When I was asked if I would like to take a dip in the new Kings Cross Pond Club, of course I jumped at the chance. This much publicized art installation/leisure project is hidden amongst the growth and regeneration of the Kings Cross area and is a little slice of pond life for the city commuters and local creative types (Central St Martins Art College is a stone’s throw away).
On our approach, all that we can see is a rather large mound of earth and plenty of old and new buildings. We are a bit early so we climb the fire-escape style steps to the viewing platform which gives a great outlook of just how ‘under construction’ this area is.
We sign in and I get given a key to a metal caged locker and head to the red and white no-frills but spacious changing rooms. I did bring my wetsuit, but it is abundantly clear as we approach the pond that this is not home to any form of competition, triathlon or racing and is more about stripping down the layers of its surrounding suits and city attire, to encourage a natural and eco environment. From the entrance and changing area you can’t see the pool yet, teasing you and making you keen to take a peek. This was the intention of Rotterdam based - Ooze Architects, who are the engineers and urban warriors behind this project.
One of the rules of this pond is that you must shower before getting in, which I do tentatively as the showers are cold. We approach the pond and my first impression is that it seems bigger than I imagined and looks just like an actual pond, in the kidney bean shape.
There are people laying on loungers basking in the cloudy sunshine and others just standing in amazement looking at the view, unable to believe there is open water set amid such construction and drilling. I slowly edge into the pond which is initially cold, but starts to just feel fresh, clean and delicious as this water is unheated and pumped in from the mains direct.
The pond is split into 3 areas - new plant life, established plants and a swimming area. The swimming area is deep and natural, but there are ledges all around that you can rest your feet on, which is great if you want to stop and take in the view. Although this is no Olympic size pool, it is easy to swim lengths without interruption and the other swimmers seem quite relaxed and at one with nature, despite the continual digging and shouting of nearby builders. Believe it or not, these sounds seem to fit in with the ambience somehow.
If you love open water swimming, then this is a great place to go and cool down on sunny days in London. Industry and nature are combined and bring together a successful project that anyone can share in.
Click on the pictures below to see a few more of our snaps from the day...
[gdl_gallery title="Kings Cross Pond" width="98" height="98" ]
Want to see more? We also made a video of the day which you can watch below or over on our YouTube channel.
You can find out more information about the pond here on their website. The Pond is located on Stable Street, just a short walk from Granary Square at King's Cross. It is about a 5-10 minute walk from King's Cross or St Pancras stations. Contact them on Twitter via @kingscrossN1C.
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