Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Taking Baby for a swim. Part 3: Camberwell Leisure Centre

We haven't been swimming for the last couple of weeks due to Boo-boo having a cold and us testing out the soft play areas. However the cold seems to be clearing up and so we decided to pop to the Camberwell Leisure Centre. to check out their recently refurbished Victorian swimming pool.

Unlike our last swim visit (to the Clapham Leisure Centre) this pool has a whole wet change area dedicated to families and disabled people. There is a place to leave the buggy, big lockers and mixed size cubicles for big and little families. And it was all very clean!

Admittedly I'm still struggling to get everything done swiftly when it comes to getting the baby in and out of the pool. However I had taken a tip from Amelia's Mum blog and had my swim suit on underneath my clothes which made life a little easier.

All ready and changed, we both pranced off to the leaner pool. And what a great space it is! The pool has several longs steps going down into the pool which is similar to the Brixton Recreation Centre pool but much smaller. It seems to me that when a new swimming pool is built, there is a rule to make them smaller than they were. Am I imagining this?

There were a couple of other people in the water with their children so it really wasn't over busy though I imagine it could get a little crowed if we were all on the steps with the babies and toddlers!

After the water fun, we got out and tested the showers. Amazingly, these have some form of temperature control. Now admittedly I was a little wary of getting the tempretature right but me and the little one managed to get the water luke warm and have a shower even if we didn't get to use the shampoo because I had put it away safely and it really wasn't accessible!

When I was getting dressed, I could put the baby in the buggy which gave me peace of mind that she was in a safe space rather than on the floor finding someone's old plaster (not that this has happened!).

So to sum up, a very good experience. Pretty good changing facilities, Fab pool. Nice interior and feel to the place. And a cafe on the way out! Please do visit the place!

Camberwell Leisure Centre Information


Camberwell Leisure Centre is located at Artichoke Place, off Camberwell Church Street  SE5 8TS

At the leisure centre, adults (non-members)  pay £4 (off peak) or £4.30 (peak) per swim and babies (under 3) are free otherwise £1.50. Family Swim (2 adults /2 children) is £8.80. The centre can be contacted on 0844 893 3888

The opening times of the learner pool (public swim) are:

Monday       9:00 to 10:30 and 12:00 to 1:30pm
Tuesday       9:00 to 10:00 and 12:00 to 1:30pm
Wednesday  12:00 to 1:30pm and 1:30 to 3:00pm
Thursday     12:00 to 1:30pm
Friday          12:00 to 1:30pm and 3:00 to 4:00pm
Saturday     1:00 to 3:00pm
Sunday        11:00 to 3:00pm

It's always worth phoning the pool to check it's open or that there hasn't been a change to the timetable.


Want to know more about swimming with babies in the Lambeth area and beyond? Read the following:


  1. Glad my tips helped and you enjoyed your swim! We tried a different pool this week to the first one and its much better, has family changing cubicles and a more interesting toddler pool with a fountain, bubbles and different levels. Unfortunately Amelia has a cold now too so a wee break from the swimming until she is better! :) x

  2. My husband I just took our baby for the pool safety class and its amazing how fast all the babies learn. It took me a few pool sessions just to learn how to stay floating on my back.

    Jane from http://swimminggear.org/