Spending the summer in London? Miles from the coast and want to go to the beach or cool off and swim? Worry not here is our run down of top places in London – north, south, east, west and central London to cool down and swim this summer. From wild swimming to Lido’s that are over 90m long we have something for everyone.
Fancy a spot of wild swimming?
Take a dip at our selection of wild swimming spots in the capital.
- Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds
Hampstead Heath and the Swimming Ponds are one of the best places to spend a hot sunny day in London without getting sandy feet. Clean fresh and distinctly cool, perfect to destress. There are three ponds: men’s, ladies and mixed groups. The men’s and ladies is open all year round but to use the mixed pond in the winter you must be a member. Children aged 8 – 15 are allowed as long as the lifeguard permits, and may need to undertake a competence swim for the lifeguard.
2. The Serpentine Lido
Hyde Park, South Carriage Drive, London W2 2UH
If you are in central London and you just want to cool off the Serpentine Lido is perfect, in the middle of Hyde Park and close to the Diana Memorial Fountain. A 100m sectioned off area in the Serpentine that is designated for open swimming it’s not heated – it’s a wild swim in a lake that is halfway between a traditional lido pool and full open water swim. Wetsuits are permitted! But be prepared to swim with the geese and ducks! There is a separate gated family area with a chlorinated paddling pool and sun loungers to hire. There is also a Lido Café next door. Opens from May to September.
3. Ruislip Lido
Reservoir Road, Ruislip, HA4 7TY
Set on the edge of Ruislip woods, is Ruislip Lido a 60 acre lake that is open all year round, with a 726 acre nature reserve surrounding it. The lake which is perfect for a spot of wild swimming is surrounded by a natural beach. Plus, a miniature railway to get there on. There is a kiosk selling snacks and ice cream and a restaurant/pub too.
4. Lidos in North, South, East and West London
Many of these Lido’s are longer than Olympic sized pools and most have a paddling pool for younger children and toddlers. Here’s our selection of the best lidos. But get there early in the Summer holidays especially at weekends!
5. Hampton Open Air Pool
High St, Hampton TW12 2ST
Hampton Open Air Pool in South West London is next to Bushy Park so it’s a great day out at both. It’s a, 36-metre pool heated to 28C all year round, and so heated that on a cold morning you see the steam coming off the water! With grassed areas for sunbathing and a roof terrace and café. There is also a small children’s pool. Have a look at their website for the open-air concerts that they host throughout the Summer.
6. Parliament Hill Lido
Heath Lodge, Highgate, London NW5 1NA
Parliament Hill Lido a Grade II-listed lido was built in 1938 and refurbished in 2005. At 61 metres long, it’s a big pool and it is unheated but wetsuits are permitted at the lifeguard’s discretion. It has a stainless-steel pool liner – which gives the water a metallic shimmer. There’s a paddling pool for toddlers and a cafe.
7. Tooting Bec Lido
Tooting Bec Rd, London SW16 1RU
Tooting Bec Lido in South London is 91m long it first opened as a bathing lake in 1906, and is the country’s largest outdoor freshwater pool (so no smell of chlorine!) set in the heart of Tooting Common surrounded by trees. Unheated and open throughout the year, although in the winter you must be a member of the South London Swimming Club. Facilities include a toddler’s pool, place to picnic and sunbathe a café, and lockers for small valuables.
8. London Fields Lido
London Fields West Side, Hackney, London E8 3EU
London Fields Lido a 50m Olympic size, heated outdoor swimming pool open all year round – located in Hackney. Refurbished in 2017 there is lane swimming available all day and various swimming lessons available for adults and children. There is also a café and a sunbathing area. Picnicking is not allowed.
Let us know where you end up!