The list of things to do as soon as various lockdown elements are lifted is growing by the day. But pretty high up there, along with get into a restaurant, drink a pint and stay in a luxury hotel is jump in a pool.
We are obsessed with rooftop pools, they are the ultimate summer accessory and we sniff them out with the enthusiasm of one of those French truffle hounds on the scent. So here are the pools we’re going to be luxuriating in this summer…
Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey would have been way quicker if Catherine Morland had just met Mr Tilney in Bath’s Thermae Spa. And my GCSE English paper would’ve been far racier…
From Roman times to the modern day, taking to the water in Bath is a treat worth travelling for. The romance of one of Britain’s most beautiful cities can only be increased when you’re at height and underwater.
Tapping into Bath’s famous naturally warm spa water (hence it being called Bath), the Thermae Spa is a day spa like no other.
Where: The Hetling Pump Room, Hot Bath Street, Bath, BA1 1SJ
Strictly not a rooftop pool, but given it’s higher than every other rooftop in town, and affords rooftoppy views it would be a shame to not rave about the pool at Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London.
Where better to gaze on St Pauls or The Gherkin than neck-deep on the 52nd floor? Officially the highest pool in Europe and with one of the capital’s best hotels into the deal, a stay here will be uniquely memorable.
Where: 31 St Thomas Street, Borough, SE1 9QU
There’s now one more reason than pork pies to visit Melton Mowbray (though you had me at pies).
Nearby country house hotel, Ragdale Hall, has recently opened their sixth pool, and this one’s on the roof with views across the hotel’s grounds and the rolling Leicestershire countryside beyond.
Where: Ragdale Village, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 3PB
The Berkeley, a hotel that’s no stranger to a superlative, sets a high bar with its rooftop open air pool and secret garden.
Available to guests and spa-goers, it’s worth doing everything possible to find a way up there this summer. Lounge around, take a swim, admire the views across Hyde Park and grab a treatment or order in food and drinks.
Best paired with a night at the hotel and an excellent meal at Michelin starred hotel restaurant Marcus.
Where: Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RL
Manchester hasn’t been this cool since Oasis was at its height. And keeping the city in street-cred, King Street Townhouse brings its a-game courtesy of a rooftop pool.
The rooftop infinity pool, bang beside the bee-bedecked town hall, looks out across the Mancunian skyline topping off the luxury offering of the hotel beneath.
Where: 10 Booth Street, Manchester, M2 4AW
Ever wonder how hipsters keep cool? It’s not hard to see why Shoreditch House remains one of London’s most popular private members clubs.
Yes it has great restaurants, an exclusive membership list and fantastic facilities, but surely the real reason is the rooftop pool?
Heaving in summer, but for good reason. The pool may be shallow but it’s cooling and perfect for the summer sun.
Where: Ebor Street, Shoreditch, E1 6AW
Don’t Get Edin-brrrr, Get In The Hydro-Pool.. Edinburgh’s Sheraton Grand just got a little bit grander when we realised there’s a rooftop hydro-pool at the hotel’s One Spa.
Get ‘jetted’ by warm water at ‘optimal body temperature’ and look out across this historic city, before heading out to check out the Royal Mile, Arthur’s Seat or that cannon that goes off every day at one o’clock.
Another Soho House creation, The Ned, incorporates the group’s signature move with a rooftop pool.
Sitting in the centre of The City, the pool at The Ned is small but perfectly formed, allowing you to bathe while looking out toward St Paul’s, or basking in the sun poolside before heading downstairs to graze in one of the myriad restaurants.
Where: 27 Poultry, The City, EC2R 8AJ
Canary Riverside Plaza Hotel
Sing like a canary about the view in a rooftop pool you can enjoy all year round (coz inside).
Sat atop a three storey gym, offering a sauna, steam room and hydrotherapy pools, the 20 metre ‘infinity edge lap pool’ peers down onto the Thames.
Oh, and it was in a Bond movie, pretending to be Shanghai.
Canary Riverside Plaza Hotel
Where: 46 Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf, London E14 8RS
To Wales, where the St Brides Spa Hotel rooftop pool looks out across Saundersfoot, on the Pembrokeshire coast.
The hotel’s commanding clifftop position is ideal for relaxation, or after a long day’s hiking along a coast so beautiful they’ve made it a national park.
Where: Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire, SA69 9NH
Withstanding the caveat that it doesn’t actually exist yet, one of London’s most stunning rooftop pools is the Sky Pool in Vauxhall.
Earmarked for the exclusive Eg:le Club by the US Embassy, the world’s first ‘floating’ swimming pool is gravity defying and vertigo inducing.
Stretching 25 metres between the Embassy Gardens’ Legacy Building and over 100 feet high, the terrifying glass pool will be as impressive as it is eye-catching.
Pull back the curtain, ahh-ahh, and see for certain, ah-ah, what a great club this is… Given that Shoreditch is fundamentally cool, the premium on ‘coolness’ here is pretty high. And with rooftop pools within spitting distance courtesy of Shoreditch House and The Ned, there’s not even an exclusivity in that unusual fact.
But The Curtain manages to still pull it off and, dare we say it, with greater aplomb than its neighbours.
WHERE: 45 CURTAIN ROAD, SHOREDITCH, EC2A 3PT
White City House
Shepherd’s Bush was always going to be a slightly harder sell to potential Soho House members. With the TV execs cleared out to Manchester or central, the almost suburban area isn’t your usual Soho House territory.
But there’s one fix to all that, a rooftop pool. And that, they carry out perfectly.
Where: 2 Television Centre, 101 Wood Ln, Shepherd’s Bush, W12 7FR