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London outdoor pools: swimming pools you can take the plunge in this summer

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Hollie Richardson
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Woman in swimming pool

The sun has got his hat on and we are sweltering. If you’re desperate to take a refreshing dip in a pool during the heatwave, here’s a roundup of the best outdoor pools, ponds and lakes in London. 

Outdoor swimming pools have reopened, just in time for the intense weather we’re having. Brockwell Lido, London Fields Lido and Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds are welcoming back swimmers who have missed the waters during lockdown

Of course, things are going to run a little differently at the pools in order to comply with social distancing guidelines. Bookings have to be made in advance, changing facilities might be closed and you’ll need to keep your distance from other swimmers at all times. 

Each pool will have their own set of guidelines in place, so make sure you read them online before turning up. You can also find the government’s official guidelines on reopening pools on the Gov.uk website. So, ready to dive in? Let’s take a look at outdoor pools open in London this summer…

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London’s best outdoor pools

Brockwell Lido

For south Londoners, Brockwell Lido is a bit of a local icon. The 50-metre outdoor swimming pool is nestled in the corner of Brixton’s Brockwell Park. It’s also the star of Libby Page’s hit book, The Lido.

Brockwell Lido is now open – find the pool timetable and book a slot online. An adult lane swim for non-members is £8 (all the details are on the website)

London Fields Lido

East Londoners can take respite in the 50-metre heated outdoor pool at London Fields Lido. There’s also a cafe on site that does a really decent falafel wrap. Broadway Market, London Fields and Victoria Park are very close by for a post-swim hangout, and the nearest Overground station is London Fields.

London Fields Lido is now open – an adult lane swim for non-members is £5.25 and you find the pool timetable and book a slot on the website.

Oasis Sports Centre, Holborn

Oasis Sports Centre offers central London’s 25-metre heated outdoor swimming pool. There’s also an indoor one, in case it gets busy. The nearest Underground is Covent Garden. 

Oasis Sports Centre is now reopen – non-members of Better gyms can book a swim session online for £4.45, and you can find more information on the website

Shoreditch House Rooftop Pool in London
Shoreditch House Rooftop Pool in London

Shoreditch House

Shoreditch House members are are lucky enough to have access to the incredible rooftop pool. If you know a member, they are allowed to bring one guest at a time to the pool. Make sure that guest is you. The nearest Overground station is Shoreditch High Street. 

Shoreditch House has just reopened after being refurbished. Find out more information on bookings here

Tooting Bec in South London.
London’s outdoor swimming pools: Tooting Bec in South London.

Tooting Bec Lido

South London is home to the biggest outdoor freshwater pool in the UK (and the second largest in Europe). Tooting Bec’s 90-metre pool will give you a serious workout, or you can sit back and admire the colourful huts that line the pool – making it a perfect Instagram shot. The nearest Underground station is Tooting Bec. 

Tooting Bec Lido is reopen – non-members of Places Leisure can usually buy tickets online for £8, and you can find more information on the website

Woman diving in pond
London’s outdoor swimming pools: Hampstead Ponds.

Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds

Go wild by jumping into one of the ponds at Hampstead Heath. You can relax in the peace of the Ladies Pond or join the vibrancy of the Mixed Pond. Swimming in the open water, which is lined by towering trees and the surrounding hills, really is an exhilarating London experience. The nearest Overground station is Hampstead Heath. 

Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds have now reopened – you need to book a slot online. Entry is between £2-4 per person.

Beckenham Place Park Lake

Beckenham Place Park Lake
Outdoor swimming in London: Beckenham Place Park Lake.

Not technically a pool, but swimming in a lake sounds even better – right? Beckenham Place Park is home to a 285m-long wild swimming lake, which reaches 3.5m deep in some parts. There’s been a lake on the site as far back as the 1700s. 

The lake is now reopen – Monday, Wednesday and Friday 7am–3pm and Saturday and Sunday 8am–3pm. Each session costs £5 (£6 for non Lewisham residents) and you can book tickets on the website.

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Images: Getty and Shoreditch house

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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