Join Victoria Baths at their Swim Weekend (Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September, from 11am to 4pm) for a celebration of the past and present of this iconic building with swimming, art and music in Manchester’s Water Palace.

The Swim Weekend is an event for all the family and, with free entry, it’s the ideal opportunity to explore this historic gem and take part in all the activities. The backdrop to the weekend is public swimming taking place in the Gala Pool, which everyone will be able to watch from the original viewing balconies.

Elizabeth Sibbering, Operations Manager, Victoria Baths, says “This is the third time we’ve filled the pool for a public swim in the last 26 years, and it’s become a highlight of our year. Not only does it remind us what a joyful and unique swimming experience Victoria Baths offers, but to see the pool filled with water and hear the amazing acoustics really adds to the beauty of the building.”

As well as being invited to take a seat and watch the swimming, there are exhibitions to view, art and film workshops to take part in and even kids and adult yoga sessions on offer in the Turkish Baths. Opening up Victoria Baths in this way is a thank you to the local community, visitors and supporters who have all played a role in supporting the future of the building.

A residency that has taken place across the summer at Victoria Baths by artists from Islington Mill Art Academy has resulted in the Six Feet Deep exhibition in the Females Pool. All of the work, which includes paintings, drawings, performance, film and print, responds to the archives, architecture and aesthetic of Victoria Baths. Alongside the exhibition No time like the present drop-in workshops will be taking place, that aim to give visitors of all ages their own experience of a micro residency.

The theme of water flows through an exhibition of photography by South Manchester Camera Club, on the Sports Hall balcony. In addition to the exhibition, a range of prints and cards will be on sale, with a contribution from their sale going towards the ongoing restoration of Victoria Baths.

Providing a musical interlude, on Saturday Ordsall A Cappella (1:00pm and 2:00pm) will be singing a repertoire of pieces that include classical, traditional pop and rock tunes. Taking to the stage on Sunday (1:00pm and 2:30pm) is Manchester-based SHE Choir, renowned for the vast array of songs they sing, all arranged by their members.

If you love yoga, then a yoga session in the Turkish Baths Rest Rooms has to be an ultimate experience, and if you’ve never tried it before then this is the perfect introduction. Free Yoga with Sally sessions will be taking place on both Saturday and Sunday for both adults and children.

Entry to Victoria Baths Swim Weekend is free, as are all the yoga workshops and some of the art workshops. Discover Victoria Baths and Off-Limits guided building tours will be running on both days and are pre-bookable in advance for £5.00. Film workshops by Islington Mill can be pre-booked for £2.00.

Victoria Baths’ Writer-in-Residence Sarah-Clare Conlon will be appearing at the Swim Weekend to announce the winner of the Splash Fiction competition. Victoria Baths’ first ever short story writing completion, was launched at the Weekend of Words festival at the Baths back in June. Sarah-Clare will be hosting this readings and awards event and reading some more of the work she has produced during her time at Victoria Baths. This special event will take place in the Turkish Baths Rest Room on Saturday 7th September (1.00pm).

The weekend will also give visitors the opportunity to see for the first time a new permanent display created by Victoria Baths Trust to tell the story of Victoria Baths, its closure in 1993, the campaign to save the building and what the future might hold for this beautiful Manchester landmark.

In addition to the Victoria Baths Tea Room, Margot’s Pizza will be serving Neapolitan style pizzas and the Ice Cream Ladies pop up ice cream parlour will be dishing up some frosty vegan treats.


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