Believe it or not, London actually gets pretty hot in the summer. So far in 2016 the sunshine has come in dribs and drabs, but we must have faith. The sun will come, and when it does, we will be ready. There is no better way to escape the searing heat of the sun than a refreshing dip in some icy cold water. We aren’t blessed enough to be located by the seaside, but never fear – in this concrete jungle there are many fantastic manmade swimming holes to dive into. Here are our top picks:
Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds
Set in the middle of glorious park Hampstead Heath, the ponds of Hampstead heath are by far and away the most popular swimming spot on a sunny day. The three ponds are split up into male, female and mixed groups, and they’re open all year round if your adventurous enough for a Christmas dip.
Where: Hampstead Heath
Nearest Public Transport: Hampstead Heath (Overground)
King’s Cross Pond Club
This one is pretty nifty. Calling itself ‘an art installation you can swim in’, the pond club is a man-made pond set in the centre of gentrification in King’s Cross. The water is purified naturally using water plants, nutrient mineralisation and a filtration system. No chlorine in sight – a refreshing change from many public lidos. Swims must be booked in advance here – keep an eye on the forecast – these slots go quickly.
Where: Tapper Walk, London N1C 4BE
Nearest Public Transport: King’s Cross St Pancras (Northern, Victoria, Metropolitan, District, Circle and Hammersmith lines)
London Fields Lido
Olympic in size if not in clientele, the 50m pool is heated and open all year round. Lane swimming is available for the more exercise focused bathers, and the large sunbathing areas will suit those not as willing to get their toes wet. A swim costs £4.50 for adults, and £2.85 for children.
Where: London Fields West Side, London E8 3EU
Nearest Public Transport: London Fields (Overground)
With a swimming club whose origins date back to the mid 1800s, the Serpentine Lido in Hyde Park is rife with history. There is no better place in London to enjoy a sunny day than Hyde Park the city’s largest and most iconic park, home to the Diana memorial and the Serpentine Gallery, an ever-changing gallery of contemporary art. See opening times, pricing and general information about the lido here.
Where: Hyde Park
Nearest Public Transport: Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly line)
Oasis Sports Centre
Right at the heart of central London, this one is not for the Michael Phelps in you. It’s a pretty popular haven from the seemingly inescapable concrete of the city centre, so it might not fulfil your urge to break out in a butterfly stroke. But, a lovely heated swimming pool it is nonetheless.
Where: 32 Endell St, London WC2H 9AG
Nearest Tube: Covent Garden (Piccadilly line)