Lymington Sea Water Baths (now known as Lymington Lido)
Lymington.com on the Lymington Sea Water Baths – since Chris Evans’ great feature about Lidos on his Breakfast Show on Tuesday 11 July, the Lymington Sea Water Baths are now known affectionately as Lymington Lido. What a brilliant name. And all this week they’ve been enjoying the most fabulous British weather we’ve seen in years...and the forecast is for more of the same! Everything in life is timing I always say – and this timing’s all just perfect! 13 July 2013, lymington.com Ed!
The Lymington Sea Water Baths are open every day for the summer now 10 am – 6 pm and then open for zorbing and private bookings from 6:30 to 8:30.
The Sea Water Baths are probably the largest along the south coast and date back to the 1780s. Mrs Beeston, who took over the baths in November 1872 following her husband’s death, capitalized on the growing public health interest in sea water and mud by using an inlet from the Salterns and advertising her “strengthening sea baths”.
In 1825 the charges were: “For a warm bath: 3s. 6d; shower ditto, 2s. 0d; cold water bath with guide: 1s. od; without guide, 6d. Every care and attention to the comforts of the invalid and the convalescent will be found strictly observed.” The male guide kept bathers afloat with the use of a rope.
The baths gained in popularity with customers coming from all over England to bath in the health strengthening waters and mud. In 1833 a larger building was funded by shares and donations (£6000 in total) under the Lymington Bath and Improvement Co. to house hot, cold and vapour baths with separate wings for ladies and gentlemen and large swimming baths at the western extremity.
Further mud flat areas were taken over for pastimes such as archery, rifle shooting and even a 12- hole golf course in 1893, all below sea level. With a membership of 200 in 1916 and a ladies club, the course was flooded and then again in 1937. With the onset of the Second World War the course was closed.
After various owners the local Corporation acquired the Lymington Sea Water Baths in 1929. The sea water baths are now owned by Lymington and Pennington Town Council, and as of July 2013 leased to a private company Lynx Sports Management to manage them.