The Eltham Centre is one of Greenwich Borough’s multi-facility centres. The Centre contains the Library (which has a separate room for the children’s library), access to some council services and the Leisure Centre. The Leisure Centre comprises three pools (one 25m pool, one family pool and a spa pool), a health suite, a gym, exercise suite for fitness classes and a crèche for the under fives – crèche sessions must be booked in advance. There is also a café (which has highchairs!).
MUMMY’S GIN FUND SAYS:
The Family Pool at Eltham Centre is one of the best pools that I have been to for babies and small children in the local area. Firstly, the centre has about 4 or 5 generous sized family changing rooms most of which have baby changing and playpens in them. The pool itself is beach-style entry which means that you can walk straight into the pool and there is plenty of room for toddlers to play in their standing depth if they don’t like going too deep. Babies and toddlers also have great fun sitting down splashing at the start of the pool. The pool is 0.9m deep so there is plenty of room at the deep end for toddlers and older children to jump in and practise their swimming. There are normally floats around for children to play with. There is also a large water fountain feature near the start of the pool which goes off at various times during the session. My daughter hugely enjoys running manically around through the fountain when it goes off – it’s one of the highlights of our visit!
I started taking my daughter to this pool when she was 10 weeks old. It may not be an all-singing, all-dancing pool with water slides and wave machines but it’s a great place to introduce young children to swimming in a relaxed environment. The lifeguards are very friendly and always on hand to help out.
Address: 2 Archery Road, Eltham, SE9 1HA.
Flumes / Waves: No.
Cafe: Yes, cafe at the entrance serving hot and cold snacks and drinks with plenty of child-friendly options. Eltham High Street is a couple of minutes walk away and has lots of other options.
Toilets: Yes, plenty. Fully accessible and with baby change.
Pram / wheelchair / mobility friendly: Yes, building fully accessible with ramp access and large changing rooms which fit buggies and wheelchairs. There is also a pool-side hoist available. Baby change tables in the family changing rooms.
Parking: 45 spaces available, and 4 accessible spaces.
Nearest Station: Eltham.
Bus: B16, 124, 126, 132, 160, 321, 286
Phone: 020 8921 4344
Email: via online form http://www.better.org.uk/leisure/eltham-centre/contactus
The Library runs the following children’s activities:
Mondays: Messy morning, 10.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m.
Mondays: Manga group, 4.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. (monthly)
Tuesdays: Rhyme time, 10.00 a.m. to 10.30 a.m.
Wednesdays: Rhyme time, 10.00 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. and 11.00 a.m. to 11.30 a.m.
Thursdays: Story time, 11 .00 a.m. to 11.30 a.m.
Fridays: Rhyme time, 10.00 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. and 11.00 a.m. to 11.30 a.m.
The centre currently runs Toddler’s World (soft play) four times a week:
Mondays: 2.00 p.m. – 3.30 p.m.
Wednesdays: 11.30 a.m. – 1.00 p.m.
Thursdays: 2.00 p.m. – 3.30 p.m.
Fridays: 11.30 a.m – 1.00 p.m.
The family pool is open every day but the times vary so do check the website. The cost is currently £3.05 for an adult swim and £1.95 for a junior (age 3+) swim. The centre does offer monthly memberships which give access to the gym, pools and exercise classes. Alternatively, Greenwich residents can buy a Greenwich Card for £2 which reduces the cost of the swim sessions to £2.80 for adults and £1 for juniors. The Greenwich Card also gives you lots of other discounts in the borough (http://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/directory/53/directory_greenwichcard_discounts
The centre also runs swimming lessons for both adults and children.
The Eltham Centre is located just off Eltham High Street and is a short walk from Eltham station.
Review by Heather Heiner.