Published: Friday, 14th May 2021

Medway’s popular open-air pool in Gillingham will reopen later this month.

The Strand pool will reopen for weekends only from Saturday, 29 May. The pool will then open daily from Saturday, 24 July until Wednesday, 1 September.

The Strand boasts a leisure pool, a 25-metre swim area, a 300-metre lazy river and children’s slides.

A new, online pre-booking system will be in place and residents and visitors will be able to book a morning or afternoon session from 12pm (noon) on Saturday, 22 May. Numbers for each session will be limited, in line with government social distancing requirements. All sessions must be booked online, in advance. If residents do not have access to the internet, they can visit Medway Park in Gillingham or Strood or Hoo Sports Centres to book online, during opening hours, to book a session.

Customers must bring their booking confirmation with them, either printed out, or on their phones, for their session.

This year marks the 125th anniversary of The Strand and the council is currently creating an online exhibition, using fond memories and images from residents to celebrate the history of The Strand, along with new signs which look back at memorable moments over the last 125 years. The exhibition also forms part of Estuary 21, an arts festival which celebrates the lives, landscapes and histories of the Thames Estuary. There are more than 20 exciting events and activities happening across Medway during the festival, which supports Medway’s aspirations to become UK City of Culture in 2025.

The iconic pink elephant is currently having a makeover and will be painted all the colours of the rainbow as a tribute to Medway’s keyworkers and the NHS for their hard work during the coronavirus pandemic.

We have launched a competition to name the elephant. Residents are encouraged to email their suggestions to or message Medway Sport on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, before 5pm on Sunday, 20 June. The name will be announced by Saturday, 26 June. The winner will receive four complimentary entrance tickets for a swimming session at The Strand this year.

Residents welcomed back ahead of 125th anniversary

Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “I am pleased that we will be reopening The Strand pool later this month. As the pool is incredibly popular with residents, and visitors, we have introduced a booking system to avoid disappointment. All visitors must book a session in advance and bring their confirmation with them when they visit the pool. We are looking forward to welcoming residents back to the pool, especially as we will be celebrating The Strand’s 125th anniversary in June. As a tribute to Medway’s keyworkers and the NHS, for their hard work keeping residents safe during the coronavirus pandemic, the pink elephant, which is synonymous with The Strand, is currently being painted all the colours of the rainbow. We have launched a naming competition and I would encourage our youngest residents to enter. Medway is aspiring to become a Child-Friendly City, putting children and young people at the heart of everything it does.”

Find out more.


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