Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Outdoor Pools in the UK- Fancy or Folly? by Thomas Jones


The British people are very sensitive to the idea of luxury and relaxation, something we experience little of in our domestic lives.  Whilst we’re certainly an outdoors people, swimming pools aren’t common on the estates of London and Birmingham; despite every outdoor pool from Spain to Sardinia being overtaken by Brits in their socks and sandals.  Swimming isn’t only a pastime of leisure; it offers significant health benefits for all ages.  Whether or not this justifies the considerable financial outlay of installing one at your home, is a much debated topic.


In truth, the idea that installing a swimming pool to a property adds value is always regarded with one raised eyebrow.  From a base level point-of-view, you’d expect to pay more for a house had it been blessed with a swimming pool; but realistically a swimming pool acts as an external bonus.  Comparing houses in affluent suburbs like Cheshire, swimming pools make a much smaller impact on the selling price of a home in comparison to garages, extensions and driveways.  It’s worth noting that all three of these can be friendlier to the wallet during construction too.

So it’s not a sensible investment, what else can it be?  Coming back to the health factor, spending time outdoors is a refreshing change from the sofa and television we’ve all become semi-glued to.  Regardless of whether you’re swimming or not, a pool brings an air of opulence and carefree leisure to an outdoor space and encourages outdoor relaxation.  Outdoor swimming is terrifically refreshing, when fresh air meets moist skin it results in a cooling effect; increasing vasodilation and somewhat mimicking the effect of human sweat.  The immune system of the body works best in these conditions and having access to this activity in your daily life can go a long way to increasing your general body wellness.

Your blood circulation also receives a boost due to the constant cold nature of the water located in an outdoor pool, it affects the body in such a way that there is a boost in the rate at which the heart pumps blood; resulting in more effective circulation.  The more often this happens, the easier it is for toxins to be flushed out of the body.  Not only will this help to cleanse your bodily system, your skin’s palette will be softened and you can achieve what Nivea spends billions on promoting; “healthier, younger looking skin.”

For those who have one eye on their age and see the window for child bearing coming to a close, you’ll be interested to know that there are theories to suggest that outdoor swimming increases the production of sex hormones for both genders.  Oestrogen and testosterone levels have been known to rise through swimming, whilst some even believe that female fertility can enjoy a welcome boost.

So you’re not going to receive any significant financial outlay from your new pool, but you can begin to reap the health benefits for you and your family.  If you’ve got the money laying around to cover this cost, chances suggest that you’re lucky enough to own a nice house.  If it happens to be a period house, like many detached homes in Britain, how do you add a swimming pool without offsetting the natural beauty of the property?

Well it’s a tricky one, the easiest way to tackle it would be to ensure that the swimming pool and period features are not overly visible within the same eye line.  This will come down to fortune, is your garden large enough to accommodate an arrangement; do you perhaps have multi-levelled grounds which could house your guilty pleasure pool?  You can also install a screen to this end, whether that be an artificial variety or have hedges planted to achieve the same effect.

It’s not impossible to design and contract a pool to match the décor of a property; you could just find yourself paying over the odds.  Many swimming pool contractors design with style in mind from the offset and can build bespoke arrangements to reflect the character of the surroundings.  Roman and Greek style pools have become more common in Britain, particularly in older cities like York, Bath and Oxford.

It might seem like a lot of obstacles to tackle to install a swimming pool in a British garden.  The truth is, we rarely have the space for them and the right weather is even rarer still.  Nobody can make the decision but yourself, the status of owning an outdoor pool can be hard to resist and if you find yourself regretting the decision two years down the line when your dog uses the pool more than you do; at least it looks nice…

Author Bio:  Thomas Jones has worked in renovation and home improvement for a number of years and now works in Surrey with Falcon Pools.  Having seen a number of pool projects fail, he stresses the importance of taking all factors into consideration before making the decision.