London Unveiled

great places to visit off the beaten path.

Marshall Street Baths ~ an oasis in the heart of Soho.

Just off Carnaby Street and near Liberty’s is this wonderful Grade II listed building that contains both a full service leisure centre (with a gym, steam room and saunas equipped with a high quality water softener system, exercise and dance rooms, and a pool) and a day spa (with all the treatments and services one expects from a full service spa).  But it is the wonderfully restored marble lined art-deco swimming pool that really makes it worth a visit.

In the 1850s baths, washrooms and plunge pools were first built on this site.  The current building (1928-1931) was built with a large swimming pool, lined with white Sicilian marble (historic photo: Westminster Council Archives).  In 1997, the owners (Westminster Council) closed the facility for refurbishment.  After an £11 million renonvation this magnificent listed building reopened in 2010 with its complete fitness facilities, fully restored pool – still with its marble and the wonderful barrel-vaulted ceiling overhead – and a ‘Spa London’ business.  In addition, they retained many period features throughout the building creating a sense of glamour and history – even the original ticket booth was restored and preserved.

The pool is 30 metres long, with 5 lanes and is the buildings main attraction for the casual visitor.  Changing facilities are pool-side.  There are two saunas and one steam room (usage can be restricted at times by gender).  The leisure centre is managed by an independent company, but it is open to all for a small admission fee (day pass £10) or by membership. For more information on classes, events, or to purchase a day or weekly pass etc.. go to their website at: http://goo.gl/U7h2m  It should be noted that their online calendar clearly shows when facilities may be restricted by gender, age or activity type – so it is worth checking for when you plan to go.  If you are interested in the Spa services go to http://www.spa-london.org/

The Leisure Centres hours are Mon-Fri 6:30 am – 10pm, weekends 8am – 8pm.

Located at: 15 Marshall Street, London, W1F 7EL

Closest tube: Oxford Circus

5 comments on “Marshall Street Baths ~ an oasis in the heart of Soho.

  1. silverboy67
    October 25, 2012

    Wow
    Just seeing that name in the heading immediately brought back boyhood memories. I and my Pimlico mates aged around 12 used to get the 24 bus to Charing Cross road and cut through Soho being careful not to look in the doorways of the numerous strip clubs and paying sixpence to get in. The noise was immense with that high ceiling and I remember there was a smaller, dimly lit pool next door which felt so cosy. There was a very high diving board–maybe 10 metres?– that we all climbed the stairs to. Once up, there was no way back down, my very first jump off was definitely one of those slomo moments. So it’s great to see it restored having lost so many other similar places. Anybodyremember St George’s in Buckingham Palace Road?
    Peace
    Brian

    • LondonUnveiled.com
      October 25, 2012

      The restoration resulted in the removal of the small pool, as well as the diving board and bleacher style seating. Thanks for your comments – I appreciate it and glad it brought back some memories.

    • Derek
      May 29, 2017

      Learned to swim at St Georges when I was 15. Went regularly and remember the Westminster District Scout annual competitions there.

  2. Pingback: Marshall Street Baths: Renovated Art Deco Swimming Pool in Soho | Urban Ghosts |

  3. Swimmer
    October 8, 2016

    £11m and 6 yrs later, the (wet) changing rooms [Ed: need deferred maintenance] So much for the Olympic legacy. Did Michael Palin ever return after re-opening the place?

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This entry was posted on October 24, 2012 by in Family Activities, Historic Buildings, Westminster and tagged , .
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