London’s best lidos

Stay cool at the capital’s finest open-air swimming pools

If the heat in gets too much for you this summer, take the plunge at one of London’s many brilliant outdoor pools…

Hampton Pool

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Describing itself as ‘south-west London’s best kept secret’, there is a 36m pool as well as a learner’s pool, making it an excellent choice for a family swim. The pools are heated every day of the year – yes, that does include Christmas Day – and is suitable for serious swimmers too as the main lido includes lane swimming. There’s free parking, too.

Brockwell Lido

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The Brockwell Lido complex boasts an Olympic-sized pool and a Grade II-listed art deco building alongside it. The lido is surround by the greenery of Brockwell Park, providing a perfectly relaxing swim, and there’s a café onsite providing plenty of post-swim snacks.

Tooting Bec Lido

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This lido is for those who aren’t afraid to take a swim on the wild side, as the pool is unheated. It is Britain’s largest outdoor freshwater pool and the cold water provides an invigorating experience for those looking for a refreshing dip. Visiting Tooting Bec lido is a perfect opportunity for anyone wanting to have a go at wild swimming. There’s also a sauna if you need to warm up after. And look out for the distinctive colourful huts dotted around the pool’s edge.

Serpentine Lido

Right in the middle of Hyde Park, the Serpentine lake has been attracting swimmers for more than 100 years, with the Lido opening in 1930. You can sit by the pool and sunbathe on a deckchair, have a glass of wine at the Lido Café Bar, or swim in the gorgeous lake that stretches out across the park. There’s also a paddling pool for kids.

Parliament Hill Lido

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Also known as Hampstead Heath lido, these unheated pools are open all year round. The lido has welcomed visitors since the 1930s and the main pool is the only one in Britain with a stainless steel lining. A perfect place to cool off on a sticky summer day.


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