Sea Lanes Brighton Swimming Pool — The National Open Water Swimming Centre

Sea Lanes Brighton is on the beach. But it’s not on the beach in the same way as any other pool I’ve visited. This is a pool that’s nestled amongst the pebbles of Brighton’s shoreline — but rather than an affable yet rough-around-the-edges saltwater pool, this is a glamourous 50-metre stretch of shining chlorine. Everything about this place shimmers.

Opened to the public in June 2023, many have hailed its development as a new era of lidos. According to the authors of The Lido Guide, it’s the first brand-new public lido built in the UK since the 90s. Dubbed the National Open Water Swimming Centre, it’s also the first new 50-metre lido built for decades longer than that. There is no denying this place is a triumph.

It’s also a place of fascinating contradictions. It’s on the beach, but it’s not a sea pool. It’s one of the largest pools built in years, yet the actual footprint of the site is utilitarian and small. It’s a lido, but it’s not for lounging around. In fact, it’s a training pool for length swimming only… as you listen to the drum and bass emanating from the Concorde 2 night club also on the shoreline.

It might sound like an odd set of contradictions, but these opposites are actually what makes the place work. In a seafront location, competing with nature’s biggest swimming pool — you know, the sea — it was never going to win the stakes on splashing around. And, with the glorious Saltdean Lido just ten minutes down the road, a carbon copy would have felt oddly combative.

Instead, this is a unique location to actually get some swimming done all year round. Don’t be put off by thoughts of triathletes or speedy people in neoprene — this certainly wasn’t the case when we visited and there are six lanes to suit swimmers of all speeds. And if you look closely enough, you’ll see they’re all soaking in the glorious location too.

The Key Details

Is Sea Lanes Brighton Heated?

This rather depends on your definition of heated, to be honest! The team at Sea Lanes say they’ll be heating the pool between 15-19C all year round, so it’s never going to be quite as cold as the sea, but it’s worth thinking about what you wear in the winter months if you’re sensitive to the cold.

Do I Need To Be A Member To Swim At Sea Lanes Brighton?

No, you don’t need to be a member to swim here — but if you’re planning to regularly it could be worth taking one out. Members of the public can book one-off swims in advance using the South Downs Leisure app.

How Big Is Sea Lanes Brighton/The National Open Water Swimming Centre?

The pool is 50m x 12m, with six different lanes to allow for swimmers of all different speeds. It’s 1.275 metres deep at all points.

How Do I Get To The National Open Water Swimming Centre at Sea Lanes Brighton?

The address for the complex is 300 Madeira Drive, Brighton, BN2 1BX. While there is limited public parking near to the site, this can be very busy, so public transport is advised.

In addition to train routes into Brighton, Brighton and Hove City Council also run a Park and Ride service, which drops you off within a four-minute walk of the venue.

Is Sea Lanes Bright Salt Water?

No! This is a very shiny, very sparkling chlorine pool. On the beach. It’s quite the feat!

What Is The Disabled Access Like At Sea Lanes Brighton?

The pool has ramped access to the building and level access to the pool from both the reception and changing areas. They also have accessible changing rooms and toilets, as well as an assisted access hoist to enter the pool itself.

Other Outdoor Pools Near Here

  • Saltdean Lido
  • Pells Pool
  • Findon Swimming Pool

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