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Swimmers enjoy sunshine and a dip at lido celebrating 100th anniversary

Swimmers enjoyed a slice of “heaven” at an outdoor pool which celebrated its 100th anniversary this year as temperatures neared 30C on a sunny September afternoon.

Jesus Green Lido, in Cambridge, is nestled between the River Cam on one side and green space with mature trees on the other.

The 100-yard-long (91 metre) pool, which opened in 1923, offers a quiet idyll only a few minutes walk from the centre of the prestigious university city.

Garden designer Anna Jackson, speaking from beside the pool as she visited on Wednesday, said: “It’s magical, I’ve been coming here since I was about six, and it’s heaven, absolute heaven.

“I’m actually able to be working in my head as it’s so relaxing.

“It’s right in the centre of Cambridge, it’s a complete jewel, I feel like I’ve taken a holiday for a couple of days in a couple of hours.

“Just the clear blue with the sun shining on it – everyone sounds happy.

“Three people have passed me smiling.”

The 58-year-old, of Cambridge, said she wrote to her daughter who is in Belgium and said “guess where I’m going to be today”.

Ms Jackson said: “She said, ‘I’m jealous’. When she’s back we will both be here.”

Pelham Wilson, a semi-retired mathematician at Cambridge University, said he had been visiting for “getting on for 50 years now”.

The 71-year-old, who lives a short walk from the lido, said he began to visit regularly in the last 10 years.

“It’s a relaxing atmosphere,” he said.

“It’s also nice to have a decent length to swim.”

He said it “makes a bit of a difference if it’s raining as it brings the temperature of the water down very quickly”.

“At one stage about five years ago they were thinking of splitting this in two, having a heated pool and a non-heated pool,” he said.

“I think that would have been a mistake – it’s a pretty unique atmosphere here.”

Rhona Fraser, who was also visiting the lido, said she started to visit in the last year since moving to Cambridge.

The 60-year-old singer said: “It makes me feel great about the thought, someone thought, about making something so wonderful 100 years ago for the people.

“I like the way it reminds me of swimming in a natural environment, looking at the trees.

“I like the way the people who come are always so happy, friendly and relaxed.”

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