Manchester’s Victoria Baths Will Open For A Public Swim For One Weekend Only

Laura O'Neill Laura O'Neill

Manchester’s Victoria Baths Will Open For A Public Swim For One Weekend Only

Take a dip in the nation’s finest historic pool!

Victoria Baths is giving people the rare chance to enjoy a swim in the iconic Grade II listed building. Swimmers are invited to make a splash with a heritage Swim For Restoration, taking place on  September 7 and 8.

Photo: Victoria Baths

Organised as a fundraiser for the Baths’ ongoing restoration, this is only the third time in 26 years that a public swim has taken place at what is widely recognized as the nation’s finest historic pool.

The swimming event will give people the opportunity to plunge into the past in Victoria Baths’ spectacular Gala Pool, with its Edwardian tiling, charming changing cubicles and ornate stained glass windows.

Photo: Victoria Baths

Gill Wright, project development manager for Victoria Baths, said:

“Swim for Restoration offers people the unique experience and atmosphere of enjoying Victoria Baths as it would have been in its heyday. Now taking place once a year, it’s wonderful to see the support and reaction we’ve had in the last two years, which is why we’re extending the Swim over the whole weekend for 2019. We’re looking forward to welcoming both swimmers and spectators to this highlight event of our calendar.”

The water in the pool is heated, but the building isn’t, so swimmers are encouraged to bring warm clothes with them to get cosy after an invigorating dip. The Baths’ Tea Room will be open serving hot Vimto and Bovril, along with other tasty treats.

Tickets for the swim are priced at £15 and must be booked in advance. Click here to get yours.

Photo: Victoria Baths

Entry will be free for spectators, who will be able to explore the Baths and find lots happening throughout the building, as well as enjoying the viewing spectacle from the balcony in the Gala Pool.

Arts workshops and exhibitions will be taking place across the weekend from Islington Mill Arts Academy, South Manchester Camera Club and Manchester Action on Street Health. Pop up stalls serving hot street food, drinks and ice-creams, along with live music will add to the celebratory and family atmosphere.

The Swim for Restoration events that took place in 2017 and 2018 not only helped to boost the restoration funds but also played an important role in raising awareness of Victoria Baths Trust’s vision to restore and secure the long-term future of the building as a swimming venue.

Photo: Victoria Baths

There will also be a special Swimming Showcase event on the evening of September 7, with teams from Manchester Grammar School and Manchester High School taking part. Celebrating young swimmers of today, the event will re-create the excitement of the many galas that took place throughout Victoria Baths’ history with swimming relays, demonstrations of synchronised swimming and water polo.

The doors will open at 6.30pm with building tours taking place and the bar open. Showcase swimming tickets are priced at £15 and are available here.

Also published on Medium.

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