In London, you’re never too far away from anything, except perhaps the seaside, but that’s what London lidos are for. From the hip to the historic, the cool to the quirky, there is one for every taste. As temperatures soar this week, it is time to dive in.
Golden Lane Sport and Fitness – Old Street
Fancy a rooftop swim in the heart of the City? Golden Lane is the place to be. Part of the Fusion Leisure group, alongside swimming, also on offer are the high-tech gym and outdoor courts for tennis and netball as well as martial arts classes including Karate, Tae Kwon Do and Judo.
Brockwell Lido – Brixton
Dating back to the 1930s, this Grade II-listed art deco gem boasts a whopping 50m pool, open all year around. While icy dips may not be for you, once the temperatures soar, this is the place to be. The cafe serves one of the best brunches on the weekends while there are also on offer open-air film screenings.
Ironmonger Row Baths, Islington
Another 1930s gems in the heart of London is Ironmonger Row Baths, originally opened as a wash house in 1931. Following a £17m facelift, the leisure centre now offers lavish luxuries including Turkish hammam in the basement (now operated by Spa London), a trio of hot rooms, two saunas, two steam rooms and an ice-cold plunge pool. Beneath a stunning top-lit ceiling is the 30-metre pool. And if you fancy wider fitness options, there is also a state-of-the-art gym.
£4.45 Off Peak ( Between 8.30am – 4pm & weekends ) £4.85 ( Between 6.30am – 8.30am / 16.00pm – 21.30pm )
Oasis Sports Centre, Covent Garden
Yes, indeed, an oasis located in the heart of the West End. Oasis Sports Centre offers an outdoor heated pool, along with a sunbathing deck as well as an indoor pool, gym and squash courts. With a heated pool of course, swimming is not just for summer, but the whole year around – if you so fancy!
Tooting Bec Lido
Tooting Bec Lido boasts Britain’s largest swimming pool at a spectacular 92m. Built back in 1906, sadly it is unheated but its quirky character with the colourful changing cabinet doors lining up alongside the pool and pace clocks at either end of it, it more than makes up for it. While you have to be a member to swim during the colder months, non-members are welcome between the warmer months of May to September.
Monday-Friday & Weekends: 6.00-19.00
Parliament Hill Lido, Hampstead Heath
Another art deco classic from the 1930s is the Parliament Lido at the southern tip of Hampstead Heath. Following a 2005 refurbishment, it now boasts a stainless steel liner – the first of its kind in Britain, and at a whopping 61 metres it doesn’t disappoint in length either.
London Fields Lido, Hackney
Another heated outdoor pool is on offer at Hackney’s London Fields Lido which first opened in 1932, and has reopened in 2006, after 18 years of petitions and campaigning. Open all year around, summer is when London Fields Lido comes alive with inflatables galore on Wednesdays and barbeques on Saturdays.
Monday-Friday & Weekends: 6.30-21.00
Park Road Lido, Crouch End
At 50m by 23m Park Road is one of the largest lidos in London, and has been a popular summer swimming spot since 1926. Following an £8million investment at Park Road, the lido has been given a complete makeover, with brand new changing areas, bathroom facilities, a new reception area and cafe.
Charlton Lido, Hornfair Park
Following a £2 million refurbishment, Charlton Lido reopened to the public in 2013. One of the few heated pools in the city, the 50m pool is a popular spot fro swimmers through the year, getting even busier in the warmer months. If you tire of swimming, take a break working out at the gym, replenishing at the cafe or simply enjoying the sun on the balconies. There is also a beautiful lavender and rose garden which is an absolute gem.
Hillingdon Lido, Uxbridge
Formerly known as Uxbridge Lido, the Grade II-listed, 50m, open-air swimming pool was reopened in 2010 as 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. Also available are a heated splash pool for young swimmers and another 50-metre indoor pool as well as a wide range of fitness options art the Hillingdon Sports and Leisure Complex.