What do I like? Swimming, yes.  Art installations, yes.  Swimming in an art installation?  Sounds right up my street.  Somebody I knew asked if I had done this thing.  I thought they were talking about putting in the lengths at the Zaha Hadid’s Olympic swimming pool.  Turns out no, they were talking about an outside pool just north of Kings Cross Station.  About six weeks ago a couple of chums from my twins’ club and I arranged to go, since then almost every day has featured torrential rain.  How lucky were we to have the hottest day of the year so far to visit!

King Cross Pond Club Lily

Kings Cross Pond Club is the first-ever man-made public bathing pool.  What makes it art is that its creator, Marjectica Potrc, says it is.  If you haven’t explored the area behind King Cross and St Pancras Stations in London, now is time to do so.  Urban regeneration is taking place here: former railway buildings now house Central St Martins fashion school, piazzas with fountains have appeared and in among the many building projects are pieces of high quality public art.  The pool is one of them for that fully immersive experience.

Kings Cross Pond Club Cabanas

Not that the Kings Cross Pond Club feels like a work of art.  Jaunty striped changing cabanas, tick.  Lockers to stow your valuables, tick.  Rubber band with the padlock keys, tick.  Just like many municipal swimming pools.  Look around you and you see countless building projects, you are in the middle of a huge building site.  The pool itself is a curvaceous rectangle about 10 metres wide and 40 long all raised up on a 2 metre pile of earth that is planted with wildflowers.  The plants around the edge of the pool and submerged within in keep the water sweet.  A low wooden ledge separates you from the plants so you don’t have pond weed snaking round your legs.

Kings Cross Pond Club

On the one hand you are swimming in freshwater with water lilies and on the other, once you are dried and dressed, a cocktail is only a stroll away.  That’s just what we did once we’d completed a few circuits and soaked up the sun.  The Lighterman is a newly built canal side pub, all glass and blond wood.  We had flatbreads and tap water as well.  We were shocked to see that we had been billed £2 for each bottle of tap water.  This was hastily removed when we expressed our shock, so if you go to the same place ensure that water comes in a carafe and not in one of those old fashioned ginger beer type bottles.  Shame because the food and location were excellent.

20 Canal Reach (entrance on Tapper Street), London N1C 4BE
1 June 2016 – 31 August 2016
Only 40 people are allowed at a time, so booking is essential.  £5 buys you a three and half hour slot.
Monday – Friday:  7am-10.30am, 11am-2.30pm, 3pm-5.30pm, 6pm-8.30pm

Weekends: 8am-11.30am, 12noon-3.30pm, 4pm-close



  1. July 22, 2016 / 4:15 pm

    Really interesting – I thought I knew this area but never knew about this! #weekendblogshare

  2. July 25, 2016 / 7:32 pm

    What a wonderfully different idea, especially in balmy London. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

  3. July 26, 2016 / 7:26 am

    How lovely! A little getaway within the city! #CityTripping

  4. July 26, 2016 / 10:26 am

    So much fun! Next time go to Caravan for lunch and coffee. You made me laugh with the comment about the artistic qualities of the pool. Love it

    • July 26, 2016 / 10:55 am

      All the outside seats were taken at Caravan, I have eaten there before with the boys and all left full and happy!

  5. July 26, 2016 / 6:27 pm

    Oh my goodness! That is amazing and so beautiful! I really like the idea of this but for some reason it makes me feel out of my comfort zone and unsure as to whether I would go – how silly! Half you made the most of it. Thanks for joining the #weekendblogshare

  6. July 26, 2016 / 6:47 pm

    I had absolutely no idea this was there! I knew a lot of regeneration had gone on, and have read about some of the changes around Granary Square etc, although never had chance to explore properly but this is totally new to me. What a perfect day to visit (and what chancers with the tap water…) #citytripping

    • July 26, 2016 / 6:48 pm

      It’s an area well worth exploring!

  7. July 26, 2016 / 7:33 pm

    Sounds interesting … and different. It’s good to know you don’t have plants to get tangled up with in the bathing area. I’m not sure I know anyone that would like that… #citytripping

  8. July 26, 2016 / 9:33 pm

    There are so many new things to explore in Kings Cross with its huge regeneration – hard to keep up.. I have never heard of this but it is a novel idea although I can’t imagine me being persuaded to swim amongst the waterlilies… the cocktail on the other hand…. Thanks for linking to #citytripping

    • July 27, 2016 / 6:20 am

      The waterlilies have their own ledge you just share the water xx

  9. July 27, 2016 / 2:49 am

    Swimming with lily pads? That’s so weird! I hate it when restaurant charge for tap water.. We get that in Singapore quite often and it’s annoying.. Glad that the restaurant waived the charge for you eventually! #CityTripping

  10. July 27, 2016 / 7:45 am

    This sounds absolutely brilliant, Catherine! Love the idea of swimming among water lilies and then rocking up to a bar for a cocktail afterwards. That tap water story is a shocker though. Not sure I could have visited again after that. #citytripping

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