London’s best outdoor pools

52in52 challenge: 8 lidos in 8 days – in May 2015, team Exerk swam a different lido (aka outdoor pools)

Go Exerk yourself: Explore London’s amazing outdoor swimming pool/ponds. Some are heated, others not, some are pools, others wild ponds. All beat indoor chlorinated pools.

Entry fees range between £2.50 – £6.70. Best to check the websites (links below) for opening times and prices as they depend on the season and time of day. Make a splash!


1. Oasis, WC2H 9AG (25m indoor, heated; 27.5m; outdoor, heated)

2. Hampton Pool, TW12 2ST (36m, outdoor, heated)

3. Serpentine, W2 2UH (100m, outdoor, unheated, open water)

4. London Fields Lido, E8 3EU (50m, outdoor, heated) - closed for refurbishment at the moment

5. Brockwell Lido, SE24 0PA (50m, outdoor , unheated)

6. Parliament Hill Lido, NW5 1NB (60m, outdoor unheated)

7. Tooting Bec Lido, SW16 1RU (91.5m, outdoor, unheated). Tooting is largest fresh water, open air swimming pool in England

10. Kings Cross PondN1C 4BE (25m kidney shaped, outdoor, unheated). Make sure you book in advance as they limit the number of people per day due to water being plant filtered.

9. Hampstead Heath PondsN6 6JD (Mixed, mens and ladies, outdoor, unheated)


Things to bring:

  • Swimming costume
  • Goggles
  • Money for entry fee
  • Coin for lockers (20p/ £1 normally)
  • Towel
  • Plastic bag for wet stuff
  • Shampoo
  • Work clothes
  • Wetsuit for the unheated lidos (optional)
Annabel Ross