Swimming Shorts: King's Cross Pond Club

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 21 months ago
Swimming Shorts: King's Cross Pond Club

IMG_0955

Swimming in London is easily done, but swimming IN London — as in actually feeling the city shift and groan around you — is in short supply. Maybe the closest to that so far is Oasis Sports Centre but even then the lido is shrouded in concrete high-rises, shielding you from the drama of Holborn. Now there's a new pool on the scene, and drama is its middle name.

Everything about King's Cross Pond Club — which doubles up as the art installation Of Soil and Water — is theatre, from its setting in the relentless construction around Granary Square, to its risen elevation which essentially makes it a stage. A raised viewing platform looms over the pool, and there are casual spectators in the overlooking glassy office blocks. Even the BT Tower to the south stands on tiptoes, taking a cheeky peek.

IMG_0945

But swimmers aren't just here to be ogled. King's Cross Pond Club is about bathing amidst the urban landscape; around you cranes swing to-and-fro, tipper trucks cart piles of rubble over to bigger piles of rubble, high-rises are conjured up before your eyes and every so often the Eurostar rattles by. Such extreme urban surroundings are offset by the naturalness of the pool, its organic curves and the plants that filter it. Man-made though it is, take away the candy-striped lip, chuck in a handful of newts, and this could almost be God's own handiwork.

Perhaps predictably, on the morning of press preview, winter has briefly returned and we don't stay in the water for more than five minutes. It's not the kind of place you'd bash out 50 lengths anyway. But on a balmy summer's day, this will be a unique place to cool yourself while all around you, the hot-headed city gets on with business.

Read another Swimming Shorts: Hampton Pool.

Last Updated 12 October 2015

Annie @eXerKyourself

Hi Will - great article and slightly jealous you've got to go for a dip in the pond already. I have just swum seven lidos in seven days as one of my 52 sporting challenges this year.

Showcasing London's collection of outdoor pools, I invited people to join me for a week of early mornings and chilly dips. It's been amazing fun. Hopefully heading to the Kings Cross Pond tomorrow. My website, eXerK.com, has information on the lidos for those keen to swim in my wake.

See if there are any challenges you'd like to join me on too?

Simon Griffiths

Hi Will, nice report, but I think we stayed in a bit longer than 5 minutes, and you forgot to mention the porridge and hot tea they treated us to afterwards.