Our opening times are: 


7am 8am 9am (hour long adult lane sessons) 

10-11am adult gentle swim

11am-12am closed

12-3 family session (inc up to 2 lanes)

3pm-3:30 closed

3:30-6:30 family session (inc up to 2 lanes) 

6:30-8pm lane session (for children 10+ and adults)




Our opening times are: 


9am 10am 11am (hour long adult lane sessons) 

12pm-1pm closed

1pm-4pm family session (inc up to 2 lanes)

4pm-4:30pm closed

4:30pm-7:30pm family session  (inc up to 2 lanes)





A polite reminder to all our pells pool swimmers:

The Pells Pool operates an entrance fee rather than a swim fee, therefore please book a ticket for everyone who wishes to enter the facility. You will be denied entry if we are fully booked and do not have a ticket.

Under 5's are free, however please still book them a space!


Pool Temperature: Please see our social media stories for daily pool temperatures 

Pells is an unheated pool - and relies on sunshine to heat. The water into the pool comes from an underground spring and is heated by the sun. We apply our cold water policy if the temp is below 15C

About The Pells Pool

The Pells Pool is the oldest documented freshwater outdoor public swimming pool in the United Kingdom, set in the beautiful town of Lewes in East Sussex. We celebrated our 160th anniversary in 2021 and continue to welcome thousands to our unique lido pool in the summer months each year.
We are a community-run pool, with professional staff managing the pool and a paid team of trained lifeguards. We are run by the Pells Pool Community Association and supported by the Lewes Town Council who act as trustees for the land and pool. 
The Pells is an unheated spring-fed pool - 50 yards (46 metres) long by 25 yards (23 metres) wide. There are facilities for the whole family to enjoy, from our tree-lined green lawn, sun terrace and exercise lane, to our children's paddling pool, floats and other recreational equipment. 
Come and enjoy a picnic on the lawn. We sell snacks, coffee & tea, soft drinks & ice cream. 
Customers get 20p reduction if you bring your own cup and we will be selling reusable cups.  We also have a water fountain - so bring your own water containers to refill.
The pool is heated only by the sun, so water is usually cool at the start of the season and warms up as the weeks go by. For people interested in open water swim training, wetsuits can be worn to swim in the pool whenever we're open and unless indicated in the name of the session, we have a lane set aside for lap swimming. 
There are male and female changing areas.
There are four open-air warm showers beside the lawn which edges the pool, and one cold water shower on the flint wall side.
Male and female toilets and an accessible toilet.
We have ramp access to the pool for people with mobility needs - and wheelchair available for use to access.  There is an accessible toilet, shower and changing area. 
We do not allow dogs to be brought into the Pells.


Book online

Cold Water Swimming Advice

Although the pool is currenlty above 15oc, the water temperature can fall quickly. Please keep an eye out on our social media platforms for daily temperature checks. If the water does fall below 15, please follow our cold water advice below:

When you arrive at the pool, our staff will be providing advice and guidance to people for their safety. Please do ask our team if you have any questions or concerns.

If the temperature falls below 15°C we will not allow children to swim in the pool & the paddling pool will close.

For those people who have been regularly swimming then swimming at these temperature should be straightforward.

You still need to take care and adjust your swimming times and not stay in the pool for an extended period of time.

At 15°C or below we would recommend using a wet suit, if you have not been acclimatised to swimming in the water before.

Use of swim hats and potentially also swim gloves should be considered.

If you are not used to the temperatures (eg from Pells, sea swimming or other unheated outdoor swimming) then we recommend that you initially limit your time in the water to just 15 minutes at most.

If a new swimmer, be aware that you may not notice your body cooling down and oddly feel quite warm while you are swimming - this is an indication you are experiencing a physical reaction 

You should not dive into cold water unless you are well adjusted to it.

Follow tips and advice from organisations like the Outdoor Swimming Society and NOWCA.

Bad weather policy - reminder (from terms and conditions)

Are sessions cancelled due to bad weather?

No – sessions go ahead whatever the weather

What happens in the event of thunder/lightning?

We follow ROSPA guidance which indicates that when, in the judgement of the lifeguarding team, the lightning is within around 6 miles of the Pells, then we need to clear pool and get people to safe place. We only return 30 mins after last sound of thunder. 

Are sessions cancelled in advance due to lightning risk or forecast?

No. We do not cancel sessions in advance due to lightning risk or forecast - since action is needed only if we judge that a storm has come within 6 miles of the pool, and this cannot be predicted specifically in advance.

Can a session be ended early due to lightning?

Yes, if the storm continues to within 30 mins of end of session we would need to end the session. Or a session might be delayed or not able to start if the storm is within 6 miles of the Pells within 30 mins of the start. We would of course consider a refund in such circumstances.