Where To Go Swimming With Children In Essex

If you are looking for somewhere to go swimming then here are a list of the indoor pools in Essex. I have included pools which have public swim sessions which everyone can go to and a few smaller pools you can privately hire for a family swim. Essex also has plenty of swimming pools which are private memberships or part of hotels, spas and holiday parks which I have not included in this post. When the weather gets warmer I will be sharing a list of splash pools and places to go swimming outside in Essex.

A child swimming under water in an indoor Essex swimming pool
A guide to the indoor pools in Essex to take your children swimming

Timetables for swimming pools regularly change. Check the pools websites to find out the current times for family swimming and detailed booking information. 

Non-swimmers are generally asked to wear floatation aids. The ratio of adults to children required vary depending on the age of children and the pool so check before visiting if going with multiple children.

There is a map at the end to help you find the swimming pools closest to you.


Swimming Pools with Slides In Essex

While there are lots of swimming pools in Essex, we don't have many really fun ones with slides. Some of the normal pools have regular inflatable sessions though which are worth visiting if you have older children.  As well as the Essex slide pools below, other “fun” pools near Essex are Waterfront Leisure Centre (Woolwich), Leyton Leisure Centre and Kingfisher Leisure Centre (Sudbury).


Blackwater Leisure Centre, Maldon

Address: Park Drive, Maldon, Essex, CM9 5UR.
Website
Onsite parking available (payable)

Blackwater Leisure Centre has a main pool with water between 0.9m and 2m deep and a learner pool which is 0.7m deep.

They have a flume which has a minimum height to ride of 1.2 metres, a bubble pool and water fountain.

Run by Places for Leisure. Non members appear to be able to book in advance by registering on the website.

Braintree Swimming & Fitness, Braintree

Address: Charter Way, Braintree, CM77 8YJ
Website

Braintree Swimming & Fitness now has a 25 metre competition pool, leisure pool with small slide and water features. Family sessions in the leisure pool take place every day and in the main pool at weekends.

Run by Fusion. Non members need to register on the website before booking.

Leisure World, Colchester

Address: Leisure World Colchester, Cowdray Avenue, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1YH
Website
Onsite parking available, free for customers if you register your car on the iPads on arrival.

Probably the most fun public pool in Essex, Colchester has a fitness pool and teaching pool, but the main attractions are the fun activities. These include: two flumes, rapids, crazy river, fun slides, waves, water cannons, bubbles and jets.

Run by Colchester Borough Council. Swim tickets are available on the day from the reception desk (no prebooking). Wristband system in operation at busy times.

Riverside Leisure Centre, Chelmsford

Address: Victoria Road, CM1 1FG
Website
Riverside Leisure Centre has 2 swimming pools: a 25m x 10 lane main pool and 10m x 10 m training pool. There is also a small soft play and ice rink on the same site, but that's a bit cold to swim in.

There is a splash zone and a flume (suitable for children 1.2m and over, selected hours only).


Essex Swimming Pools with Public Swim Sessions 

(and a few private hire pools too)

Basildon Sporting Village, Basildon

Cranes Farm Road, SS14 3GR

Basildon Sporting Village has an olympic size pool, which at times is split into two 25 metre pools, and a teaching pool. 

Family swim sessions available at set times everyday in the teaching pool and at weekends in the main pool. 

Run by Everyone Active. Create a free profile to book sessions online or via the app.

Becontree Heath Leisure Centre, Dagenham

Althorne Way, RM10 7FH

There is a 25 metre main pool and a teaching pool. Sessions available to book in the main and teaching pool everyday.

Run by Everyone Active. Create a free profile to book sessions online or via the app.

Belhus Park Golf & Country Club, South Ockenham

South Ockendon, RM15 4PX

Belhus Park has a main pool and teaching pool with family sessions available to book most days.

Run by Impulse Leisure

Betfairs Swim Centre, Leigh-On-Sea

Fairview Gardens, SS9 3PE

Main pool and teaching pool. Family lane swimming available weekends, school holidays and early evenings (in teaching pool)

Run by Fusion

Blackshots, Grays

Blackshots Lane, RM16 2JU

Main pool, teaching pool and toddler splash pool.

Family swim sessions available every day, but check timetable for times. To book a session as a non-member accompanied by an under 16 you need to book via reception, call to book on (01375) 375533

Run by Impulse Leisure

The Brentwood Centre, Brentwood

Doddinghurst Road, CM15 9NN

The main pool is 25 metres with 6 lanes and there is a teaching pool too. Family Swimming sessions are available in both pools at weekends. Prebookable via the website.

Parking available.

Run by Everyone Active

Central Park Leisure Centre, Romford

Gooshays Drive, Harold Hill, RM3 9LB (Yes I know this is technically London, but Romford is very nearly Essex)

Main pool: 25 metre, 6 lanes and a 13 x 6m learner pool

Run by Everyone Active

Clacton Leisure Centre, Clacton On Sea

Vista Road, CO15 6DB

25 metre main pool

Clements Hall Leisure Centre, Hawkwell

Clements Hall Way, Rochford, SS5 4LN

The main pool is a 25 metre 8 lane pool and there is a teaching pool as well. You can book family swim sessions in the teaching pool everyday and at weekends in the main pool. Book via the website.

Run by Fusion

Corringham, Stanford-le-Hope

Springhouse Road, SS17 7NB

There is a main pool and a teaching pool which both have bookable public swim sessions during the week and weekends.

To book a session as a non-member accompanied by an under 16 you need to book via reception, call (01375) 678070 for more information.

Run by Impulse Leisure

Dovercourt Bay Lifestyles, Harwich

Low Road, CO12 3TA

Main pool 25 metres

Forrester Park Swimming Pool, Great Totham

Beckingham Road, CM9 8EA

This is a small, shallow private pool heated to a warm temperature.

If children don't take lessons here they need to have a £24 annual membership to book onto the general swim sessions, although they currently don't show a timetable so it's unclear when these are. Private hire sessions are available every weekend and on somedays during the week. Check their Facebook page or call for availability (01621 893700).

Free parking.

Privately run.

Great Dunmow Leisure centre, Great Dunmow

Parsonage Downs, CM6 2AT

Great Dunmow has a main pool and a teaching pool. Pay as you go general sessions for the main pool bookable via the website, but you can only book one person at a time so try calling for swimming sessions with children.

Run by 1Life

Halstead Leisure Centre, Halstead

Colne Road, CO9 2HR

Halstead Leisure Centre has a 25 metre main pool and a teaching pool. Family sessions available at times during the week and at weekends.

Run by Fusion

Harlow Leisurezone, Harlow

Second Avenue, CM20 3DT

25 metre main pool with 8 lanes and a learner pool. On alternate Saturdays they have fun and inflatable sessions. Soft play, trampolines and climbing walls also on site.

Large car park, ask for token when paying for free parking. Call to ask about booking or just turn up.

Harrow Lodge Leisure Centre, Hornchurch

Hornchurch Road, RM11 1JU

There is a 25m main pool, a smaller teaching pool and specialist diving pool.

Family swim sessions available in the Teaching pool at the weekend and the main pool Saturdays only. 

Run by Everyone Active

The Lexden Pool, Colchester

West Lodge Road, CO3 3NL

While this is a private pool and doesn't have general swim sessions I'm including it because you can hire it for your family at the weekend on an ad hoc or regular basis so it is worth looking at.

Loughton Leisure Centre, Loughton

Traps Hill, IG10 1SZ

Main pool is 25 metres and 6 lanes and the training pool is 15 metre. Lockers require a padlock which can be hired from reception if you don't have one. Call or drop in to reception to book in to sessions. There are some non bookable sessions at weekends and junior inflatable sessions too. 

Pay and Display Car Park

Run by Places Leisure, Places for People

Ongar Leisure Centre, Ongar

The Gables, Fyfield Road, CM5 0GA

Ongar has one 25 metre pool which has 4 lanes. Family swim sessions bookable and keep an eye out for their inflatable sessions.

Run by Places Leisure, Places for People

Runnymede Leisure Centre, Benfleet

Kiln Rd, SS7 1TF

Main pool: 25 metre and 12.5 metre training pool

Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre, Romford

24 Western Road, RM1 3JT

As well as a large ice rink there is an 8 lane 25 metre main swimming pool and a training pool. 

Run by Everyone Active

Shoeburyness Leisure Centre, Shoeburyness

Delaware Road, SS3 9NS

Main pool and teaching pool. Family swimming available weekends and school holidays.

Run by Fusion

Southend Leisure & Tennis Centre, Southend-On-Sea

Garon Park, Eastern Avenue, SS2 4FA

Southend Leisure & Tennis Centre has 3 pools: A main pool is 25 metres and 8 lanes, there is a diving pool with fixed platforms at:1 metre, 3 metres, 5 metres, 7.5 metres and 10 metres with two springboards at 3 metres and three 1 metre springboards and a small fun pool for children up to age 8.

Family sessions available every day apart from Saturdays.

Run by Fusion

South Woodham Ferrers Leisure Centre, Chelmsford

Brickfields Road, CM3 5JU

Main pool: 25 metre 6 lane pool and training pool

Stourwood Pool, Ramsey

Stourwood House, Wrabness Road, Ramsey, CO12 5ND

This is a private pool available to hire to families and groups of up to 10 friends. You can book via their website. Parking available

Swimming Tales, Rayleigh

Lubards Farm, Hullbridge Road, SS6 9QG

Sessions in term time are mainly classes and prebooked sessions, but in holidays they have a fun family session each day, prebooking required. They also have sessions where you can book half the pool for your family privately.

The 15m by 7m pool, which has a depth of 1.1m all over and is heated to just over 30 degrees.

Free parking available.

Privately run.

Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre, Waltham Abbey

Hillhouse, EN9 3EL

25 metre, 6 lane main pool and a training pool.

96 space car park

Run by Places Leisure, Places for People

Walton-On-The-Naze Lifestyles, Walton-On-The-Naze

Princes Esplanade, CO14 8PZ

25 metre main pool and an 18 metre leisure pool

Waterside Farm Leisure Centre, Canvey Island

Somnes Avenue, SS8 9RA

Main pool: 25 metre and a 12.5 metre teaching pool

Whites Farm Swimming Pool, Colchester

Whites Farm, Bures Road, White Colne, CO6 2QF

A small, warm private pool available for small private bookings. They don't accept one off bookings, but you can book for 30 minute or 1 hour swims up to 13 weeks at a time.

Wickford Swim & Fitness Centre, Wickford

Market Avenue, SS12 0AG

25 metre, 4 lane pool. Family swim sessions on Sundays and a few other days in the week.

Run by Everyone Active

Witham Leisure Centre, Witham

Spinks Lane, CM8 1EP

Main pool: 25 metres, 6 lanes and a training pool.

Run by Fusion


Pools within Tendring DC currently have no webpage due to problems with the council website. I will add links when they are made live again.

Disclosure: Information as accurate as possible at time of publishing.

Where to go swimming in Essex
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