The sun is out, and the sweltering heat of summer is here! Grab a cool beverage, pack your beach towel and sunscreen, and don your most stylish pair of shades. It’s time to go open water swimming in London!
Now that you are ready to dive headfirst into some cool, refreshing water, read about the best wild swimming spots in London and surrounding districts.
Beckenham Place Park
In 2019, this 200-year-old lake was restored for visitors of all ages and skill levels to enjoy a lovely place of peace and wild outdoor swimming in London.
The surrounding park is 96 hectares, complete with a garden, cafe, and other outdoor facilities, making it suitable for a whole day of family fun! We encourage you to book a one-hour time slot through their website before visiting.
Hours of operation:
- Monday-Friday: 7 am-3 pm (Tuesday/Thursday closed)
- Weekends: 8 am-3 pm
Location: Beckenham Hill Rd, Beckenham BR3 1SY, United Kingdom
Price: £6 for non-Lewisham residents and £3.50 for children
Lewisham residents pay £5 and £3 for children
(Family package 5 people with a maximum of 3 adults £16)
More information: Beckenham Place Park
London Royal Docks
The London Royal Docks sit in front of the outstanding backdrop of Canary Wharf. Water is pumped into the pools from the estuary, making it an excellent location for wild swimming in London.
The Docks feature changing facilities, equipment for rent, and food and drinks, all within a five-minute walk from one another. The hours of operations vary for London swimming, so check out their website before you go.
And since you are already in the area, take a look at our list of great things to do around Greenwich.
Hours of operation: One-hour slots are open from 7-8 am to 10-11 pm
Location: Dock Road, Royal Docks London E16 1AH
More information: London Royal Docks
London Fields Lido
The London Fields Lido is a 50m Olympic open-air pool complete with a cafe. This facility offers heated swimming in the winter for year-round enjoyment. They also provide a variety of lessons for children and adults and spaces for free swimming.
Hours of operation: Monday-Sunday, 6:30 am-9 pm
Location: London Fields West Side Hackney, London E8 3EU
Price: Various memberships are offered, including monthly, weekly, and daily packages
More information: London Fields Lido
Serpentine Lido Hyde Park
This 100m lake was created in 1730 as an ornamental lake and is well known for its “Christmas Day Races,” otherwise known as the “Peter Pan Races.” This event is now only open to members of the swimming club due to the freezing temperature of the water.
They are currently closed and will be opening back up in the summer of 2023; we are sure this will be the new “hot spot” for swimmers of all levels. They will also offer waterside tables.
Check their website for updates, times, and prices. You don’t want to miss this rare chance to swim outdoors in London!
Location: Hyde Park, London, United Kingdom
Kenwood Ladies’ Pond
This is for our more experienced female swimmers; Kenwood Ladies’ Pond is a women-only spot with deeper, colder waters. Kenwood Ladies’ Pond sits right on the edge of Hampstead Heath and is also one of the unique places to enjoy outdoor swimming in the London area.
Hours of operation: 2023 TBC
Location: Ladies’ Pond, Hampstead Heath, London NW3 1AS
Price: Adults £4.25 / Concession £2.55 (if paying with cash, please bring exact amount as no change is given or pay by contactless card)
More information: Kenwood Ladies’ Pond
Tooting Bec Lido
Measuring 91.5 metres, Tooting Bec Lido is one of the biggest outdoor lidos (open-air pools) in London. It is popular, so make sure you visit their website to book a slot before you arrive.
Tooting Bec Lido is located in an excellent spot for those keen to explore London. If you are looking for a place to stay around the Lido or in South London, peruse our suggestions.
Hours of operation:
- 7 am-2 pm in April
- 6 am-8 pm until 31 August
- 6 am-5 pm (or dawn, whichever is later) from September onwards
Location: Tooting Bec Rd, London SW16 1RU, United Kingdom
Prices: Adults (16+): £8.30 / Child,Senior,Concession,Student £5.20
More information: Tooting Bec Lido
The River Colne is near the Rickmansworth Aquadrome—out in Zone 7. It is worth journeying out here for the cool, shallow, nature-edged waters and the chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
You might be able to find free parking at Rickmansworth Aquadrome, Frogmoor Lane, WD3 1NB. If swimming in the River Colne is not for you, you can also check out the Aquadrome for their swimming facilities.
Location: Follow the footpath from Bury Lake
More information: Rickmansworth Aquadrome
West Reservoir Center
This wild swimming location is for experienced swimmers only. They provide a cafe for those who need a bite to eat or drink.
There is a 220m loop and a 100m lane. Book a 1-hour time slot on their website.
Location: Green Lanes, Hackney, London N4 2HA
More information: West Reservoir Centre
Mixed Bathing Pond
This swimming spot is for men and women alike. Located in Hampstead Heath, this pond provides changing rooms and outdoor showers. The pool is deep, and lifeguards are on duty, but only strong swimmers are encouraged to visit.
Location: Mixed Pond, Hampstead Heath, London, NW3 1BP
Price: Adult £4.25 / Concession £2.55 (payments can be made by exact change or contactless card)
More information: Mixed Bathing Pond
Highgate Men’s Bathing Pond
Highgate Men’s Pond is another one of the places to swim in London, located in Hampstead Heath. This pond is strictly for men who want to try wild swimming.
Hours of operation: 2023 TBC
Location: Men’s Pond, London, NW3 1BP
Price: Adult £4.25/ Concession £2.55 (payments can be made by exact change or contactless card)
More information: Highgate Men’s Pond London
Other places to go Swimming in England
River Wey Surry
River Way is the best starting place for those new to wild swimming. With its bright green scenery and sandy spots, this is a tranquil location with relaxing, natural water. Take a towel or a picnic mat as there are no benches to rest on along the river.
Location: Take the train from Waterloo to Guildford. It is a short, easy walk from Guildford station to the river.
Standborough Park Swimming
Stanborough Park is a great place for outdoor swimming and water sports in London. It is a 400-metre training spot for open-water swimming.
Lake swimming is strictly prohibited outside of their open water swimming sessions. Children are allowed over the age of 14. If under 16, they must be accompanied by an adult from the same household.
Hours of operation:
- Saturdays from April 2023: 08.00 to 10.00
- Wednesdays from April 2023: 17.30 to 19.30
Location: Standborough Road, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire AL86DF
More information: Stanborough Park
Frensham Great Pond
Another great spot in Surry North is Frensham Great Pond. The number one rule here is to stay inside the marked areas. The water is shallow, and there are beaches to rest on and a small cafe for refreshments.
- Hours: car park closes at 9 pm
- Location: postcode GU10 2QB
- Parking price: Monday-Friday is free entry
- Weekends/Holidays £4.00
More information: Frensham Great Pond
Gartenart Swimming Ponds
With clean water, fresh flowers, and beautiful landscapes, Gartenart is a perfect Instagrammable moment.
2023 open days TBC.
More information: Gartenart Swimming Ponds
True naturists who love the wild swimming experience should look no further than Falling Foss. Though technically not too close to London, this one is worth the 4-hour drive!
There is an exquisite waterfall complete with a pool for swimming. Head here to enjoy the nature of the area.
There is a rustic tea garden cafe for snacks and drinks when you feel hungry after your swim. It makes an excellent option for a unique and memorable family outing.
Location: Falling Foss, Whitby, North Yorkshire
More information: There is ample parking around Falling Foss and Falling Foss Tea Garden
Best Wild Swimming Spots in London Revealed
If you are looking for family-friendly adventures, this list of the best wild swimming spots in London and the surrounding areas has you covered!
Now you know where to go swimming in London, remember to swim safely and wear proper attire for swimming. Some of these wild waterholes will be colder or more dangerous than others. Follow the rules of each swimming location provided on their websites.
If you are interested in checking out more things to do around London, visit our website. We have a variety of activities and itineraries for adults and kids alike.