Fitness · Glasgow

North Woodside Pool

In 2011 Glasgow was battered by high winds. Now, Glasgow can handle a little weather, it is in Scotland after all, so trust me when I say that these winds meant serious business. Everyone called it Hurricane Bawbag (don’t go much beyond Wikipedia for that one). The flat I would move into a year later after renovations were complete had all of its windows blown in. Wind farms shut down but not before at least one turbine caught fire. It was breezy, to say the least.

One of the effects of this was that the North Woodside Pool, a beautiful old Victorian pool that originally opened in 1882 had its glass roof blown away. Fortunately, no one was hurt. However, the pool was forced to close for renovations and repairs. I used to use this pool a lot. When reports came back that it had started leaking when they tried to refill it, I was worried it might never reopen. Fortunately, I turned out to be wrong and I’ve finally had the chance to go back.

North Woodside Pool
North Woodside Pool. Look at those pillars! Image credit: woodsideonline.org.uk

In terms of how the pool itself looks very little has changed and that is a good thing. It still has its stone pillars and lion sculptures. The glass roof lets in lots of lovely natural light. It’s lost none of its Victorian charm and feels like a really special place to swim, I’ve certainly never been in a pool quite like this one before. It has character that nowhere else can really compare to.

The showers are new, as are the steam room and the sauna. They run some classes and events but most of the time the majority of the pool is available for general swimming. At £3.20 a session for a pool as wonderful as this one it’s a shame to not use it. It has always been a community pool so it has always been inexpensive to swim here. When it opened it charged a penny for an adult swim and a ha’penny for kids.

It’s a shame that it’s quite far from where I live right now. I guess it would take me about 30 minutes to walk there. Then again, it’s not like there are any other affordable pools nearby and this one is so cool. Besides, it’s a bit closer to where I work. So I’m thinking I might try to use it a few more times over summer before I move away from Glasgow – who doesn’t want to swim in a Victorian pool when they get the chance?

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