modern. The changing rooms are serviceable though not flash (lots of white painted breeze block counterbalanced with tasteful muted grey doors).
4. Taking young kids? There’s a well-appointed playground 100m away across the park. Older kids might find it a bit limiting, but then if you bring a ball, there’s masses of greenery to play in.
5. There’s easy parking – 20p for 4 hours!!
6. The park actually covers 53 acres, and includes the The Dyke on the Rye – a large stretch of open water where you can fish or hire a boat. There are also nature trails around the park and through the Keep Hill Woods.
So the QED moment: Obviously it’s a good spot for a hot day, but I think I’ll also use it when I have my toddler but need to go to the Eden Centre or am looking to entertain the kids for two hours after they’ve been dragged around the interior of Hughendon Manor.
What I’m really trying to say is, add it to your arsenal of kid’s entertainments, and deploy under seige to blow them out of the water.
Wycombe Rye Lido, The Rye, High Wycombe, HP11 1QX, Buckinghamshire. Tel: 01494 769472. WycombeRyeLido.com