With our UK temperatures set to reach a historical all-time high this week, Londoners are looking for ways to keep cool during the heatwave. Make the most of the heat this summer with some of our favourite outdoor swimming spots!
Hampstead Heath Ponds
Perhaps the best known, Hampstead Heath’s bathing ponds are one of London’s favourite swimming destinations – and it’s not hard to see why. Set in beautiful Hampstead Heath, these three ponds used to be dammed-off clay pits, but are now a men’s pond, women’s pond and mixed swimming pond, where the water stays wonderfully cool even on the hottest summer’s day. Open daily from 7am to 8:30pm, there’s plenty of time to enjoy relaxing and swimming in this idyllic setting; but be warned – the ponds are rammed over the summer, especially on hot days, so you’re best to get there as early as possible if you’re after a more sedate swim.
Tooting Bec Lido
Tooting Bec Lido is the largest fresh-water swimming pool in the UK, and also one of the oldest open-air pools, originally opening to the public in 1906. Soak up this history with a healthy dose of sunshine and swimming: the water is unheated, therefore offering wonderful refreshment in the height of summer. Its surrounding Tooting Common, with numerous play areas and a picturesque lake, is the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic, too.
If you’re looking for somewhere to cool off in Central London, why not dip into the Oasis Sports Centre? Tucked away between Covent Garden and Holborn, this hidden gem offers not one but two pools: a heated outdoor lido with sunbathing chairs, and an adjacent indoor pool. Less busy than most, having two pools ensures there’s plenty of space to splash around.
Another popular swimming haunt is Brockwell’s Lido, which offers Grade II-listed art deco architecture and a scrumptious café alongside the refreshing pool. Set in verdant Brockwell Park, why not take a picnic and make a day of it?
If you’re looking to beat the crowds, Hampton Pool is your best bet. Close to Hampton Court Palace, this pool might not be the largest or snazziest around, but with far fewer crowds than most, it’s the perfect spot for fuss-free swimming. With designated lanes for adult swimmers, plenty of grass for sunbathing and areas for barbecuing, it’s the perfect location for a less crowded summer swim.
The Mercure Hyde Park is located right in the heart of London, with excellent public transport links to all our favourite swimming spots: come back and relax with us after your sunny summer’s day!Book Now