There comes a time in a parent’s life when they have to take their baby swimming. Let me warn you now: although the adult-to-child ratio at this pool, and presumably all pools, is one adult to two children, I’d suggest for your first swim you have two adults to one child. However, I am a new mum, and some of you may be more capable than I am. Uxbridge has indoor and outdoor pools. For a toddler, the outdoor pool is far too cold—on my recent visit the temperature was 13°C. There are two inside pools: one is Olympic sized (50 metres) and isn’t for babies. The second pool is designated for children and is all a child of any age could need. It’s in a wide horseshoe shape, getting deeper towards the middle, and contains bubbles and waterfalls.
Children love it! During peak times, a guard tells you when your fifteen-minute session is up and you then have to queue back up and wait another fifteen minutes for your turn… which, let’s be honest, isn’t great. However, if you go during non-peak times (i.e., not weekends) then you’re fine. The changing facilities are faultless and large enough to maneuver a pram and all the baggage that comes with your bundle of joy. Rooms can fit families and allow mother and father to attend (as in, unisex changing rooms.)
For non-Hillingdon Borough residents, the pool, off peak, is only £4 and under threes go free. Children above the age of three are £1.80. If you do go as a family but only one of you is entering the pool, then beware: all that enter must pay. Spectators are charged £1, or 90p for residents. This means that if your child does join a swim class, you will be charged for entering the building to help ready them. Additionally, parking is not free—it is ‘pay and display’ so make sure you have change at the ready.
Uxbridge pool is actually a leisure centre. This means it also hosts a gym and fun sessions for children, like Toddler’s World. Toddler’s World costs £4 for non-residents and around £1.50 for another sibling. This runs four times a week, at varying times, and is held in their badminton courts. There is a large inflatable castle, some other soft toys and a soft slide. It’s indoors, which means that not only does it make a nice change from the park (albeit one that costs) but it’s weather friendly.
Each session lasts an hour and a half so make sure you get there early to get your money’s worth. Finally, they also host pool parties and have lots of fun school holiday activities like trampolining. As an example cost for trampolining, for a ten-week course it’s £55. If you decide you don’t want your child to be any part of your day, you could place them in the crèche for £4.20 for two hours, whilst you go to the gym or sit in the sauna.