Guildford Lido – Guildford, England - Atlas Obscura

Guildford Lido

This public pool is one of the last remaining lidos of the countless built in the 1930's as public works projects in the United Kingdom. 


Originally built in the 1930s as part of an initiative by then-mayor William Harvey, the Guildford Lido is a 50 x 70 metre open-air swimming pool in landscaped gardens. It is open from May through September every year.

A lido is a term specific to the United Kingdom for a public outdoor pool built and maintained by the government for the development and recreation of its citizens. The Guildford Lido is one of only a few remaining “original” lidos built in the 1930s as part of national public works programs.

In the early ’30s, Mayor Harvey launched a fund for unemployed men to find work as part of this public works movement. The Guildford Lido opened in 1933 and was one of a number of projects that gave jobs to more than 600 men.

Using taxes and contributions from local citizens, construction took 120 men a period of 6 months to complete. The architect was J. W. Hipwood and it took a £13,000 budget to complete it.

The opening was attended by the mayor and was covered in international papers. Within a few weeks of its opening in 1933 it had been used by tens of thousands of people, and continues to be used annually by more than 60,000 people each season.

Know Before You Go

By Car:From M25 London Orbital (Allow 20 minutes)-Exit the motorway at junction 10 (which is signposted as London S.W. / Guildford / Kingston) and follow A3 (S)Continue on the A3 for approximately 7 milesLeave the A3 at the A322 Guildford / Horsham / Bagshot / Aldershot exit.At the end of the slip road turn left towards Guildford and continue straight over at the traffic lights.Continue on Stoke Road to the first roundabout, Guildford Lido is the first turning on your left.From A3 Northbound & Portsmouth:Follow the A3 until the Guildford (A322) exit. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit (A25).Remain on the A25 for approximately one mileAt Stoke Junction (by fire station) turn right onto Stoke Road. Guildford Lido is the first left at the roundaboutFrom Dorking (Allow 30 minutes)-Follow the A25 towards Guildford.At Newlands Corner turn left signposted to Guildford.Turn left at next roundabout, continue to the junction of Epsom Road and Boxgrove Road.Turn right at the traffic lights to remain on the A25 - Boxgrove Road.At the roundabout take the second exit, contiue towards traffic lights.At traffic lights turn right onto Stoke Road, Guildford Lido is the first left at the roundabout.

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