There is nothing like swimming in a warm pool whether it’s to cool off in the summer heat or to do your laps as part of your fitness regime. Either way, the water has to be of a temperature that makes the pool inviting as swimming in a cold pool is none to pleasant!
It’s interesting that swimming goes back as far as 2500 B.C. in ancient Egypt and later in ancient Greece, Rome, and Assyria. In Rome and Greece, swimming was part of the education of elementary age boys and the Romans built the first swimming pools (separate from bathing pools). The first heated swimming pool was built in the first century B.C. so they have been around for some time!
Above: the (heated) pool at Villa Prelude, near St Tropez.
Swimming pools became popular in Britain in the mid 19th century and by 1837, six indoor pools with diving boards were built in London, England with the oldest surviving Swimming Club in Britain is believed to be Maidstone Swimming Club in Maidstone, Kent, England. It was formed in 1844 when there was concern over the many drowning’s in the River Medway. Many rescuers would often die in the water because they could usually not swim to safety themselves.
After the modern Olympic Games began in 1896 and included swimming races, the popularity of swimming pools began to spread. In 1839, Oxford had its first major public indoor pool at Temple Cowley, and swimming began to take off. There were many local swimming pools both indoor and outdoor and all inexpensive to use.
The more affluent of Britons built both indoor and outdoor swimming pools but its the European countries, especially France, Italy and Spain that boast so many. Obviously its due to the climate but land in these countries can accommodate pools and the installation of them is fairly competitive and affordable.
More and more villas now have heated pools which prove extremely popular for holidays outside of the normal hot July and August. There are a few methods of heating a pool and the most used method is by via a heat exchanger or by a gas heater. The inside of a pool heater is essentially a fire burning beneath a pipe through which water is pumped. The bottom of the heater has a burner tray which burns gas, like your stove. The top of the heater has a heat exchanger, which is basically a series of short brass pipes. As the water runs through the heat exchanger, it's heated by the fire burning underneath but It only works when there is water being pumped through it.
However, you can significantly reduce swimming pool heating costs by installing a solar pool heater. They're cost competitive with both gas and heat pump pool heaters, and they have very low annual operating costs. In fact, solar pool heating is the most cost-effective use of solar energy in many climates. Pool water is pumped through the filter and then through the solar collector where it is heated before it is returned to the pool. In hot climates, the collector can also be used to cool the pool during peak summer months by circulating the water through the collector at night.
In short, heated pools are popular in areas that enjoy hot summers but have cooler springs and autumns – this way you can enjoy swimming for many months of the year.
Please call to speak to one of our team about heated pools across France at a wide selection of villas and chateaux on 0044 (0) 1442 870055.
This elegant, single storey villa sits in beautifully manicured grounds overlooking the Gulf of St Tropez at Beauvallon. The villa is luxurious and decorated in cool colours with pale stone floors and large windows overlooking the Bay.