Dive into London’s Heatwave: Top 10 Open-Water Swimming Spots

Picture of Paul Travers

Paul Travers

As London sizzles under the scorching sun, there’s no better way to beat the heatwave than by taking a dip in the city’s finest open-water swimming spots. Grab your swimsuits and sunscreen because it’s time to make a splash!

Click the pink links to go to the website of each open-water swimming location.


1. Serpentine Lido: Hyde Park’s Hidden Gem

Tucked away in the heart of Hyde Park, the Serpentine Lido is an urban oasis you won’t want to miss. Glide through the crystalline waters of this iconic lake, surrounded by lush greenery and the soothing sounds of nature. Early morning swims here are a true London privilege, as the rising sun paints the water with golden hues.


2. Hampstead Heath Ponds: Nature’s Infinity Pools

open-water swimming in London - Hampstead Ponds
Venture north to Hampstead Heath, and you’ll find three natural swimming ponds that seem like they were crafted by Mother Nature herself. Choose from the Highgate Men’s Pond, Kenwood Ladies’ Pond, or the Mixed Bathing Pond. Surrounded by ancient trees and wild flora, these ponds offer an escape into the wild heart of the city.


3. Hillingdon Lido: West London’s Oasis

open-water swimming in London - Hillingdon Lido aka Uxbridge Lido
Formerly known as Uxbridge Lido, this heated 50-meter pool offers a taste of luxury on the edges of West London. Surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens, it’s a serene spot to unwind and beat the heat.


4. Parliament Hill Lido: Skyline Views

open-water swimming in London - Pariament Hill Lido
Perched atop Parliament Hill, this lido offers breathtaking vistas of the London skyline. As you swim, you’ll have an unparalleled view of the city’s iconic landmarks. The 60-meter pool is beloved by locals, making it an ideal spot for both a refreshing swim and a scenic escape.


5. Brockwell Lido: Art Deco Elegance

open-water swimming in London - Brockwell Lido
Brockwell Lido is a masterpiece of Art Deco design in South London. Surrounded by vibrant gardens, it’s an Instagram-worthy oasis. The 50-meter pool is perfect for practising your strokes, and there’s a charming café to treat yourself after your swim. Dive in, cool off, and let the elegant surroundings transport you to another era.


6. London Fields Lido: East End Cool

This heated Olympic-sized pool is perfect for year-round swimming, but it truly shines during the summer heatwave. Surrounded by the buzzing atmosphere of London Fields Park, it’s the perfect place to take a dip and soak up the local vibes.


7. Shepperton Open-Water Swimming: Riverside Retreat

Escape the urban jungle for a riverside retreat at Shepperton Open Water Swim for a serene escape to the countryside. The clear waters of this former gravel pit are ideal for open-water swimming. It’s a bit of a trek, but the tranquil experience is well worth it.


8. King’s Cross Pond Club: Urban Oasis

Step into a unique fusion of art and swimming at King’s Cross Pond Club. This innovative, man-made pond sits amidst the bustling streets of King’s Cross. It’s a place where city life meets aquatic adventure. Swim in the shadow of skyscrapers and enjoy the urban cooldown.


9. Stoke Newington West Reservoir: Cityscape Reflections

The West Reservoir Centre in Stoke Newington is a hidden gem in North London. This colossal body of water is surrounded by greenery and offers serene cityscape reflections as you swim. It’s a peaceful escape that feels miles away from the urban chaos.


10. Tooting Bec Lido: Olympic-Sized Refreshment

Currently closed and nearing the end of its refurbishment programme, this colossal 91-meter pool is a refreshing delight. With its colourful beach huts and crisp waters, it’s a prime spot to cool off during the heatwave. Dive into the deep end and feel the sweltering heat evaporate with every stroke.


Have you found a favourite open-water swimming spot?

Well, what are you waiting for? Grab your gear and head on down to beat the city heat!


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