Thursday, 30 September 2010
Kentish Town Sports Centre finally reopened a couple of months ago and it is a stunner.
The Willes Pool is the most gorgeous indoor pool I've ever swum in. It's huge (five lanes, all marked out in perfect new tile!), the vaulted roof has been restored to utter perfection, the viewing gallery has been lovingly restored, even the walls are a gorgeous muted lilac. There are also two other pools, a 25m pool and a teaching pool, so the big pool is less busy.
The facilities are also absolutely mega; individual changing rooms each with a state of the art shower with one big soft button. (Although the hairdryers are pants. Those tubey things that barely breathe on your hair. Although they're free, so that's a bonus.)
There's also an amazing gym space, shown here before being filled with brilliant brand new machines. I tested it out a week ago; it was lovely to be able to stare out into the sky whilst torturing yourself. Again, it was probably the best equipped and prettiest gym I've ever used, with the restored wooden floors and huge attic feel. But the joining and membership fees are expensive, on a par with the premium private gyms. The pool ain't cheap either, at £4.05 for a non concessionary adult swim. If you're a Camden resident it's all a bit cheaper, though.
Top marks to Camden Council for not only preserving the building but turning it into an absolutely first class facility. I literally can't stop thinking about diving into that pool, I'm going later.
[Edited to add: I used to go to this pool before it was refurbed: the changing rooms were made out of brieze blocks, the roof was netted over to stop falling debris and pigeons lived in it.
I also had my worst ever public pool experience there once, I won't repeat it but my friends know the story. Horror! Which makes the transformation even more mega.]
Contact: Kentish Town Sports Centre, Prince Of Wales Rd, London NW5 3LE. Telephone: 020 7267 9341.
[Images with thanks to Camden Photos]