Swimming in the great outdoors
TAKE A DIP OUTSIDE THIS SUMMER IN WEST LONDON’S BEST FACILITIES
THE summer holidays are edging ever closer and outdoor swimming pools can be the perfect places to keep your kids cool and happy, splashing around over the long break.
Whether you fancy lounging by the pool or plunging into a park lake, you can’t beat swimming al fresco on a sweltering summer’s day.
West London has a handful of child-friendly lidos and outdoor pools perfect for families who fancy a dip.
From a Grade II listed lido to a leisure centre pool with sunbathing decks and saunas, these are the places you can swim outdoors in and around west London. Serpentine Lido
The Serpentine Lido and its accompanying paddling pool in Hyde Park are great for both adults and children. It is open seven days a week from June 1 to September 12. Alongside the Serpentine Lido is a café, sun terrace and children’s play area.
Hyde Park, S Carriage Drive, London W2 2UH
Hillingdon Outdoor Pool Formerly known as Uxbridge Lido, the Grade II-listed, 50m, open-air swimming pool was reopened in 2010 and is now one of the best lidos in the country.
The outdoor pool has been restored to its 1930s glory, complete with cascades (fountains) at both ends and a new heated shallow splash pool for children.
The outdoor pool is now open for the season through to the autumn.
Gatting Way, Uxbridge UB8 1ES
Oasis Sports Centre
Oasis Sports Centre, located in the heart of Covent Garden, is a delightful heated outdoor swimming pool. The pool is open all year round and is surrounded by patio areas, a sunbathing deck and sauna. Even Prince William is partial to a swim!
32 Endell Street, London WC2H 9AG
Pools on the Park, Richmond Since 1966, Pools on the Park has provided countless people with one of the most holistic leisure facilities in the area.
Located just a minutes’ walk from Richmond train station, Pools on the Park lido is a great spot to watch life go by and enjoy a cooling swim on a hot summer’s day. Richmond Council begun managing the pools in April last year and has invested significantly to improve both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, including introduction of the surround lights to enable evening swimming.
Old Deer Park, Twickenham Road, Richmond TW9 2SF
Tooting Bec Lido
Built in 1906, Tooting Bec Lido is one of Britain’s oldest lidos.
It is also the biggest open-air freshwater pools in the country, measuring 91.44 metres long by 30.18 metres wide.
The alternating bright red, yellow, and green doors of the changing cubicles seen above the turquoise water make the Lido a popular location for filming – Brad Pitt’s boxing scene in Snatch was filmed there.
Tooting Bec Lido, Tooting Bec Road, London SW16 1RU
Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds
Hampstead has three different ponds for swimming – one for men, one for women and one mixed.
The men’s and ladies’ ponds are open all year round, but to use the mixed pond in the winter season you must join the Hampstead Heath Winter Swimming Club.
The ponds can be chilly, even in the summer.
Hampstead Heath, London NW5 1QR
The Serpentine Lido; (bottom left) Hillingdon Outdoor Pool; (bottom right) Oasis Sports Centre