The ultimate summer accessory isn’t aircon or an ice machine, the really cool cats have something else: a rooftop pool. So while I go and check the potential loadings on my loft joists, here are some of Britain’s best rooftop pools.
Take A Bath
Northanger Abbey would have been way quicker if Catherine Morland had just met Mr Tilney in Bath’s Thermae Spa. 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
Of Pies And Pools
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
A View With A Pool
The Berkeley, the Knightsbridge hotel, does a very respectable job of holding its own in a crowded market of ultra-top-end London hotels, but there’s one place where it really makes a mark that its competitors simply can’t rival it. On the roof. The rooftop pool is a treat to behold, as is the stunning view across Hyde Park beyond!
Where: Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7RL, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner (0.3 miles)
Do Look Down
If you’re a member of the exclusive Eg:le Club then this summer is going to be like no other, because you’re going to have access to the world’s first ‘floating’ swimming pool and it looks magical. Stretching 25 metres between the Embassy Gardens’ Legacy Building and 35 metres high, once you’re in it you’ll be able to look right down at the world below, and see the rest of us as we watch up enviously.
Where: New Union Square, 5 Nine Elms Lane, SW8 5BL
Manchester is pretty hot right now. Sure, in cultural and business terms, but also the weather’s going places too (on the day of writing the weather in this perennially grey city is set to top 30 degrees), so the King Street Townhouse is where you want to head. 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 St, Manchester, M2 4AW
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, London, E1 6AW, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street (0.1 miles)
Don't Get Edin-brrrr, Get In The Hydro-Pool
Edinburgh’s Sheraton Grand just got grander when we realised there’s a rooftop hydro-pool at the award-winning 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.
Where: 1 Festival Square, Edinburgh, EH3 9SR
Give The Ned A Nod
Another Soho House creation, The Ned. Taking London by storm, The Ned sits right 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 bask in the sun poolside before heading downstairs to graze in one of the myriad restaurants available.
Where: 27 Poultry, EC2R 8AJ
See The Sea
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