About Chagford Pool

An early morning photograph of Chagford Swimming Pool in Devon

Chagford Swimming Pool is a beautiful, community-run open air, river-fed public pool, set on the banks of the Teign.
The very soft river water is UV treated and filtered with a minimal amount of chlorine to keep it sparkling, healthy and safe. The pool is heated with air source heat pumps supplemented by PV solar panels, which power the hot showers, lights, and Tea shed. Solar covers are rolled out each evening to preserve the water temperature, which we maintain at approximately 26/27 C degrees. 

There is also a very popular toddler pool for under fives complete with toy boats, watering cans, and ducks.

At the deep end there is a grassy area for sunbathing and there are chairs and tables at the shallow end, with parasols. Raised wooden decking flanks each side of the pool.
The pool depth increases from just under a metre at the shallow end to just over 2 metres at it’s deepest. Safety is paramount here, and qualified lifeguards are always on duty.

There are simple snacks and refreshments available……
Teas, coffee etc and soft drinks, also confectionery and savoury snacks such as crisps. We stock a variety of healthy, organic, and mainstream goods, catering for all kinds of tastes. Daily home made cakes and fresh fruit smoothies, and fresh fruit are new for this season. We do not carry bottled water, but are happy to fill your bottles.

You are also welcome to bring your own nibbles or picnics. Please, no glass, thank you 🙂

Child Safety
Children under nine years must be accompanied by an adult.
As per Health and Safety Executive recommendations….One adult should not be responsible
for more than two children under eight, and children under that age should also be directly supervised whilst in the water. 

Please note:
We like to keep non swimming children away from the deep water…..Outdoor pools are very different environments compared to their indoor counterparts where spectators tend to be seated.

So non swimmers are not allowed past the blue line both in and out of the water.


We have a small car park but we have overflow parking in the adjacent farmer’s field. This space is very kindly lent to us by the farmer (our pool is in the middle of his farm!) so please respect this courtesy, and not leave litter or especially not drop cigarette ends which are toxic to his animals. Thank you 🙂

We strive to be as environmentally friendly as possible, using as few chemicals, cleaning agents, etc as we are able, whilst maintaining the strict standards demanded by current environmental regulations. We have an environmentally friendly waste processor, installed under the car park in 2017, due to our close proximity to the river. We also recycle as much as we can.

A brief history of Chagford Pool

2020 is our 87th season.

Picture shows Chagford Pool in the 1930's
Picture shows Chagford Pool in the 1930’s

Chagford Swimming Pool was opened in 1933, dug by hand by local residents on land entrusted to the village by the Hayter-Hames family.

It is the largest open-air, fresh-water swimming pool in the southwest, being fed by the River Teign. Should it ever cease to be maintained and used as a public pool, the land would revert to the family.

The pool is fed by the mill leat, a small stream diverted from the main river, originally to power the water wheel at Rushford Farm. The site of the pool was once an apple orchard and the mill pond for the farm, and it is well reported that it was dug out because children swimming in the river would too often disturb local fishermen further upstream. In the early years, the pool had a mud bottom, the water was unfiltered and several times each year the pool had to be emptied into the river, sluiced clean by the fire brigade on practice nights, and refilled.

Much has changed since the 1930s; The concrete bottom was added around 1960 and there was a major refurbishment in the 1970s. The latest major renovation which resulted in the pool as you see it now with covers, paving, decking, and an updated plant room, was in 2000, following two years of fundraising. In 2014, the pool was lined, and for the 2016 season, we have installed air-source heat pumps, UV filtration, PV panels, and hot showers.
In 2017 the old cesspit under the car park failed and we managed to raise approaching £12,000 (kindly lent to us by Chagford Recreational Trust) to install an environmentally friendly waste processor the week before we opened for the summer season. This was required by Defra due to our very close proximity to the river and fits in nicely with our green credentials.