Our favourite Lidos in London for a refreshing dip
If you don’t have the luxury of a long-haul in the pipeline, we’ve got the antidote – the very best lidos in London and Surrey where you can escape the summer heat
Tooting Bec Lido
Europe’s biggest outdoor freshwater pool opens its doors to the public for the summer months and is one of the most popular lidos in London. At just over ninety metres long, the pool is so vast that even when the sun is shining and the poolside is packed with sunbathers, there is always room to swim without getting jostled. The pool’s iconic multi-coloured changing huts are reminiscent of the traditional English seaside, and as the water is unheated so you really can imagine that you’re taking a dip in the brisk English sea.
Brockwell lido is more than a pool, it’s a dynamic facility nestled in the corner of Brockwell Park that hosts eclectic events with everything from film nights to furniture fairs. The local community are kind enough to share it with the wider public, but word about this urban sanctuary has spread, so make sure you get there early to ensure the best sunbathing spot. Once you’re in, you’d be foolish not to spend the whole day at the lido. Drop the kids off at the crèche if you fancy doing some serious swimming, and enjoy a well-earned lunch at the award-winning Lido Café. Behind the doors of the art deco Grade II-listed buildings which surround the pool, you will find wet and dry side changing rooms, a superb gym, three exercises studios and fantastic spa and sauna.
Pools on the Park
The Richmond pools offer a more affordable alternative to the area’s exclusive Riverside Club. Combine your visit with a walk along one of the most attractive stretches of the River Thames and cool off in the outdoor pool while enjoying the gorgeous views of grassy Old Deer Park. The pools offer swimming lessons and float sessions to keep the kids busy and give you an hour’s peace over the long summer holidays. If you are inspired by your summer swimming sessions, there is both an indoor and an outdoor pool, so you can carry on pursuing this healthy habit in the comfort of a warm leisure centre during the cold winter months.
A local favourite, Hampton Pool is located in the woodland area of Bushy Park and a trip here transports you to the luscious English countryside. Equipped with a children’s pool ideal for little ones still in armbands, as well as a large grassy area, and a rooftop café selling everything from breakfasts to delicious homemade bakes, it’s a great spot for a family day out. There is a self-cook barbecue on Tuesday, Sunday and bank holiday Monday evenings and members are encouraged to bring their own food and join in the fun. The pool even runs a series of sell-out concerts during the summer, as well as moonlight dips – a swim under the stars a great way to cool off after a hot summer’s day.
Whether you’re after some serious swimming or looking for a place to unwind with friends, Guildford Lido is a Surrey spot to suit you. Water slides and toddler pools will keep the kids occupied for hours on end while you can enjoy lounging on the grass or taking a dip. The Lido is one of Guildford’s biggest attractions, with families flocking from all areas of London and Surrey to this sanctuary, so make sure you get there early to find a parking space. The Lido also hosts screenings and events, with family favourites like Finding Nemo and Pitch Perfect being screened over the summer months. Guests are welcome to enjoy an evening swim and slides from 7pm – 8pm before settling down for the films at 8.30pm. Come equipped with a picnic of your own, or treat yourself to a cocktail and some delicious Mexican snacks from the Burrito Loco shack on site.
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