Lidos in London for a refreshing dip
The very best lidos and pools in London and Surrey where you can escape for an al fresco swim
Tooting Bec Lido
Europe’s biggest outdoor freshwater pool opens its doors to the public from April to September and is one of the most popular lidos in London. At just over ninety metres long, the pool is almost double Olympic proportions, leaving lots of room for each swimmer to bask in the sunshine whilst they bob up and down the lanes. The pool also has iconic multi-coloured changing huts and they provide the perfect backdrop reminiscent of the traditional English seaside, and as the water is unheated you really can imagine that you’re taking a dip in the brisk English sea. Make sure to arrive swim ready and book in advance on the Places Leisure website or app to ensure you get a spot in the water.
Brockwell lido is more than a pool, it’s a dynamic facility nestled in the corner of Brockwell Park hosting a range of fitness classes and events. 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 book a swim slot early so you don’t miss out. Once you’re in, reap the health benefits of some serious swimming in the unheated pool, then 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 a superb gym, three exercises studios and a fantastic spa and sauna. Afterwards, stretch out on the grass in Brockwell Park and enjoy the sunshine.
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 to keep the kids busy and give you an hour’s peace over the long summer holidays starting from April 25th 2022 and runs for 12 weeks . 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 on colder days. Note that both indoor and outdoor pools might be subject to closures on a day to day basis due to recent shortage of lifeguard staff.
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 all the family. The pool even runs a series of moonlight dips – a swim under the stars is a great way to cool off after a hot summer’s day. Book through their app, and be sure to also book the poolside swim and BBQ club. The club meets four times a week from April to October.
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 are now open for the Summer 2022 Season (from 30th of April to September 11th), keeping 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 book in advance and get there early to find a parking space. The Lido also hosts screenings and events. In the past, guests have been welcome to enjoy an evening swim and slides before settling down for a film screening. 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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