Bracknell Leisure Centre

Quick evening swim at convenient London outskirts pool.

Quick evening swim at convenient London outskirts pool.

After a relatively quick evening drive eastbound down the M4 from Somerset, arrive in Bracknell, ahead of a meeting Richmond tomorrow. I have a reservation at the Bracknell Hilton, an utterly forgettable hotel and not one I would recommend, I should start a 1,000 Hilton hotels blog! But before I check-in, time for a quick swim (second of the day), pleased to find a pool just 2 minutes down the road!

Pay my £5 entry and head down the warren of corridors to find the communal pool changing room. First observation, this is by far the warmest changing room I’ve yet to experience, not complaining pre-swim but as someone who takes an age to cool down post-swim, might be uncomfortable after! Impressed by the size of the changing cubicle, but then notice the group’ changing’ sign on the door as I hunt down a locker!

Changed, take a quick shower and out to the pool deck. The Bracknell Lesuire centre has a weird setup of two, identical, completely separate (e.g. not boom divided) 25-metre, 6-lane pools in one large hall. Currently, one is used for open swim and the other for lanes. I think I recall seeing a note that each pool is at different water temperatures to please both swimmers and casual paddlers.

The changing rooms seem newer but now in the pool, the tiles, ceiling etc. suggest this is much older, more 70’s/80’s I’d say. When searching for a pool in the area this evening, I read a quick article from a local paper campaigning for a 50m Olympic pool to be built on the site, apparently a hot topic in the area. Now in the water, I can see this facility is ideally suited, remove the central walkway and they’ve pretty much got the 50m by full 25m 10-lane pool well ready to go!

Make a start on the swim, following my lunchtime 3km swim this was going to be a quick ‘numbers’ swim. It’s now approaching 9 pm, the lane pool is near empty but for a couple of other swimmers, however, I am sharing the lane with a girl running impressive speed kick-sets! Finish up at 1,500m and jump out to see a fantastic sunset through the far end windows.

Back to the changing rooms, always amazed at how in a room with 500+ lockers the only other person in place is in the very next locker, this happens so often! Right, off to endure Hilton Bracknell. (Update: not a fan of the hotel, but the breakfast was excellent!).

Swim Stats

  • 1500 meters total swim
  • 1:28 pace / 100m
  • Garmin Swim Watch



The building is strange, the route from reception to pool follows along corridors lines with nail salons, shops and offices. The sports centre is probably 40 years old but looks to have been recently updated in places. I can see why people want a 50m pool here, the dual pool layout is something I don't think I've seen before. The pool deck, changing cleanliness and overall water quality and was good.

Pool Details

  • Length 25 meters
  • 6-lane pool
  • Indoor

Bracknell Leisure Centre
Bagshot Road, Bracknell, Berkshire, UK

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