Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Taking Baby for a Swim Part 4: Latchmere Leisure Centre

So far our adventures into swimming have been fairly drama free however this visit came with a scenario I had expected at some point but so soon?

Let me begin at the beginning. We decided to visit the pool at the Latchmere Leisure Centre in Battersea. I'd read some good reviews and had been there a couple of times as a child. We got to the centre, got tickets and hired a padlock for the locker. We were pleased to see that in the shared changing area, they had several family sized cubicles with baby change facilities though many had a notice which read that they should be used by school groups during the hours of 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday which is peak Mummy and baby time!

Anyway, we got changed for the swim and noticed we had walked out onto a rather empty pool with a few people standing around. Yes folks, There was a poo in the pool and not just an ordinary poo but a scattered one! Yikes! poo!

The life guards were all scratching their heads and eventually told swimmers that it would take at least 20 minutes to sort out. So me, a few other mums, a couple of school groups and various others headed back to the changing room to get into our dry clothes. This is where the wearing the swimsuit option under your clothes fails!

I was not too sure about what to do once dressed; should we go home or should we wait? We headed up to the cafe for some lunch and waited til the pool clear. It definitely took more than half an hour for some poor guy to swim up and down with a net and goggles poo-hunting. I suppose it's preparation for if his partner has a water birth.

So, undressed again, a sprinkle in the shower and off into the pool. The teaching pool was busy with school groups. From what I can see it steps down into the water and also has a little slide for the kids. The main pool slopes down like a beach so you just walk into the water. The space also has a water slide. There is a step in the water which is great to sit in whilst holding a baby. Boo-boo really got into it and enjoyed jumping up and down.

After a splash around, we went back to change. We didn't shower as some were being replaced and it felt quite cold on the edge of the pool so got us dry and changed. Getting better at doing this.... honest.

Overall, facilities were good. Changing rooms smelt a bit but weren't dirty and seem regularly attended. Pool was family friendly. And it was only £3.70 for the pair of us - cheapest so far!

Latchmere Leisure Centre Information

The Latchemere Leisure Centre is located on Burns Road Battersea SW11 5AD.

It cost £4.55 for an adult swim and £2.80 for a junior swim (age5-16). For parent and baby under five between Monday and Friday - 9am to 5pm during term time it costs £3.70.  Telephone for further information on: 0207 207 8004

You need to bring your own padlock for the locker or you can hire on.

The pool timetable is located here, The teaching pool doesn't seem to have a timetable and was full of school groups however the larger pool is baby and toddler friendly.

Wave machine operates hourly Mondays-Fridays 16.00-19.00 and weekends 9.00-18.00.

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. I'm pretty sure that the teachng pool is never open to the public...but things might have changed since I last went.
    Yikes at the floater!! :o

  2. I've read your post about the swimming pools! I love to hear about all the different experiences. I'm in the process of writing up Crystal Palace and Mitcham!

  3. Thanks for reading :). Sad to say I've only been swimming once since child#2 arrived...it's a bit tricky with 2/rushing about while child#1 is in nursery!