Stonehaven Open Air Pool

Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool, Queen Elizabeth Park, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, is an Olympic sized heated open air public pool opened in 1934. It is the northernmost lido in the UK.[1]


This 55 yard (50.3 meters) x 20 yard open air pool is the UK's only art deco Olympic sized sea water lido. The water is heated (29C/84F) and the pool is open from late May to early September. There is a Leisure Centre with indoor swimming pool next door.[2][3]

At the deep end, there is a small water slide, themed as a shark. An inflatable swoopee is also available on weekend afternoons in early & late season and daily in high season (local school holidays). Midnight swims are also offered weekly in high season. There was also previously a high diving board, but this was removed many years ago.


The pool was opened 4 June 1934.[4][5]

In 1994 Aberdeenshire Council had plans to close the pool but a local campaign (Friends of Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool) successfully lobbied to save the pool. This organisation is now a SCIO (Scottish Charitable Incorporated organisation) and works in partnership with the council. While the Council owns and operates the pool, the Friends maintain, enhance and promote the pool.[6][7]

Current patronage of the pool (2014) is around 30,000 visitors per year.[8][9]


  1. McLaren, Moray (1967). The Shell guide to Scotland. Ebury Press. p. 426.
  2. Aberdeenshire Council information on Stonehaven Leisure Centre
  3. Stonehaven Open Air Pool History
  4. "Nettie Whitelaw, a Friend of the Stonehaven Pool, outlines the history of one of Stonehaven's cherished landmarks as the pool celebrates its 75th anniversary". BBC. 13 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
  5. Smith, Janet (2006). Liquid assets: the lidos and open air swimming pools of Britain. English Heritage. pp. 50, 84–85. ISBN 978-0-9547445-0-2.
  7. "Appeal to save open-air pool". The Herald (Glasgow). March 15, 1996. p. 11. Campaigners are appealing to the public to save Stonehaven's open-air heated swimming pool, which the new Aberdeenshire Council has decided to close. Mr Alan Bain, chairman of the Friends of the Open Air Pool, said he was delighted to learn that the four local representatives on the new authority were backing the pool... Mr Alan Bisset, a solicitor and member of the Stonehaven Leisure Trust Committee, said he understood that little or no consultation had taken place before the decision was taken. He denied that the cost to ratepayers was £80,000, claiming his information put the subsidy at just over £44,000. He said most of this deficit could be wiped out by an increase in the entrance price, which he claimed people thought was "ridiculously low".
  8. Gordon Lyon (September 8, 2004). "Lure of open-air pool puts Stonehaven on international map". Aberdeen Press and Journal. p. 3. More than 24,000 people passed through its turnstiles during the 12-week open season, but the Friends of Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool believe its appeal is even wider. Spokesman Doug Samways said it would be wrong to assume that the people surveyed were there on their own, as people tended to visit in family groups or with friends. He said the number of people visiting Stonehaven this summer because of the pool was likely to be in the region of 46,350.
  9. "Heat advice as Scotland swelters". BBC News. 19 July 2006. More than 1,100 people visited the open air swimming pool in nearby Stonehaven, giving the attraction its busiest day for decades. Mary Mitchell, the chairwoman of the Friends of the Pool, said: "It's a long time since I remember it being so busy, I'd have to go back to the 1970s I think."


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