Just when we thought summer 2020 was a complete write-off, outdoor pools have started to reopen across London. Although swimmers will have to stick to strict social distancing rules, the news is a welcome relief for those who are desperate to take a dip during the heatwave.
Outdoor swimming pools have been given the green light to reopen, just in time for the intense weather we’re having.
Brockwell Lido, London Fields Lido and Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds have already welcomed back swimmers who have missed the waters during lockdown. And more of our favourite outdoor swimming spots are making plans to open very soon.
Of course, things are going to run very differently at the pools in order to comply with social distancing guidelines. Bookings have to be made in advance, changing facilities will be closed and you’ll need to keep your distance from other swimmers at all times.
Each pool will have a set of guidelines in place, so make sure you read them online before turning up. You can also look at the government’s official guidelines on reopening pools here.
Ready to dive in? Let’s take a look at the outdoor pools reopening in London this summer.
London’s best outdoor pools
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 here.
An adult lane swim for non-members is £8, while members can book three sessions in July free of charge (all the details are here).
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 – find the pool timetable and book a slot here.
Oasis Sports Centre, Holborn
Oasis Sports Centre offers central London’s only heated outdoor 25-metre swimming pool. There’s also an indoor one, in case it gets busy. The nearest Underground is Covent Garden.
Oasis Sports Centre is yet to reopen – stay up to date with the latest information here.
Non-members of Better gyms can usually book online for £6.15, but this system could change when the pool reopens.
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 a refurbishment during lockdown. Find out more information on bookings here.
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 has announced that it plans to reopen on 12 August – stay up to date with the latest information here.
Non-members of Places Leisure can usually buy tickets online for £7.70 before 6pm or £4.70 afterwards, but this system could change when the pool reopens.
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 here.
Entry is between £2-4 per person.
Images: Getty and Shoreditch house