PaddlePod - Private Hire Swimming Pool & Lessons in Shiremoor

 This is an advertisement. This post is based on a visit in August 2020. 

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PaddlePod Shiremoor is a 15m swimming pool (1.3m deep) available for private hire (£80 + booking fee for up to 20 people per hour - price includes inflatables, toys, swimming aids and lifeguard) and swimming lessons from babies up to juniors. 

You will find the facility in Shiremoor in the Industrial Estate opposite Boundary Mills (turn in when you see the Arnold Clark Garage and follow the road around). There is ample free customer parking. 

PaddlePod is so much more than just a swimming pool though and has been designed for parents, by parents. There is a large viewing area with a cafe serving snacks and local coffee by Tynemouth Coffee Company. The cafe is free for centre users to drop in (check website for opening hours) and includes a small soft play area for little ones. Perfect for a catch up with friends after a class. 

Read on for my full review........

The COVID-secure measures are fantastic, right down to the one way system for heading through the doors. There is ample hand sanitiser, hand washing facilities throughout and the whole place is immaculate. 

We noticed that the changing rooms were a lot warmer than what we are used to at our local pool. There are more than enough private cubicles, baby change area and showers. There are toilets throughout the building including baby change areas. 

The first floor viewing area offers panoramic views of the pool below and serves local coffee and snacks. I bet this is a lovely place to sit with a brew and your book as your children enjoy a swim lesson in the pool.

This area is free for facility users to drop in (See website for current opening hours - use of the play frame may be limited during busy periods). You could also use this space to pop into for lunch after a class - I know my three are always thirsty and hungry after swimming so this is ideal. 

I also discovered that you can privately hire the play frame at PaddlePod Shiremoor’s sister site in Newcastle for a very reasonable £20 per hour (which includes use of the small soft play area for up to 10 children). I think this is perfect if a group of mums and toddlers are looking for somewhere private for a coffee and catch up with somewhere which will entertain little ones within eyesight. 

Back to the pool and we were really impressed. The kids have really missed swimming and at the moment, our local pool has too many restrictions in place for it to be worth them visiting. 

We visited with my brother and nephew who are in our ‘bubble’ and the pool really lends itself well to a socially distanced pool party. You can privately hire the pool for £80 + booking fee for one hour for up to 20 people. This price includes use of inflatables, toys, swimming aids and a lifeguard. If you get 20 people together, this works out at just £4 per person. 

The pool is lovely and warm (up to 32 degrees in the water and 36 degrees outside) and the kids had a ball playing with the inflatables. The unicorn, rubber ducks and pool basket ball were particular favourites. 

An hour is quite a bit of time and we could really tell that Evan and Jack’s water confidence had dramatically improved in just the space of an hour. Evan loved being a shark and whizzing around the pool and I was chuffed when Jack managed to swim a length without any swimming aids. Under 8s need to be accompanied in the pool by an adult during private hire.

I have to give a special mention to the lifeguard on duty. She was the most vigilant lifeguard I have ever encountered. Her eyes never left the kids (despite three of them being able to swim/touch the bottom and one wearing a life vest and two adults being in the area). She actually walked around the pool to keep everyone in her eyeline at all times and actively engaged with the kids too. I was really impressed and reassured. 

There is a lift up to the changing area if needed. 

On the ground floor you will find a lovely activity room which can be privately hired. Starting this month, there are plans for a range of classes to start here including Little Learners, Sweaty Mama, Bloom, Kalma Baby & more. Keep up to date with new class announcements over on the PaddlePod Facebook page

When my three were younger, I would have really appreciated a facility like this. Somewhere modern I could take my little ones to a class with friends and then head upstairs to the cafe area for a coffee & catch up as the kids played. 

One thing that really stands out for me with PaddlePad is how transparent and thorough their website is. There is so much info on this page of their website re: swimming lesson pricing, how to book, Coronavirus policies and more. Again, it just provides that extra reassurance. At time of print, swimming lessons are available from £26.83 per month which I think is an excellent price. 

We had a blast at PaddlePod and like I say, I just wish somewhere like this had been open when my kids were little. I would never have been away from the place. Although it is perfect for little ones, the pool is also great for older kids too, with a depth of 1.3m, it doesn’t feel too babyish. Harry is on the cusp of turning 14 and thoroughly enjoyed our session as much as Evan (aged 4). 

PaddlePod Shiremoor opens on 1 September. I am sure they are going to be a huge success.There is also an established PaddlePod on Silverbirch Drive, Newcastle (close to Gosforth, Great Park and Killingworth) which offers a 25m pool and similar fantastic facilities. 


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