Porchester Centre

London, England, UNITED KINGDOM

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Updated April 14, 2020.

Facility Overview

Facility Name
Porchester Centre
Queensway, Bayswater, Westminster, Central London
London, England W2 5HS
(020) 7221 6118

Adult Admission Price & Policy

£7.25; Senior Citizens & concessions £4.00. [November, 2021]
Note: Admission policies and prices shown in Swimmers Guide listings are believed to be correct as of the date shown in brackets. If not correct now, please click on the "Edit" button and tell us so this listing can be fixed and the information brought current. This site works best when its users take an active role in the maintenance of the data.

Full-Size, Year-Round Pools & Boards

Pool 1
33⅓y (30.47m) x 11½y (10.51m), 5 lanes, 1.1m - 2m depth, indoors, 27ºC (80ºF). (See "Facility Notes", below.)
Pool 2
20m x 8.5m, unstriped, indoors, 31ºC (88ºF).


Nearest tubes: Royal Oak on the Hammersmith and City Line. Queensway and Bayswater are within walking distance.
Historical County
London Metropolitan Area
51.517049, -0.189208

Teams That Use This Facility

Youth Swim
Click on the Team Name to view its website.

Facility Notes

The centre's coin-operated lockers, which are mentioned in a review below, were removed and replaced with ones that you secure with your own padlock in 2018; bring your own lock.
In 2020, the main (33⅓y) pool was refurbished and the striping was changed from 6 lanes to 5. The foregoing notwithstanding, however, the pool is usually operated with three wide lanes roped off to accomodate swimmers of different speeds.

Facility Reviews

After its 2003 refurbishment the changing rooms are brand new and great, as are the showers! The sky-lighted, vaulted ceiling has been cleaned up… so great to swim on a bright day… pool nice and quiet in the afternoons… busy early mornings and after 6 P.M. weekdays.
By far the best pool I've found in London, and it will certainly become my regular pool there on future trips.
Dark 1925 pool with three wide lanes. A bit tough to swim a decent workout.
This was probably one of the most disgusting pools I have ever swum in, in any country in the world. Beyond being outrageously expensive at £5.85 an entrance, it was grimy, dank, and the tiles and caulking in pool and locker rooms are science experiments. I would avoid the pool at all costs and do the Oasis in Soho. It was a serious disappointment.
[April, 2013]
The situation has not improved since the April, 2013 review, above. The bottom of the pool is green (looks pretty much like seaweed). Only three larges lines were available, when they could have put four, and it was very busy. I was very disappointed.
[September, 2014]
Porchester Leisure Centre is a short walk from the Bayswater and Queensway Tube stations. Follow the downward slope of Queensway to the Centre which is located where Queensway seems to end (it actually veers to the right) about two blocks from Whiteley’s Department store.

It is an elegant, attractive, and “protected” i.e. landmarked building that has two pools (one reserved for children and classes) and a spa. The locker room was spotless and modern, as were the showers. Be sure to bring a £1 or a 20p coin for use of the locker – the coin is returned once the key is returned. (The majority use £1 coins). Moisturizer and hair dryers are provided.

There are three, very wide lanes – each for various swimming speeds, and there is ample passing room. It has a curved, attractive, parabolic ceiling with a glass canopy to admit sunlight. This is one of the longest public pools in London. I tended to be there at 9:15 AM and it was not crowded.
[November, 2015]
Built by the former Paddington Metropolitan Borough Council in 1926, the Porchester Hall pool came towards the very end of the nineteenth/early twentieth century rush to develop municipal public health facilities. The complex is a Grade II listed building retaining lots of its original Art Deco features. With its high barrel-vaulted hall and gallery, pools of this like could have been found in any self-respecting Victorian or Edwardian city. Sadly, Porchester Hall is now one of the few remaining survivors.

Gender-specific locker rooms: lockers require either a 20p or £1 coin deposit (returnable). Don’t be put off by the noise as you approach the pool halls because this will all be emanating from the 25 yard facility which is the province of children. Head for the 33-1/3 yard pool which is usually laned for lap swimming (check the timetable on the facility website – ‘swimfit’ is the operator’s code for a laned environment). On a recent weekday lunchtime visit, there were four speed-differentiated roped lanes, each containing no more than about four swimmers. Although old, the pool is well-maintained, is perfectly clean, and is suitable for those wanting a serious workout. The only drawback that I could see is the fact that, by virtue of its age, distances are denominated in the now long discontinued standard of yards, not metres. 33 lengths is near enough equivalent to 1,000 metres.

Having had your swim, if you have time to spare, and want to sweat and/or sleep, the attached Art Deco Turkish Baths are really worth a visit. Men and women are accommodated on alternate days, so you will need to check the timetable.
[April, 2016]
This is my neighbourhood pool - an adequate facility but poorly managed. Customer service is poor; staff are uninformed, disinterested, and demonstrate poor training in pretty much every area. Mixed-ability swimmers are crowded together into the lanes and chaos often ensues, whilst under the unwatchful eyes of disengaged guards.
[December, 2020]
The 2020 refurbishment was magnificently executed to preserve the Edwardian features of this beautiful old lady. While all of the technical kit has been replaced with new stuff to current standards, the tank is lined with specially manufactured new tiles to the dimensions and patterns of those that they replaced.
[November, 2021]