History of Sandford Parks Lido

Sandford Parks Lido was first opened in 1935 and has been here for the people of Gloucestershire ever since. Originally the land was owned by Cheltenham College and was purchased by Cheltenham Borough Council for use as allotments in 1927. The first Proposal was heard at a Council meeting to suggest that the town would benefit greatly if they built a lido. The Council committee was split, half fully aware of the benefits it would bring not only to the local community but also for visitors. However, there were grave concerns over committing such expense at a time when the country was struggling with financial depression and mass unemployment.  It was finally decided favourably by a majority vote and the Council sought a loan from the Ministry for Health. Work Started in late autumn of 1934, which was hard physical labour carried out during the worst weather months of the year. The Project was completed in early 1935 and was officially opened by the Mayor.

Following the successful refurbishment of our main pool and surrounding area in 2006/07 we felt it an appropriate time to document the history of swimming and to celebrate the 1930s boom in lidos and their struggle for survival in a changing world. We also wish to highlight the success story of Sandford Parks Lido.

The passion of local people prevented its closure and the dedication and hard work of the Charitable Trust has now secured the future of our beloved lido. Many individuals have been instrumental in the preservation of our lido and we would like to thank you all for your dedication over the years.

Since the 2006/7 refurbishment we have been collecting any documents and pictures relating to Sandford Parks Lido’s history and we are aiming to make these available on these pages. In the meantime, we invite you to send us your personal memories and documents that best portray your experience of our unique facility so that we may add these to our collection.


We have commissioned a conservation management plan to help us identify and protect the important aspects of the lido site for the future. If you are interested in our heritage our conservation plan is worth a read!


To view our conservation plan for Sandford Parks Lido, please click here.