The best things in life are free

It’s not often in life that you get really good stuff that costs absolutely nothing – especially in London. True, we get a fair number of free live events (West End Live being a favourite) and a certain amount of tat handed out at train stations, but otherwise it’s pretty much the most expensive place you could live.

When you do stumble across an excellent freebie it therefore tastes all the sweeter. Who’d have thought that I’d manage to get a morning at a delightful spa utterly gratis? Plus, any of you people reading this in Britain could benefit too. All I had to do was hand over the lid from a water bottle and voila!

Yes…a water bottle lid.
Not any old water bottle – Schweppes Abbey Well (available in both still and sparkling). It’s not the most common brand, but I’ve found it in my local newsagent and it was the water provided at Conference last week (I went round collecting lids from unattended bottles, I’m a total menace).

Schweppes currently have a promotion (amusingly named Schwim Free) which enables you to have a free swim at selected pools across the country, Monday to Friday. The cunning thing is that some of the pools are in rather swanky health centres, so you can get on to quite a good deal.

The friend who introduced me to this scheme had discovered a particularly classy venue in Canon Street, complete with decent pool (we did 40+ lengths before doing anything else), jacuzzis, steam rooms, saunas, relaxation area and a balcony adjacent to the river. Beautiful. A particularly amazing facility was a jacuzzi in which you lay on a submerged sun lounge type thing and were then pummelled with jets of water. An utterly delicious experience. Definitely the perfect way to start my final day off, especially when accompanied by a friend you can natter with in the steam room, sauna and while lying on sun loungers…if only there’d been a cocktail waiter too.

Sadly not hi-res, but that would be the laned pool. On the left is the jacuzzi with the loungers in, below is another, smaller pool. Directly opposite is the ‘relaxation area’. Yummy. 

A word of warning: some of the venues have very specific times when the offer is available, so check thoroughly before you try it out. But, I’ve had a bit of a look around a few locations (other bits of London, Tewks and Brum) and there are other spa-associated pools, so it’s definitely worth investigating.

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