London’s current heatwave is set to keep up its relentless work for at least another month or so, and with the summer holidays in full swing, the inhabitants in the capital will be looking for the perfect ways to cool down. One such way is in visiting the many lidos of London.
If you’re not familiar with lidos, then just know that it is the British name for an outdoor swimming pool, often based within a park or natural landscape. London’s wealth of green spaces has meant that lidos have been popping up for over a century now, many having a background spanning back to the 20’s and 30’s. Below you can find some of our favourite Lido’s and what to expect from them.
Hampstead Ponds is the general name given to a system of ponds and lakes in Hampstead Heath in North London. Hear you can find a range of freshwater ponds which are open to the public for swimming all year round. Set in the beautiful lush forestry of Hampstead Heath, you can swim for just £2 or for £1 concessions. Having been open since the 1920’s this is an historic part of the city, the ponds originally being dug up as reservoirs back in the 17th century and fed water from the River Fleet. There are two single sex ponds and one mixed pond, giving users several options for what they feel comfortable in.
Open for twelve months a year, this Lido is also located in Hampstead Heath, giving users a pool, which is annually open and has been since it began its life in 1938. During the winter seasons however, the lido is open from 7 am till noon between September and April, and all day during the summer months. This makes up one of the only unheated winter swimming venues in the city.
Brockwell Lido is another of the open all year unheated lidos in London, bringing with it a great deal of history. Having gone through several measures to keep it open, the lido has been running smoothly since 2002. It was originally opened in 1937 and is currently run by two ex-council members of the Lambeth constituency. The pool itself is 164 feet in length and is also home to a terraced café and hydrotherapy spa.
London Fields Lido
The London Fields Lido is a 50 metre Olympic sized swimming pool which is both heated and plays host to a range of community-based activities. From swimming lessons for children to adults, the lido is a staple of the thriving community based around London Fields. A short distance from Hackney Central and home to a sunbathing area and café, the lido is a hotspot during the summer months. Get there early to grab a deck chair!
The Serpentine Lido located not far from the Park Grand Hyde Park hotel is one of the go to swimming venues in central London. Located on the South Bank of the Serpentine River in the centre of Hyde Park, this lido is known for its swimming club and proximity to the rowing and wildlife lake next door. The Lido is often incredibly busy and brings a great range of tourists and locals alike to its shores. With famous events such as the Olympic 2012 triathlon having used the liDo as a venue, there is a lot of history to this legendary lido, located in one of the most famous parks in the UK.