If I had to pick my favourite thing about living in London, it’s the fact there is always something new and different to be doing. Be that a pop up restaurant, exhibition or just visiting some of the not so well known areas of the city and exploring what’s on there. So, in this vain when I heard about the Kings Cross Pond Club I knew I’d have to pay a visit (& feature it on here because “the first rule of Pond Club..” isn’t that you can’t talk about it..). Essentially, it is the UK’s first ever man-made fresh water public bathing pond. Or in other words, a swimming pool where the water is completely filtered by plants without a chemical in sight. Originally intended to be open for two years only, this part of an experimental art piece called “Of Soil & Water” created by Ooze Architects (Eva Pfannes and Sylvain Hartenberg) and artist Marjetica Potrc.
So, when I had a day off and the weather forcast looked as if it may behave we booked tickets. Only a certain number of swimmers are allowed in per session and per day, so booking ahead of time online is vital. Thankfully, we lucked out and managed to avoid the rain and had almost a full day of sunshine.
Upon arrival, and once you’ve checked in, you’re greeted by beach hut style changing rooms complete with nostalgic red and white stripes. Alongside these there are a selection of lockers for your belongings and chairs and tables to have your lunch on if you wish. There is no food policy at the pool itself so if you have bought food with it needs to be consumed in this area.
The pool is split into 4 sections, two of which you are allowed to enter. The first being the raised platform for paddling with the barriers making it safe for younger children and the other being the main swimming area. The remaining two parts are for the various plants used to filter the water and keep it fresh and making sure that they aren’t disturbed or damaged by swimmers. Along the side of the pool there are a few sunbeds to relax on in between your times in the water.
The best way I can describe the entire experience is surreal. As the area around this part of Kings Cross is currently undergoing vast amounts of construction and regeneration, it really does feel like an oasis. I could quite happily have spent all day just admiring the gorgeous green surroundings. Although, I’ll admit the water was a little cold at first it did take me a about half an hour with my feet in the paddling part to brave diving in. I mean, the water was on average 4 degrees lower than the air temperature after all.
I’ll definitely be paying another visit to the Kings Cross Pond Club and can’t recommend it highly enough. Although, I might wait until later in the summer when it’s guaranteed to be a bit warmer..