To wonder why on earth people in the UK have outdoor swimming pools?

(81 Posts)
KenAdams Tue 30-Apr-13 20:22:00

We're looking at houses at the moment and are coming across some that have outdoor pools. Why?! In the UK you'd hardly ever get to use them! And it's usually houses that could have had the money better spent in other ways.

UnChartered Tue 30-Apr-13 20:22:59

YABU, that's a shit stealth boast grin

ananikifo Tue 30-Apr-13 20:23:24

YANBU. This is certainly not the climate for outdoor pools.

AmberLeaf Tue 30-Apr-13 20:25:04

Because they can? I would...if I could.

AmberLeaf Tue 30-Apr-13 20:25:20

Heated one though!

monsterchild Tue 30-Apr-13 20:26:50

I don't know why anyone has a pool. A friend told me that if I wanted to know the feeling of having a pool every year I should take 3k put it on the table and light it on fire.

StanleyLambchop Tue 30-Apr-13 20:29:31

Heated outdoor pools are still cold! Learned that at our holiday cottage last year.

McNewPants2013 Tue 30-Apr-13 20:33:59

I would of thought these pool would have water heaters.

Talkinpeace Tue 30-Apr-13 20:35:24

I swim outdoors in England all year.
My plumber fits the solar heating systems for pools.
One of my swimming buddies has a solar heated lane in her swimming lake - am angling for an invite to try it this summer.

LadyBeagleEyes Tue 30-Apr-13 20:37:02

When i win the lottery I'mg going to buy a house with a sliding roof which I'll slide open on hot sunny days...
Actually no, i'll move to Greece.

cozietoesie Tue 30-Apr-13 20:37:05 her swimming lake ........ ?

Oh my. Bringing out the big guns, Talkin?


TunipTheVegedude Tue 30-Apr-13 20:37:06

I like cold water swimming. One day I will have one of those natural swimming ponds.
The colder it is, the bigger the adrenalin rush.

I wouldnt want an outside pool but I would love a natural swimming lake, I love wild swimming, best feeling ever (almost grin)

GemmaTeller Tue 30-Apr-13 20:41:05

At least five house near me have pools and only one of those is indoor.

HarrietSchulenberg Tue 30-Apr-13 20:41:42

They only have them so they can park the Bentley in them when drunk, then brag about it later.

Talkinpeace Tue 30-Apr-13 20:44:11

I cannot do really cold water (Raynauds) but I love my year round tan.

cozie yeah, she let that slip while swimming across somebody else's line "oh, well my lake is 30 m long and I'm used to that in the summer"

cozietoesie Tue 30-Apr-13 20:46:33

Goodness. I'm afraid that I don't like water so pools have no appeal for me. Apart from the fact that they actually look nice - I've always fancied having an outdoor heated poolhouse with lots of plants and chaise longues. Just to laze around in!


suebfg Tue 30-Apr-13 20:49:19

YANBU - I think they're a complete waste of money in this country. I've never quite understood why anyone (unless loaded to the point where money is no object) would want the hassle and cost of maintaining any sort of private swimming pool when you can join a perfectly nice leisure club and use their facilities.

Talkinpeace Tue 30-Apr-13 20:53:17

I have a conservatory full of plants for those Kew Gardens moments

and suebfg : I totally agree - I go to the club pool and get a social life, a tan and have a swim.
The number of people with their own pools at the club amazes me.

McNewPants2013 Tue 30-Apr-13 20:54:47

TunipTheVegedude are you joking brrrrrr it amazes me how people can do the boxing day swim

Moanranger Tue 30-Apr-13 20:55:19

Ha! I am in the process of buying a bungalow with one of these & the first thing I am going to do is fill it in! Heated or no, why, why, why! I think they actually make it harded to sell TBH.
I was born in California so I know how much work they are.

TunipTheVegedude Tue 30-Apr-13 20:57:04

You should try it McNewPants wink

I went in on New Year's Day once when the air temp was minus five and the sea was warm in comparison. I was still on an endorphin high the next day.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Tue 30-Apr-13 20:57:53

I know a couple of people who have outdoor pools in the UK. I would have one if I could afford to. There is nothing like swimming in the open air and going to a communal one is not the same thing at all.

In the meantime, there are the Ladies Ponds grin

CloudsAndTrees Tue 30-Apr-13 21:02:12

Lots of people seem to have them near where I live, and I admit to feeling jealous! For the vast majority of the year they are nothing but a waste of money, but on the days they can be used they are heaven!

McNewPants2013 Tue 30-Apr-13 22:05:36

no chance in hell lol

FayeKorgasm Tue 30-Apr-13 22:08:51

The previous owners of our house filled the one in in the garden. I'm glad, it saved us a job.

An outdoor pool is madness in the UK.

VonHerrBurton Tue 30-Apr-13 22:18:25

A friend of ds's has one in his garden. Its big, has a springboard and a little slide and when I say the boys play in it for hours - I mean HOURS, from 10am til teatime with a 30 second break for a sandwich at lunchtime!

I have loads of happy memories of when they were all much younger and us mums would sit around in the garden eating cake. Now theyre all 10/11 we're not really needed but I do miss it!

I am thrilled they have the opportunity to spend any half decent days there, the parents are uber laid back and happy to have a few dc around. So in answer to your question, I guess in my experience yabu, but I totally get that in a high % of cases they must be a total waste of space!

quoteunquote Tue 30-Apr-13 22:18:47

I love swimming outside, do so most day all year round, mostly in the sea, river, but I do use several outdoor pools, some belonging to friends and a community one,

the only two are heated, both on ground heat exchange, so very cheap to run.

probably the only thing that would make me move from this house would be to move somewhere I could put in one of these, I really want one

VonHerrBurton Tue 30-Apr-13 22:21:43

quoteubquote - that is gorgeous!

TiggyD Tue 30-Apr-13 22:22:42

The outdoor pool of my smaller yacht is heated, but I use the indoor pool and let the staff use the outside one. Too much noise from the helipad.

valiumredhead Tue 30-Apr-13 22:23:13

If it was heated I would swim every day in the UK, it would have to be arctic to stop me.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Apr-13 22:23:25

I hate it when all the houses you want to buy have swimming pools.

plim Tue 30-Apr-13 22:27:56

We rented a house with an outdoor heated pool and used it less than a dozen times in a year. It's so expensive to run - like 4k a year just to heat it then there's the cleaning, the chemicals etc etc. I thought we would use it loads but it was more trouble than it's worth.

Wickedgirl Tue 30-Apr-13 22:29:36

We have an outdoor pool and every summer our garden is full of children wanting to swim in it. Pool parties are great fun and although we do close it down for winter, it is lovely to swim for as long as we like in the nice weather. In summer, we all spend the whole day in the garden and pool.

I know several people with pools too......they are quite popular in my area

valiumredhead Tue 30-Apr-13 22:29:59

Such a drag isn't it usual? <sigh>

Bowlersarm Tue 30-Apr-13 22:32:55

We have a fair amount of friends with pools. A few years ago we must have had several consecutive hot summers because I remember we and our DS's spent many a happy weekend with various friends in their various pools. Last few summers the weather has been bad so it's a bit difficult to envisage.

Beehatch Tue 30-Apr-13 22:34:42

Whenever we fly in to Gatwick or Heathrow I'm always flabbergasted at the number of outdoor swimming pools you can spot littering the home counties. Yet I know precisely zero people with one - clearly don't mix in the right circles!

KenAdams Tue 30-Apr-13 22:41:18

unchartered that's just it, our budget isn't big AT ALL! I understand if you had a house worth millions and had everything else, but these aren't the most expensive houses in the world by a long shot!

squoosh Tue 30-Apr-13 22:45:47

The idea of swimming in lakes makes me feel a bit wibbly. Aren't you frightened of slithery eels and creepy unknowns. I just know that the arm of a corpse would grab a hold of me.

I like the idea of Lidos though, they have a kind of 1930s glamour (in my mind).

OhThePlacesYoullGo Tue 30-Apr-13 22:46:16

DP's parents have an amazing indoor swimming pool. It's huge, so you can swim proper laps and one wall is glass and opens to the gardens. Think an outdoor pool would hardly ever be in use, so massive waste of space and money.

KenAdams Tue 30-Apr-13 22:50:54

quote I think I'd be worried about creepy things, but its very pretty!

An indoor pool I could do not that we can afford a house that has one but I wouldn't want to be in a heated outdoor pool in most of the weather we have because they really aren't that warm.

whois Tue 30-Apr-13 23:18:11

My old gym had an outdoor pool. Was magical swimming in it in the dark with the steam rising up. A little earie too.

If I had wads of cash is have one of those ones who've are firmly inside, but where one whole wall is glass that folds back so kinda outside in summer. Much more practical. And if have a swing fitted that you could swing on and launch off into the pool. And a slide.

whois Tue 30-Apr-13 23:29:01

quoteunquote noooo I've been terribly put off those natural pools. Stayed in a boutique hotel in morocco once which boasted a natural chemical free pool - both me and my friend came out in a terrible rash and it stripped the colour out of her dyed hair!

Talkinpeace Tue 30-Apr-13 23:42:56

the best bit of my gym is the frosty mornings when the sun is shining and the steam on the pool only moves as you swim!

'chemical free' pools are only good if you know the owner and know how well its cleaned between swimmers ....
NOT ideal in a hotel!

sweetestcup Tue 30-Apr-13 23:49:52

Im taking a really wild guess here ken but I would think you dont live in Scotland? grin I do and as much as I love outdoor swimming pools (we hire a cottage in France with one every year) I dont fancy being hospitalised with hypothermia, as much as I would adore an outdoor pool!

Callofthefishwife Tue 30-Apr-13 23:50:48

I would love one but its just a fantasy for us as we will never afford a home with one. I admit the reality of running and maintaining a pool must be pretty grim.

That said I think its for people in denial that they live in the UK. I am also baffled at the recent craze in recent years for people to furnish their gardens with suites like this

Dont get me wrong. I love them. Think they look great and if I lived some where hot and sunny I would be the first person wanting something like this - but this is the UK. How do these things look after a typical wet summer on the patio or decking??? Do you need to keep rushing out to bring the cushions in every time it rains??? Do you leave the cushions off when not in use - so it looks nothing like the picture but hollow empty furniture???? I just dont get it - the idea and image in theory is lovely but are we being sold a lifestyle that really is not fit for the typical wet UK summer???

Still18atheart Tue 30-Apr-13 23:53:03

YABU because about 1 - 5 days a year it's really sunny and the temperature goes above -3

Still18atheart Tue 30-Apr-13 23:56:03


Cherriesarelovely Wed 01-May-13 00:00:33

I REALLY want to know more about the "swimming lake"!

Talkinpeace Wed 01-May-13 00:05:47

its similar to the basingstoke one

SlumberingDormouse Wed 01-May-13 00:13:23

That's not to say that indoor pools are a piece of cake, either. I lived in a house with one briefly (my mum's partner) and we had such a problem with damp that all the doors within two rooms of the pool expanded and wouldn't close any more! It also leaked and needed a huge amount of upkeep. And the cat drank from the pool and was sick all over a cream carpet... grin

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 01-May-13 00:13:39

The outdoor pool of my smaller yacht is heated, but I use the indoor pool and let the staff use the outside one. Too much noise from the helipad.


OhThePlacesYoullGo Wed 01-May-13 00:20:12

Talkinpeace that looks amazing!!! I would love that.

FairPhyllis Wed 01-May-13 00:27:04

<adds 'swimming lake' to list of fantasy lottery win purchases>

Startail Wed 01-May-13 00:34:56

You simply need my DDs who happily swim in freezing water.

I used to happily swim in the river and DH in the sea.

I'm just getting soft in my old age, DMIL would not approve she swam in the sea or her local river every new years day, the last time she'd have been 77

thezebrawearspurple Wed 01-May-13 00:42:16

It's silly, much better to have an indoor pool, then you can use it every day. Maybe they're trying to delude themselves that they live in California, everytime they look out the window....

scurryfunge Wed 01-May-13 00:54:07

If the outdoor pool is heated you can still swim on cooler days. The southeast has better weather, so there is more use. Children don't seem to mind and it's great for a BBQ and party (teen magnet).

YellowTulips Wed 01-May-13 01:12:58

Why wouldn't you if you could afford it?

Personally I am loving the pictures of the swimming lakes from TalkinPeace - beautiful!

ComposHat Wed 01-May-13 01:15:33

I hate it when all the houses you want to buy have swimming pools

I am having a similar problem, all the houses I want to buy have gold plated champagne fountains in the garden.

chrome100 Wed 01-May-13 07:41:43

I had a brief fling with triathlon a few years ago which involved open water swimming. Now I LOVE swimming and go everyday to my local leisure centre but this was a whole other kettle of fish. I spent the entirety of the hours lake swim pretty much hyperventilating from the cold, trying to catch my breath, my feet "burning" from the freezing water. Never Again. Why anyone would want to swim outdoors in this country is beyond me. I gave up after one season as I really thought I would die.

LadyLech Wed 01-May-13 07:55:36

We have a few friends with swimming pools. They're great and my children like going to pool parties at their various friends houses. Although I never go in any of them, and neither do the adults. However, if the pool is heated it is amazing how lone children can stay in them / how the children want to go on them on even really cold days. When you have children, they do get used.

However, my minuscule house will never be big enough for a pool, so I pay the £40 a year to join the private village pool that is owned by the village next to ours and then spend the rest of the year regretting buying it, as the pool is not heated and we only ever make it once or twice all year! So maybe not worth it...

pinkr Wed 01-May-13 08:17:14

In Scotland there is a local outdoor salt water pool near my df house...used to love going as a kid!

PatPig Wed 01-May-13 08:30:38

A sauna/jacuzzi shed seems more practical to me.

GemmaTeller Wed 01-May-13 08:33:35

Where I live in the UK, on the same road, there's a four bed detached with indoor pool for sale for £360k, another house about six doors added an indoor pool extension last year. Yet another house, on the other side of the field has an outdoor pool.

We're by no means posh or wealthy, I guess its a lifestyle choice but to me its too much faff and maintenance unless you pay someone to maintain it (but then I have a complete aversion to paying anybody for something I can do myself).

Salbertina Wed 01-May-13 08:37:39

We have a (small) outdoor pool.. But don't live in UK grin £4k on maintenance? We don't spend anywhere near that, maybe a few hundred pounds a yr max.

LondonMan Wed 01-May-13 08:47:56

YANBU. I used to assume that outdoor pools were virtually non-existent in the UK, because, given the climate, they are an insane idea. Then one day I flew out of London City Airport and as the plane banked over north-east London, I saw street after street where nearly every house had a pool. Could not believe it.

lljkk Wed 01-May-13 09:03:24

Do they have to be fenced (like in California)? Seems weird for the British to miss a safety regulation.

I am putting this on my "Reasons to move to California" list.

lljkk Wed 01-May-13 09:04:08

And how do you keep out nasty poisonous algae? Can't do much open water swimming near here due to those.

D0GWithAYoni Wed 01-May-13 09:08:58

My parents have a pool but its indoor and it really is such z lot of work effort and money if I inherit it ill turn it into stables grin

woopsidaisy Wed 01-May-13 09:10:36

My in laws have an out door heated pool. They have it lovely and hot when we go to visit and the DCs spend half of every day in it.
FIL is extremely fit, he uses it daily-but doesn't bother with the heating for himself. He breaks the ice off in Winter. shock
The have an out door sauna too, so he does that and then does freezing pool!
My FIL is amazing.

Salbertina Wed 01-May-13 09:14:47

Pool maintenance is really not that much hassle- have a permanent crawly thing to catch bugs etc, regularly check ph levels, chlorine not much else to do! Think its just because British people don't know about pools in the main, v easy tho once you've got used to it.

melika Wed 01-May-13 09:18:26

Yabu. Even in hot countries, they need to be heated.

So let's not do us down yet again.

bran Wed 01-May-13 09:27:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I agree with melika when we were in Australia the unheated pool was only warm enough to swim in for 4 months a year - it would never be warm enough here! I cannot do cold water at all. <shivers>

Jenijena Wed 01-May-13 09:58:26

Live in Cheaper Suburban Village, near Nicer Little Town, and am surprised that when stalking on rightmove looking around how there are always a couple of normal (3 bed semi) houses with the whole tiny garden converted into a pool.

Saves on cutting the grass I guess.

quoteunquote Wed 01-May-13 10:41:16

I hate heated pools, grim.

I love swimming in the sea, rivers , lakes, locks all the year round, I get grumpy, if I don't get in at least once a day,

I only use a wet suit if I'm surfing/water sport in the winter, not for swimming.

it's just what you are use to, I had a childhood in Scotland, Himalayas, any place with mountains (my parents climbed a lot) , I grew up washing and jumping in and out of melt water,

we also lived in the tropics, but I never lost the ability to enjoy cold water, it also to me having lived in both climates, always think of cold water as some how safer, possible as swimming in tropical places there were always a lot of predators and venomous things to deal with,

When I surf here there are no sharks, well none to worry about.

we as humans went through a stage when we lost our hair, this is attributed to us taking to the water, we laid down fat layers instead, we walked upright in the water, cockle picking, shell fish are the easiest most reliable source of protein,

As part of evolution ,we came out of the water, went up the trees, came back down and into the water, lost our hair and learnt to walk up right, we are equipped to deal with cold water, you just have to decide to enjoy it.

once you enjoy it, you need it, very addictive.

I know quite a few people with natural pools, people have the water storage for agriculture anyway, if they are planted correctly, with the right balance of plants they stay crystal clear, and require almost no maintenance.

aldiwhore Wed 01-May-13 10:58:46

We used our paddling pool for most of the summer last year, even when it rained, so we'd certainly use a heated outdoor pool!

Whether it's U or not I think depends on whether you use it or not.

IF I had one, and it was heated above freezing, I would be in it most days. I can swim happily for hours in the open air. I'd be less inclined to use an indoor pool.

actiongirl1978 Wed 01-May-13 12:01:02

Well, we have an outdoor pool and in the five years since we moved in, I have swum approximately 15 times, cost per swim about £200!

However we didn't have a heater, which we do now as we have tenants in there at the moment, and when we move back from abroad, we will use it a lot more as it will be heated and the children will be old enough to use it.

We put a full secure locked hardwood fence around ours and we now pay a man to open and close it, and come every two weeks all summer to keep it clean and the algae at bay (bad experience where it went completely green and we had to drain it a couple of years ago, very hard work!).

So yabu, I can see a lot of good times ahead with our pool now it is heated, though we close it between Oct and May so only use it during the warmer months.

However I can see your point, they are work that you might not want, they cost a lot to maintain, we had to put in a new liner, and the electric bill goes up obv when the filter is on!

just looked on google maps, and in the posher bit near where I live, every third house has a swimming pool. In the even posher bit, they have swimming pools and tennis courts. Round our way we only have trampolines wink

Wickedgirl Thu 02-May-13 12:31:10

Action girl........if it turns green you just have to "shock" it as long as the Ph levels are normal. Let all the algae drop to the bottom and then "suck" it to waste ( hope that makes sense)

Pinkdaisy4 Thu 02-May-13 14:13:28

Two words.......pool drains!!!!

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