Pells open 
bookings in advance only

Autumn Season until 1 November

Book online

Pool Temperature:  11.5C

Fri 16 October

Pells is an unheated pool - see our cold water swim advice on this page

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Pells - Autumn Season - Mon 14 Sep to Sun 1 Nov

Our 2020 autumn season at the Pells runs every day from Monday 14 September to Sunday 1 November and tickets are on sale. 

You can book tickets from our online ticket system:

Our weekday sessions are:

  • 60 min lane swims: 7am, 8am, 9am, 10am, 11am
  • 90 min lane swims: 3pm and 4:45pm

Our weekend sessions are:

  • 60 min lane swims 10am, 11am, noon

For our last day on Sunday 1 November, we have added sessions:

  • 60 min lane swims at 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm 



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Pells 2020 Survey

We are grateful for the many positive comments made in person and via social media throughout the season and feel confident that we could operate successfully should the same restrictions be in place next summer. But of course hopefully that won't be the case.

If restrictions are lifted for our 2021 season, there are some things we know we want to do and others we would very much like your opinion and ideas about.

    We would like to have a system for season tickets and for concessionary rates. We would also welcome back young people aged ten and above, without the need to be accompanied by an adult.

    We have however found there to be considerable advantages dividing the day into bookable slots and would like to consult you on how, if at all, this could be developed. (Please also bear in mind that if we do run pre-booked sessions, similar to this season, but with no Covid restrictions, admission numbers for each session could be doubled, since social distancing would no longer be required. Under these circumstances we anticipate that sessions would only get fully booked during spells of hot weather.)

    So please do complete our online survey:

    As an added incentive, you can win a season ticket for 2021 if you complete the survey.

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    Cold water swimming advice

    For the remainder of the Pells season the water temperature will be 17°C or below. It is important therefore that those using the pool do so safely to take account of the cold water.

    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.

    The water temperature will drop especially as nights get colder and the pool loses heat overnight.

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

    For those people who have been regularly swimming as the temperature has dropped gradually then adjusting to 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.

    For 2021, incidentally, we do hope to be able to provide a space at Pells for research colleagues in the health service to look at cold water immersion on mental and physical health, but that is being discussed and planned over closed period. 


    Ticket sales for sessions at the Pells

    Please note admission to Pells for our 2020 season is by pre-booked ticket only - there is no sale of tickets on the door for immediate entry.

    Tickets on sale now for sessions up to end of our autumn season. The link to the booking site is here:

    Full details about our 2020 season is on the 2020 season pages on this site.

    If you need to get in touch with us, please email


    Additional Lane Sessions from Monday 7 September

    We've reviewed how bookings are running and how we should develop the sessions we offer in September, with schools being back from Monday 7 September

    We aretherefore offering more lane sessions in week of Mon 7 Sept.

    We've retained one afternoon family session on weekdays, and have 2 adult lane sessions (11am & noon) in place of the 11am family session.

    This reflects booking preferences & demand we saw in week of tickets just released.

    Thanks for understanding - we need to match what we offer closest to what people wish to book for. Sorry if this is disappointing for anyone


    Invitation to become a friend of the Pells Pool 2020

    As announced in our recent newsletter, in response to generous offer of financial help from our season ticket holders and others, we are now launching our 'Friends of the Pells Pool' fundraising scheme.

    To become a friend please pay £30 (and feel free to donate more as some have offered if you want!) We appreciate that for some people £30 is hard to find.

    By completing the payment information on our Membermojo system:

    Friends will be entitled to the equivalent of a 10% discount on the price of an adult season ticket should they buy an adult or family season ticket next year. Please be aware that becoming friend does not entitle you to a discount on any ticketing schemes we may introduce this season if we are able to open.

    We would love to open this season but don't want to raise expectations unnecessarily. The truth is we just don't know and it is out of our hands. All any of us can do is stay safe and follow the rules.

    Very best wishes from all at the Pells Pool Community Association

    Conrad Ryle (Chair of PPCA)
    Phil Ranlsey (Pool Manager)


    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 150th anniversary in 2011 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 (closed for the 2020 season),floats and other recreational equipment. 

    Come for the day 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 we always have a lane set aside for lap swimming. 

    In normal seasons, there are male and female changing areas, and there are small lockers free to use (not available in 2020 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.