Cover of The Lido Guide
  • Janet Wilkinson and Emma Pusill

Latest updates

This is the year it all happens...

Friday, 11 January 2019

A slightly belated happy new year to all our pledgers. We hope you managed some festive fun in the water over the Christmas break.

One of our pledgers reminded me, yesterday, that there hadn't been a project update for a while. This was a very fair point, well made. That's primarily because it's been a busy old time at LIdo Guide HQ. As well as all the 'real life' that continues to tick along entirely…

Gathering Momentum

Friday, 26 October 2018

Things are beginning to happen apace, here at Lido Guide HQ.

Janet and I have been busy beavering away providing feedback to Unbound on the first of the layouts for the book. It's an amazing feeling to hold something in your hands that actually looks like it's going to be a real book. And it's not often we get given carte blanche to make liberal use of a red pen, so naturally we seized that opportunity…

Comings and goings, toings and froings

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Earlier in the week, when we showed you all our lovely book cover, I promised a round up of one or two lido happenings towards the end of the week. And here we are, at the end of the week. But first, shall we just have another little look at our gorgeous cover? Shall we? Just because we can? 

Oh, alright then - you talked me into it.

It's still smashing, isn't it?

Anyway - in other news…

It's going to be a real book!

Monday, 24 September 2018

Dear supporter, 

We have got some very exciting news, and after a period of comparative quiet because we've been busy swooping in and out of pools to take any remaining images needed for the book it is great to be able to share this for our first update of the off-season. 

The lovely people at Unbound have been beavering away with design samples and the whole thing is looking fabulous. Seeing…

Water, water everywhere - and all the queues to stand in

Friday, 3 August 2018

With the book now fully funded, and pre-orders continuing to come in, it's all hands to the pumps at Lido HQ and Unbound as we busy ourselves getting the book ready for print.

At Unbound the focus has been on the design work to date, and the sample designs look good enough to eat... we'll let you have a sneak preview just as soon as possible. The manuscript was delivered some months ago, and we…


Monday, 18 June 2018

When we started crowdfunding for this book, almost 2 years ago, I imagined that this would be the easiest project update to write; that I'd sit down and it would flow from my fingers. But crafting an update to let you all know that we are finally at the magic 100% funded, and that this book will now certainly become a reality, is one of the hardest things I've ever done. 

Perhaps it's becasue I…

Listing heavily.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Some things happen like clockwork in the annual lido calendar. One of them, almost wearisome in its inevitability, is the flush of lido lists that appear in the media. You know the sort of thing...




That sort of thing…

Doing the homework

Sunday, 20 May 2018

A good guidebook is, really, all about the homework. That's what gives the authors the credentials to be taken seriously; the painstaking hours of research, of walking the walk, of going, doing, seeing and living the thing you want to tell others about.

Janet, in particular, has been grafting at this for a long time. 

Since at least 1973, it seems, when she was so looking forward to a holiday…

The BIG Weekend

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Well folks, we are less than 10 days away from the biggie - the late May Bank Holiday weekend when the majority of pools open once more for the season.

It's really gratifying to see so many more pools now extending their season. Hathersage have been a trail blazer in that respect, and I'm always grateful for Topsham's early season opening. Pells Pool is also one to watch - they trialled extending…

Feast follows famine

Friday, 20 April 2018

After what has felt like the longest, hardest winter for some time I sit here bathed in sunshine that is actually warm. Just a month or so ago we were in the grip of Storm Emma here in the UK but now we're in the grip of an undoubtedly brief, but nevertheless very welcome, harbinger of summer. I can feel my bones relaxing under skin no longer swaddled against the elements. 

It's timely, then, that…

Don't mention the pool cover... I did once, but I think I got away with it.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

There's been quite the buzz around The Lido, a debut novel by Libby Page due out on April 19th. 

The story of its publication could readily be a novel in its own right. Girl writes book alongside full time marketing job. Girl spends a year sending manuscript, fruitlessly, to publishers. Girl gets close to giving up. Girl approaches co-founder of new agency. Girl gets signed, secures six figure…

Emerging from hibernation

Thursday, 15 March 2018

With the daffodils, birdsong and longer days come other unmistakable sounds of spring...

The priming of pumps, the scrubbing of pool tanks, the hum of boilers and the pleasing splatter of water flowing full bore to fill the beckoning void. Seasonal pools are coming out of hibernation up and down the land, and we are emerging with them.

Our social media is getting busier, so we thought it was…

The weather outside is Beastly...

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

I've been very neglectful of posting updates on the project lately, and I apologise. There has been much going on behind the scenes at Lido Guide HQ in the dead of winter; we had a joint lido train trip to luxurious Thames Lido, featuring a very pleasurable and enlightening lengthy lido chat with the manager mark. It's always such fun to be in the company of someone else who could happily talk lidos…


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

All lidos need surgery from time to time. A nip and tuck here, a bit of grafting there. It's a rolling process keeping them looking their best. They are, quite literally, high maintenance.

Over the years so many have been lost for lack of that maintenance. Some, like the superbly named Morecambe Super Swimming Stadium, fell victim to poor quality concrete that quickly made ongoing maintenance rather…

Jubilee Pool, Penzance; Poetry competition winning entries

Monday, 23 October 2017

I found myself with a spare day on my hands last Friday, and a desire to beat the southward bound half-term traffic. So I made an early start and whistled down to Penzance for the day, determined to have an autumnal swim before they close their doors at the end of October.

The swim was a mixed bag. The water was 14c, pretty much my favourite temperature, and I had the pool entirely to myself. Maybe…

The F Word

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Last weekend saw the big shut down, with the majority of seasonal pools turning off the plant and hanging up the keys until next spring.

So my thoughts naturally turn to cold water swimming. By way of a bit of variety I thought I'd share a short story I wrote about cold water swimming. It's loosely based on an encounter I had at Clevedon Marine Lake, and I wrote it for an event at Lido Brynaman…

Wrapping Up

Thursday, 14 September 2017


*Taps on screen*

Remember me? 

I wouldn't blame you if you didn't. I have been shamefully quiet for the last few months. This is largely on account of gorging myself on seasonal lidos while I've had the opportunity. Making hay while the sun shines, and all that. You can read about my various lido road trips here. Scotland was a particularly epic, high mileage jolly around the outdoor…

Feeling the love

Monday, 10 April 2017

Dearest pledgers,

Spring is upon us, and the sunshine reveals all. In my case that includes arms that are reminiscent of just set blancmange, thanks to very little actual swimming over the winter. But the sun also encourages the greenery that has been lying dormant in the countryside to show itself, and it encourages the seasonal lido lovers to show themselves.

Many seasonal pools are yet to…

If art reflects lidos, it does so with special mirrors.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Apologies to Bertold Brecht for the reworking of his fine words on art reflecting life, but I hope he wouldn't have minded. A man who wanted his audiences to think critically, to recognise social injustice and to leave the theatres and set about trying to effect change in the world might well have had some affinity for lidos given their early aims of providing opportunities to groups previously denied…

The only gala season that matters?

Thursday, 19 January 2017

This is a exciting time of year for unheated lido lovers. Not only are there the teeth tightening, sub 5c swims under candy floss sunrise skies to look forward to there are galas galore. I'm not a competitive person, not where swimming is concerned anyway. Try me at scrabble though, that's a different story. I'd never think of entering a gala in an indoor pool, and very probably I'd baulk at the idea…

A Year Of Possibilities

Thursday, 5 January 2017


I'm not a spiritual or superstitious person. I don't really believe in fate in the sense of some unshakeable, arbitrary destiny being dished out by powers unseen and unknown. I do believe in luck however, both good and bad; sometimes events, things, or people happen along that hold the power to change our lives. Perhaps the best luck of all comes to those who are able to recognise these unexpected…

Some like it cold

Monday, 14 November 2016

Dear pledger,

with autumn shuffling out the back door like a guilty lover, as winter rattles its keys on the front step, the swimming forums of the internet begin to fill with talk of temperature, shivers, flasks, (even more) cake, cold water galas and the wetsuit vs skins debate. I'm not about to get into that one - it's a broad church as far as I'm concerned, this cold water swimming lark and…

Building a community

Friday, 7 October 2016

Hello lovely supporters, 

It really is a pleasure to see the number of pledgers continuing to grow despite the tailing off of the lido season in so many parts of the coutnry. Many pools are now closed for the winter, although London is well blessed with year round outdoor swimming opportunities those of us outside London are iften reconciled to moving back indoors to put in our hard yards over…

36 hours of lido love

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Hello lovely pledgers,

Firstly, welcome and thankyou to our most recent pledgers - we are thrilled to have you on board. 

Things have been a bit quiet in the shed lately, mainly because Janet and I have been preparing for the inaugural Lido Conference. That took place last weekend, in Portishead, and we feel really pleased and enthused with the way it went. The feedback we've had was very positive…

Guest Lido Road Trip post from @indianabrambles

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Hello all,

Janet and I continue to be thrilled with the support that the Lido Guide is getting, and one of our staunchest supporters is Sarah Thelwall, or @indianabrambles as some of you will know her on twitter. She is also busily swimming her way round the lidos and sea pools of the UK (and beyond!) Given how grateful we are to her for her support it is a delight to have our very first guest…


Thursday, 11 August 2016

Ten percent funded in just 2 days! This is amazing news, and we are so very grateful to everybody who has pledged, shared and said lovely things about the concept of this book. 

It must be getting on for a couple of years since Janet and I first started talking about this book, and just generally nattering on for hours about lidos. So to see it beginning to take shape is quite something. 


Publication date: June 2019
125% funded
594 backers