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“Swimming facilitilies could be perfect if..........”

Dorchester Sports Centre, UK
Ranked #25 of 40 things to do in Dorchester
Attraction details
Berkshire
Level Contributor
244 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
“Swimming facilitilies could be perfect if..........”
Reviewed 24 April 2014

Very helpful and friendly staff. Lovely swimming pools and viewing gallery.
Temperature in the pool and changing rooms very comfortable.
Did NOT like the fact that there is no gender segregation in the changing areas. So making it impossible to properly shower following a swim. And possibly making it impossible for some ladies to use the facilities for cultural reasons.
Quite disconcerting in fact!
And, a cafe would be very welcome.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Cat C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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12 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Impressive pool marred by sub-standard changing area”
Reviewed 10 August 2013

This long-awaited new Sports Center provides both swimming and gym facilities in this county town of Dorset, S.W. England. I had eagerly anticipated a visit, having read press reports and online information about the pool, managed by a professional 'non-profit' company.

I have no quarrel with the sports facilities themselves (described as 'state-of-the-art'), but was immediately struck by the contrast between the support facilities (i.e. changing and showering) for the upstairs gym - excellent separate areas for men and women - and the tacky communal cubicle changing and communal showering below (with four cubicle showers attached as a token to privacy). It is unarguably a two-tier system, the upstairs catering mainly for membership patrons. For swimmers, the lack of privacy and proper showering space, has attracted criticism, even disbelief at the incompetence in the planning, though I have heard that Council-lead recommendations were based on 'equality', family convenience, and considerations of surveillance and maintenance on the part of staff.

From friends and contacts in the area, I know that many keen swimmers will avoid using the pool in favour of other established pools in the area e.g. Weymouth, which offer decent gender-segregated facilities. For convenience sake, I have persevered, though the magic of a new pool has now dwindled without the accustomed after-swim shower in a relaxed male environment. One female patron I noted has made similar comments publicly re the awkwardness of attempting a 'proper' shower in one of the semi-public cubicles provided, and having to change back into her wet costume to return to a changing cubicle.

I raised this with staff at reception: one suggestion was that a towel could be used for cover on the way! There is also the discomfort of getting one's feet dirty from the public thoroughfare immediately adjacent to the communal shower room. Another 'unofficial' suggestion was to use the upstairs facilities - not, I would have thought, acceptable to management.

All considered, a muddle borne of conflicting criteria. The provision of group-changing rooms (when available) and family-changing cubicles allow some flexibility, but privacy and personal space I would suggest are the minimum standards expected by a discerning public.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Globesetter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dorchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Lovely pools”
Reviewed 28 June 2013

The swimming pools and viewing gallery are excellent, it's just a shame that the is no cafe or sports hall.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank AnnHeather
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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