Pells open for 2021 season

Booking in advance - online or at kiosk  


Pool Temperature:  current temp 21C (2 August)

Pells is an unheated pool - and heats up in the warmer weather, although the temperature has fallen a little in the recent cooler weather. The water into the pool comes from an underground spring and is heated by the sun.

Tickets now on sale up to Sunday 15 Aug  

Booking in advance is strongly recommended, since there is a strict limit on numbers admitted per session. In hot weather, sessions will get fully booked in advance.

We sell tickets online - you can buy them 24 hours a day.

You can also book in person at the kiosk when we are open, for future sessions.

Tickets are currently on sale for all days up to Sunday 15 Aug 

Where any tickets remain unsold at the start of a session, you can also buy them on the door for immediate admission, as well as online.

The sale online uses the Bookwhen system - it should have all information needed for making bookings.

Payments will be taken from payment cards via the Stripe system rather than Paypal. Some customers had problems using Paypal last year.

Please see Q&A on these webpages for any questions about times and prices.


New batches of tickets on sale weekly - on Thursdays  

Our tickets for the fifteenth week of the season (Monday 16 August to Sunday 22 August) go on sale on Thursday 5 August.

We release new tickets each Thursday in staggered way to make booking easier to manage. This is based on best experience from managing bookings in 2020 season.

The release times will be approximately:

  • 10:30am for morning lane swims

  • 12:30pm for family sessions and gentle lane swims

  • 3:30pm for evening lanes





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.


Keeping Pells Pool safe for our swimmers and staff 

Pleased to say we have reviewed how we operate after 19 July and we are modifying a few things, but keeping in place most of the current arrangements this year, since they keep our swimmers and staff safe and the pool well run.

We are keeping in place most current arrangements eg:

  • numbers and sessions through the day;

  • online booking systems;

  • arrangements such as sanitisers, showers and use of lanes.


The specific changes are:

  • not asking people to book only for their bubble or household

  • allowing groups of more than 30 when we hire out the pool in the evenings

  • confirming we will book tickets on the door for a session if any spaces remain unsold  


See the detail in our July newsletter.


Book online

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 celebrate our 160th anniversary in 2021 and continue to welcome thousands to our unique lido pool in the summer months each year. 

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 (re-open now for 2021 season),floats and other recreational equipment. 

Come and enjoy a picnic on the tree-lined 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 (now re-open for 2021 season),and there are small lockers free to use (not available in 2021 season).

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.