4 PLACES TO TAKE AN OUTDOOR DIP IN LONDON
Swimming is always a popular pastime with children in the summer months, but it’s easy to rule it out when visiting a city such as London. This does not have to be the case, however, as the capital is home to some fantastic outdoor swimming pools and lidos. Just add a spot of sunshine and you have the recipe for a fun family day out.
Read on to find out where you and your little ones could be splashing about this summer.
The Serpentine Lido
The Serpentine is a recreational lake in Hyde Park, which has been enjoyed since 1730, when Queen Caroline ordered its creation. You and your family can follow in the footsteps of previous generations and enjoy the area of the lake known as the lido. This section is cordoned off from the rest of the users, making it perfect for a natural dip devoid of boats or chlorine. Make a day of it and hire a sun lounger in the private sunbathing area and watch the younger children splash about in the paddling pool.
From 1 June to early September, you can access the Serpentine Lido daily between 10:00 and 18:00.
Tooting Bec Lido
Another historic swimming spot you may wish to experience is the Tooting Bec Lido. It was opened to the public in 1906, making it one of the UK’s oldest open-air pools, as well as the largest at 91.44m long and 30.18m wide. That will give you and your family plenty of space to swim against the iconic backdrop of the red, yellow and green doors of the changing rooms. You will also be surrounded by bird-filled trees, which conceal the pool from the rest of Tooting Bec Common.
Tooting Bec Lido is open to you between 06:00 and 20:00 every day from the beginning of May to the end of August.
Your family will love Hampton Pool, not just because this open-air lido boasts turquoise waters, but is also heated and features two slides. It has retained its classic style, which dates back to 1922, despite a few additions over the years to make it more user-friendly. As well as the 36m-long main pool, there is a children’s pool, which perfect for teaching your younger ones to swim.
Hampton Pool is open 365 days a year, but it’s worth checking the timetable for public swimming hours, as it varies from day to day.
Kenwood Ladies’ Pond
If the women and girls over eight-years-old in your family like to swim in a female-only environment, then Kenwood Ladies’ Pond will suit perfectly. Alongside the stunning natural landscape of this swimming spot on Hampstead Heath, there is a dedicated changing area, benches and pegs for your possessions and a sunbathing area.
You can swim from 07:00 at Kenwood Ladies’ Pond throughout the summer months, although the closing times vary.
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