As is traditional on an English seaside holiday in August – our first morning was a complete washout. On the Isle of Wight your options for a rainy day are pretty good. There are 20+ things to do in our guide, several of which were a reasonable choice for our toddler.
We opted for swimming and discovered a little gem on Ryde’s esplanade at Appley. The Waterside Pool was once owned by the Isle of Wight Council but was palmed off as a community project a few years ago when the greedy bankers ruined the economy.
Political debates aside, the people who took it on deserve a pat on the back for keeping it going, because it is a lovely little spot for a swim.
The setup is pretty basic – just one pool and not a lot else (there is a small sauna but I think you have to be a member for that), but the water is warm and it feels like a holiday spot because you are right by the sea and Ryde’s Canoe Lake. The changing rooms are nice enough and they were clean. The staff were all cheery as well.
A display on the wall explained that re-grouting the pool was costing them £100,000 which did make me feel that I should have offered a little more than my £4.80 (including my toddler). I did also notice that they do offer a bargain £1.50 swim a couple of times a week for residents.
On a return visit at the end of the holiday the roof was open and the sun was pouring in. As a result, it offered outdoor swimming which was genuinely warm and pleasant.
Normally I’ve got some smug remark to end this blog about how the coffee was awful or the entrance price required me to sell a body part on the black market. For once, I’ll leave it there.
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