Skern Lodge Swimming Pool

a blue pool under cloudy sky. rows of coloured kayaks in the background

Other than by pure chance, I’ve never had an entire pool to myself before. But if you’d like to feel like a rockstar for an hour, and crucially without the price tag, Skern Lodge Swimming Pool is the one for you. For the humble price of £40, you can have the whole place to yourself, along with 19 of your friends. All in all, it works out at just £2 each.

For lido collectors, trying to tick off a swim in every single public spot, tracking down this place was a bit like stumbling across a shiny Charizard Pokémon card left in a library book. At the time of writing, even Google doesn’t even think Skern Lodge has a swimming pool. Hopefully, this listing changes that.

This is a beautiful small pool, nestled in the centre of a wider activity park and heated to a toasty 28 degrees. While you can definitely feel the kid’s activity club vibes on the rest of the site — which is by no means a bad thing — the pool has a vibe of its own.

It’s hidden away from the rest of the site in a walled courtyard, which is unlocked by the lifeguard as you enter for your swim. This in itself feels like a bit of a magical ritual, as you catch a small glimpse of the pool through the doorway. Inside, the burnt orange walls bring a Mediterranean feel and there’s usually an impressive array of colourful kayaks stacked up on the side.

It’s a pretty small pool, at just 17 metres by seven, although it doesn’t feel it thanks to the spacious courtyard and the low numbers in each session. It’s a constant depth of 1.35 metres throughout — we were told by the lifeguard this is so it can also be used for water polo, but it’s also just as good for general japes. If you book your own session, you’re free to bring in whatever you like to pass the time — we opted for some old-fashioned bat and ball, catch, and some water pistols. Because, why not?

The Key Details

How Do I Get To Skern Lodge?

Skern Lodge is fairly easy to get to by both car and public transport, with a decent free car park on-site. If you’re travelling by bus, the 21A from either Bideford or Appledore will get you within a 15-minute walk of the centre.

How Can I Book To Swim At Skern Lodge?

The best way to stay on top of availability is through Skern Lodge’s Facebook page, as slots here are added sporadically depending on residential bookings at the wider activity centre. You can also check on their online booking centre here. This is not a place to just turn up at.

As well as being able to book the pool for private hire, they also offer public swim slots for just £4, with a maximum of 12 swimmers. Both sessions come with a qualified lifeguard on the poolside at all times.

Are There Changing Rooms At Skern Lodge?

There are no dedicated changing blocks at Skern Lodge, but there are toilets in the wider complex it is possible to use. There’s also plenty of space around the pool, and a covered area to leave any valuables.

Is There Disabled Access At Skern Lodge Swimming Pool?

There are no steps to access the poolside area, however entry to the pool itself is via ladders. There wasn’t a hoist at the side of the pool, however the centre do encourage you to get in touch before your visit to see if your needs can be met.

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