In this blazing London heatwave (which, by the way, we were most definitely not prepared for), there is nothing I want to do more than cool off by jumping into a cold, crisp outdoor swimming pool. Ahh, what bliss. The fantasy definitely beats the reality of my slightly pathetic sprinkler in the garden which I currently have to make do with. But let’s be real, London isn’t exactly a beachy, sun-drench resort known for its array of luxurious swimming pools and palm-shaded cocktail shacks. But fear not, London does have a few outdoor watering holes which are prefect to cool off in during those scorching summer days. While they may not exactly be comparable to that infinity pool with a view in Santorini, there are definitely a few hidden gems in London which are definitely worth a visit. So, if that tickles your fancy, read on to find out the 5 best outdoor pools in London to cool off in this summer.
The Serpentine Lido, located in London’s iconic Hyde Park, is the perfect spot to cool off in this summer. Unlike the other options, the Serpentine Lido is actually in the Serpentine fresh-water lake which makes it an ideal spot for those of you who love nature and a bit of adventure. But be warned, the water is cold. The Serpentine Lido is very reasonably priced and at only £4.80 for an adult, it’s definitely a must cheaper alternative to the Italian lakes. With this glorious heatwave, a sun-drenched fresh-water lake and a chilled San Pellegrino from the Lido café, you might as well just be in Lake Como. Same same but different, am I right?!
2.Oasis Sport Centre
Located at the Oasis Sport Centre in the heart of the West End is London’s only heated outdoor swimming pool. The 27.5m outdoor pool is surrounded by patio areas and even a sunbathing deck, making it the perfect sunbathing spot for long summer days and chilling with your pals. There is also a sauna overlooking the pool if you fancy a relaxing steam during your visit which is definitely a reason unto itself to make a visit at one of these outdoor pools in London.
The Parliament Hill Lido is definitely a hidden gem to explore if you are looking for somewhere to cool down in the London summer heat. Located on the trendy Hampstead Heath, this outdoor pool is a great place to take a picnic and enjoy a day out in the sun. Fun fact: out of all the outdoor pools in London, this is the only stainless steel lined outdoor pool in the country! So, if diving into a giant shiny metal bowl was on your bucket list, you can tick that right off. Definitely a valid reason to visit, right?!
4.Hampstead Heath Ponds
Another great place to go for a dip if you are in the Hampstead Heath area isthe Hampstead Heath Ponds. These ponds are run by the City of London Corporation and were originally dammed-off clay pits but are now open to the public as baths to swim in. There are 3 pools in total: the ladies’ pool, the mens’ pool and the mixed pool. So, if you want to avoid the crowds and utter mayhem of the traditional London lidos, head down to the Hampstead Heath Bathing Ponds and treat yourself to a unique and very un-London like day out.
5.Pools on the Park
Located in Old Deer Park in Richmond, the Pools on the Park is a lovely day out if you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of overheating central London in the summer. Richmond’s Pools on the Park has a gorgeous view of the park and at only £4.90 entry for adults, it can make for a pretty cheap but very enjoyable day out. However, be sure to bring your own snacks. Unless you want to have a hole burned into your pocket after buying a snack for double the normal price, that is.
There you have it, 5 of the best outdoor pools in London to cool off in that prove that us Londoners don’t have to make do with a paddling pool in our gardens this summer.