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cold water swimming

Top cold water swimming spots in London and Surrey

Cold water swimming has become increasingly popular in recent years, and London and Surrey are home to a number of excellent spots for taking a dip in chilly waters.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape from city life or an energising way to start your day, there are plenty of options that await on your doorstep and a little further afield. Here are some of the top spots for cold water swimming in London and Surrey.  

Make sure to check the opening times and water temperatures before you go, and always swim with caution and follow the rules and guidelines of each location. 

1 Tooting Bec Lido

Note: Tooting Bec Lido is presently closed for a major refurbishment and is scheduled to reopen later this year.

At 90 meters long and 33 meters wide, Tooting Bec Lido is the largest freshwater swimming pool in the UK. It is open for public swims throughout the year, though you have to have an SLSC membership for a winter dip. Brad Pitt’s boxing “pool” scene in Snatch was filmed at the Lido.

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2 Brockwell Lido

Brockwell Lido offers a 50-meter pool that is open year-round for chilly swims. The water changes temperature depending on the weather, and the pool also features a sauna and steam room for those looking to warm up after their swim. 

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3 Buckland Park Lake, Reigate

Buckland Park Lake, located in the charming village of Buckland near Reigate, is open for wild swimming, so you can swim in the clear waters surrounded by beautiful scenery. It is suitable for both experienced and novice swimmers. If it is your first time, remember to sign up for the Introduction to Cold Water Swimming and Immersion course with The Surrey Hills Adventure Company. SHAC also offers wetsuit hire. 

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4 Hampton Pool

This one might be a stretch as it qualifies as cold weather swimming moreso than cold water. This open-air swimming pool situated in the picturesque Hampton is heated to a comfortable 28°C. It also features a children’s pool, a cafe, and a sunbathing terrace. The pool is open year-round, and visitors can purchase a single swim or a season pass. The pool also offers a range of activities, including moonlight swimming sessions. 

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5 Guildford Lido

Note: Guildford Lido is closed for the 2022/2023 winter season for refurbishment work.

One of the most popular spots for outdoor swimming in Surrey, the lido features a 50-meter outdoor pool located amongst lush landscaped gardens. It has been serving Surrey locals since June 1933.

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6  Hampstead Heath Ponds

Located in the heart of Hampstead Heath, these swimming ponds offer a refreshing break from the heat of the summer months. The Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Ponds are open to the public year-round and offer a unique experience of swimming in natural waters. There’s also Parliament Hill Lido if wild swimming is not your thing. 

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7 Serpentine Lido

This one is somewhat of a long shot, but if you manage to get accepted into The Serpentine Swimming Club – the oldest swimming club in Britain – you can get your cold plunges in the heart of Hyde Park. Not to mention you’ll then have a chance to enter their famous race on Christmas day.