Squeezing in a quick swim mid two-night Edinburgh break

My first time visiting Edinburgh as a tourist! Previously I’ve flown in > meeting > fly out in the same day and never had the chance to properly ‘see’ the city. It’s mid-December and freezing, we manage to select the morning with high winds and a snow storm to visit Edinburgh Castle - but at least we’ve had a full cooked breakfast with haggis and potato scones!

Keen to add an Edinburgh swim between coffee shops, pubs and restaurants (also keen to push on and get a bit closer to the 100 pool mark), have a spare hour before a dinner booking so check Pool Finder for a nearby pool - there are quite a few. First choice would usually be the 50m Commonwealth pool but with my current level of fitness, pick a 25 yard pool just a 5 minute Uber ride away. Check the timetables, sign-up for an Edinburgh Leisure PAYG account and head to the pool.

Arrive mid-way through a 45-minute session but the guy on reception lets me jump straight in and span the change-over. There is rightly a ‘no shoes’ on the pool deck policy, with a convenient chain in reception to remove shoes and socks. Out onto the pool deck, and first impressions… fantastic! Head around the 25-year length pool to find the nearest cubicle and an available digital locker (I wish all pools had these). Jump in the empty middle lane and make a start in crystal clear water. Make my way through a slow-ish 1,000 yards then top-up with a few hundreds to complete the pool

Originally built in 1897, the pool underwent refurbishment in 2018. They’ve done a great job of modernising and upgrading the mechanics whilst preserving the Victorian feel. Triple story high vaulted ceilings, and two levels of changing cubicles and (digital) lockers surround the five-lane pool. Most local authorities faced with multiple ageing pools opt to close and rebuild plain soulless modern pools, which is such as shame; searching through a list of pools in the Edinburgh area, the local council have clearly taken a different route, invested in refurbishment to bring the pools up to standard whilst retaining the unique Victorian style, brilliant.


Swim Stats

  • Length: 1500 yards total swim
  • 1:20 pace / 100y
  • Garmin Swim 2 Watch

Review

(70/100)

Fantastic 19th century Victorian-era pool. Well maintained, clean, bright and perfect swim conditions.


Pool Details

  • Length: 25 yards
  • 5-lane pool
  • Indoor

Dalry Swim Centre
25-29 Caledonian Cres, Edinburgh EH11 2AL


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