Spotlight on outdoor swimming

Charlton Lido

Located in Hornfair Park, Charlton Lido (main pic) and Lifestyle Club boasts an Olympic- size heated outdoor pool.

After being opened in 1939, the lido has had an interesting past, becoming an emergency water supply for fires during the Second World War and briefly a skatepark in 1978.

The pool was shut in 1989, with some efforts to reopen over the years, but a £2million renovation in 2013 has restored the swimming pool to its former glory.

It is now part of the fitness club which also offers an outdoor fitness space, tennis courts, a gym and a sun terrace.

The lido is open for lane swimming and must be booked in advance.

Beckenham Place Park Swimming Lake

For swimmers who fancy a dip on the wilder, and colder, side, the lake in Beckenham Place Park has a swimming area.

The lake was originally dug in the 1800s by the owner John Cator, but was filled in to create a golf course in the early 1900s.

Now restored to its original glory, the 285metre long lake is the perfect place to enjoy the water, with the company of the lake’s resident ducks.

There is also a beach area for paddling for those not brave enough to take the chilly plunge.

The park, which is Lewisham’s biggest green space, also has a cafe, a ball court, football pitches and a tennis court.

Swimmers must be more than eight years old and must be able to swim.

Tooting Bec Lido

Located on Tooting Bec Common is another outdoor swimming option – Tooting Bec Lido.

This pool is one of the oldest in the UK, opened in 1906.

The iconic red, yellow and green changing room doors have made it a popular place for filming, including Guy Ritchie’s gangster movie Snatch.

The pool is the largest freshwater pool in the UK and also has a cafe.

Sessions must be booked in advance.

Brockwell Lido

Nestled in the corner of Brockwell Park, in Brixton the lido is a much-loved landmark which has been at the heart of the local community since 1937.

The 50m pool is surrounded by art deco Grade II-listed buildings that house the Lido Café and exercise studios.

As well as swimming, the lido offers outdoor classes such as Zumba and group cycle.

Lane swimming is £8 and can be booked online.

…and London Royal Docks

Just over the river from Greenwich is another spot for a wild swim.

Located in the historic Victoria Dock, Love Open Water London is one of the most iconic open water venues in the world, providing a unique opportunity to experience open water swimming with beautiful views.

Swimming loops are set out in the docks to prevent swimmers crashing into each other, and there is also a casual area and swimming courses available, meaning the docks can be enjoyed at any pace and level.

Changing facilities are not available at the moment.

A session is £8 plus a £12 annual membership fee and bookings must be made in advance.



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