On the banks of the River Avon sits Cleveland Pools, the UK’s only surviving Georgian open-air swimming pool.
Built in 1815, the Cleveland Pools became a favourite summer destination for generations of bathers from Bath and beyond. By the Victorian era, they had become so popular that a children's pool was added. With the advent of indoor swimming however, Cleveland Pools closed in 1984.
Since closing, dedicated volunteers and campaigners have maintained the site. In 2014 the Cleveland Pools Trust received preliminary funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and began opening the site for walking tours and public visits. With the help of the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, English Heritage, and B&NES Council, the Cleveland Pools Trust now have planning approval to restore the Grade II-listed baths and reclaim them for swimmers.
Plans include a 25-metre main pool using naturally treated and heated water. The original Georgian changing cubicles will be refurbished, there will be a facility for refreshments and exhibitions and the river landing stage will be re-instated for people to arrive by boat.
Water-based training activities such as canoeing and scuba-diving will be available, and the Pools will be used as an education centre for school children, a venue for workshops and children’s parties, and as an historic leisure destination for locals and visitors to Bath.