Ironmonger Row Baths

Evening London swim in odd length pool!

Great to be back in a London pool after a long break! Just back from the US and now overnighting in London for meetings and an event at probably my favourite London event venue, the Business Design Centre.

I’m staying at the Hilton Doubletree Angle Islington (Always a Hilton!), pool finder suggests several nearby pools but Ironmonger Row catches my eye. Fortunately, I check the website to see its bookings only and manage to grab one of the last few evening swim slots. Uber over and in!

The pool is quite busy, with only four lanes so it’s 5/6 per lane, each designated a minimum swim speed. Jump in the fast lane with a nice clear max. 30 seconds per length sign (wish more places did this!). Set the watch and make a start, the water is crystal clear and at the perfect temperature.

I use pace tracking on my Garmin Swim 2 watch, I have it set to an easy 1:30/100m for the first 1km swim, so expect a beep right around each turn - but it’s beeping and I’m a few metres from the wall! After six lengths, starting to realise the pool doesn’t fee 25m, I’m really behind and I’ve been pushing quite hard to try and catch up with where the watch wants me to be! Stop and wait for a lane partner to finish at the wall to check pool length. It’s 100ft! or 30.48 metres! Stop the watch, clear the session and reset pool length, 30m is as close as I can get.

Restart with a 1,020m at a very slow 1:38/100m, will settle on the excuse that extra length really plays with your pacing! Finish up with a total of 2,160 metres + 180m from the abandoned session.

The pool name and length suggest an interesting history so head to Wikipedia to learn more. There isn’t too much info but the building dates to 1931 and was previously a victorian-style Turkish bath with a plunge pool! In the ’60s the pool was a central point for Olympic divers and the apparently world-famous Highgate Diving Club!

Swim Stats

  • 2160 meters total swim
  • 1:31 pace / 100m
  • Garmin Swim 2 Watch



The pool is an odd length at 100ft (30.48 meters) understandable in a Victorian-style pool, but the building seems much more recent. Generally great facilities, decent showers, clean changing rooms and crystal clear water (albeit itchy!).

Pool Details

  • Length 30.5 meters
  • 4-lane pool
  • Indoor

Ironmonger Row Baths
Ironmonger Row Baths, 1 Norman Street, London EC1V 3AA

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