Stonehaven Heated Open Air Pool has provided a much-needed al fresco swimming fix for the Wilkie family from Gourock – for the second time this summer.
The closure of Gourock’s outdoor pool for a major upgrade this year left a large hole in the Wilkies’ summer as they normally swim there regularly. So back in February, they booked a July week’s self-catering in Stonehaven to take advantage of what, this year, is Scotland’s only open air pool. However, they couldn’t wait for July.
Jack Wilkie, who works in airline maintenance at Glasgow Airport, explained: “My wife Patrice usually swims in the Gourock Pool every day. She was missing it so much, we decided to come up for a weekend in Stonehaven mid-June, just at the time the Pool finally opened. Had it not opened in time, we wouldn’t have come for that weekend. We’re grateful to Stonehaven’s Visitor Information Centre staff, who made sure we knew as soon as the decision was made to open the Pool on the very day we planned to travel north. We left work at 2pm, arrived in Stonehaven just after five, and were in the Pool very shortly after that!”
The Wilkies were back in Stonehaven for their scheduled break with daughter and son-in-law, Emma and Gavin Bremner from Thurso, and baby grandson, also Jack, who at eight months has loved his first outdoor pool experience, particularly last weekend’s Aqua Ceilidh.
“We’re having a great week of relaxation and chilling – just what we wanted,” continued Jack. “Everything’s within walking distance, including all the eating places we’ve tried. The car has only moved once since we arrived, when I went up to Stonehaven Golf Club for a round. We really enjoy meeting locals in the Pool and the pubs and also like the town’s cosmopolitan atmosphere with all the overseas visitors.”
Jack and Patrice have enjoyed their holiday so much that they’re coming back again. “We’ll be back again in September with our nephews, the Forest family from Gourock, for the last weekend of the season. And we’ve been so impressed by the Pool that we’ve been telling everyone in Gourock about it. You’ll also be seeing us again in 2012, even after the Gourock Pool re-opens,” said Patrice
Mike Robins, Chair of the Friends of the Pool, was also delighted to learn that the Wilkies are spreading the word about the Stonehaven Pool. “We felt it was only right to thank them for being such good ambassadors for our Pool,” said Mike, “and so we are giving them a 12-session ticket to enjoy over the next few days and on their next visit.”