LONDON’S BEST LIDOS AND OUTDOOR SWIMMING SPOTS
On a hot summer’s day there’s nothing better than taking a dip to cool off. London has no shortage of outdoor pools, lidos and open-water swimming spots to help you soak up the best of the summer so get ready to dive headfirst into our ultimate guide to London’s coolest outdoor swimming spots.
We’ve scoured the city to bring you where is best to beat the heat and make a splash. From hidden ponds surrounded by magical woodlands to hip urban hangouts with killer views, we’ve curated a collection of London’s absolute best aquatic hideaways. Grab your swimsuit, sunscreen, and a sense of adventure as we jump into the crystal-clear waters (and less crystal clear and more Diet-Coke) and uncover the hottest spots to soak up the sun. Get ready to dive in and experience the wild world of London’s outdoor swimming scene like never before!
If you fancy swimming amongst the swans and ducks, jump on into Serpentine Lido. Open to the public throughout the summer, this unheated lido is perfect for a hot summer day and even has a private sunbathing area.
STOKE NEWINGTON WEST RESERVOIR
Stoke Newington West Reservoir is not really the kinda place you’d take a dip in your bikini, but it is the kinda place you can dive on in with a wetsuit to go open water swimming. This is one for those hardy swimmers out there.
HAMPSTEAD HEATH PONDS
If you really want to get back to nature go for a dip in Hampstead Heath Ponds – you’ll be taking a swim with the wildlife. Open all-year round and unheated (it is a pond!), this one is only for the brave.
LONDON FIELDS LIDO
After a little touch-up in 2017, London Fields Lido is better than ever. It’s the perfect place to come for a dip as the 50m Olympic sized pool is heated all year round, so you can swim in the middle of winter or cool off on those few days a year we get a heatwave.
PARLIAMENT HILL LIDO
If you’re not down with swimming with the wildlife at Hampstead Heath, dive on into Parliament Hill Lido. Even though this pool is unheated, it’s surrounded by a beaut Art Deco building and has a swanky stainless steel liner that gives the water a real shimmer.
TOOTING BEC LIDO
Outdoor swimming isn’t just for summer ya know. At the largest outdoor lido in the UK, you can enjoy swimming open-air at any time of year (although you’ll need to become a member to swim in the winter). There’s always plenty going on in the Lido Pavilion to keep you entertained post-dip too.
Hampton Pool is open 365 days a year (yes you can even take a dip on Christmas Day!) and it’s heated! Sitting next to Royal Bushy Park, this 36m long pool has plenty of space for everyone and being hidden away in South West London you might even get a proper swim on a summers weekend.
KINGS OAK LIDO
Kings Oak Lido is nestled in Epping Forest, and is more than a little bit swish. The 1930s lido is part of the Kings Oak Hotel and comes with fountains, champagne beds, tiki bar and waitress service.
POOLS ON THE PARK RICHMOND
Pools On The Park is on the Old Deer Park to be precise. Built in the 1960s, this outdoor heated pool is only open in the summer and has lots of space for sunbathing.
LONDON ROYAL DOCKS
Unless you’re a hardcore swimmer you probably didn’t know you could take a dip in the Royal Docks. This is proper open water swimming and temperatures tend to stick around 18°, but who doesn’t want to take a dip in one of the most iconic spots in London?!
PARK ROAD LEISURE CENTRE
Measuring 50m x 23m, Park Road is one of the largest lidos in London. It dates back to 1929 and comes with diving boards, a cafe and grassy slopes that you could easily spend all-day sunbathing on.
After a £2million re-furb is 2013, Charlton Lido is one of the swishier outdoor pools in town. The 50m pool comes with two sun terraces and a cafe, and is the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon.
In the summer there’s nothing better than a dip in the pool and Brockwell Lido takes some beating. Sitting on the corner of Brockwell Park, the lido has been there since 1937 and is surrounded by an Art Deco building that houses a bloody good cafe – perfect for that post-dip snack.
Hillingdon Lido was restored back to its glory days in 2010 and even comes with fountains. Looking just like it did in the 30s, this Grade-II listed, 50m lido is West London’s hidden gem and perfect for a bit of backstroke.
OASIS OUTDOOR POOL
As the name suggests this is a little OASIS in the centre of London. Measuring 27.5m, this heated pool is the perfect place to cool off in the summer and even has a little sun terrace to top up your tan.
Finchley Lido might not be the biggest pool at only 25m, but it’s the perfect spot to cool down on a hot summer’s day. And if you’re not down with swimming you can always catch some rays and enjoy an ice cream on a sun lounger.