London boasts more than its fair share of stylish and historic lidos. From the rural charm of Hampstead Ponds to the Art Deco chic of Brockwell Lido or Parliament Hill, outdoor swimming is an enduring and surprisingly accessible pastime for Londoners.
Outdoor recreation facilities are becoming increasingly important to homebuyers in London. We take a look at ten of the finest outdoor swimming spots around the city and select some beautiful homes available to buy nearby.
Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds
As the name suggests, this classic outdoor swimming spot is not for those who like their water chlorinated. Formed from clay pits, there are men’s, ladies’ and mixed ponds – all of which open year-round, but the mixed pond is only open to members during the winter months.
Nearby: Fleet Road, Hampstead, NW3
1 bed flat | £625,000
This luxurious one-bedroom garden apartment is perfectly located for Hampstead Heath and the Swimming Ponds. Design-led details such as marble worktops, NEFF appliances, Siematic kitchen and Alessi W.C. combine to create a tranquil and refined feel to this stylish North London abode.
The largest outdoor freshwater swimming pool in the country. 90 metres long and with colourful changing huts and a history dating back to 1906, Tooting Bec Lido is a true London treasure.
Nearby: Blakemore Road, Streatham, SW16
1 bed flat | £345,000
This one-bedroom period conversion flat in the heart of Streatham Hill offers a bright and spacious home within easy reach of Tooting Bec Common and Lido. Transport links from nearby Streatham Hill station bring Central London within easy reach.
London Fields Lido
A long campaign saved London Fields Lido from demolition, culminating in its reopening in 2006 and full refurbishment in 2017. Two cafes provide snacks and drinks, and the complex closes around lunchtime to make sure people don’t hog the space for too long!
Nearby: Mare Street, London Fields, E8
3 bed flat | £599,950
This flat, situated on one of Hackney's most vibrant streets, offers a bright, open-plan reception area with three bedrooms, one en suite. Located on the second floor of this modern development, residents benefit from the proximity to local amenities and transport connections.
Unheated and shared with the local wildlife, the Serpentine Lido is home to the oldest swimming club in Britain. Open to the public from May-August, the lido includes a sunbathing area, a chlorinated children’s paddling pool and a snack kiosk.
2 bed flat | £1,325,000
This magnificent apartment on Princes Gate boasts a 24' reception room, flooded with light from its three large windows. Located on the fourth floor of a striking Georgian terrace in the heart of South Kensington, this two-bedroom property combines all the charm of a period property with the luxury and convenience of contemporary living.
A great option for a serious workout, Charlton Lido’s Olympic-size pool reopened to the public in 2013 after extensive refurbishments. As well as the heated pool, you’ll find a café, gym and fitness studios at the complex.
Nearby: Gunyard Mews, Woolwich, SE18
1 bed flat | £250,000
A great value apartment within easy reach of Hornfair Park and the wonderful Charlton Lido. A private balcony and secure parking add to the appeal of this modern one-bedroom property.
A Grade II-listed facility, Parliament Hill Lido is an attractive option for those who don’t mind unheated water. Built in 1938, this red brick beauty overlooked by the surrounding houses is a retro experience not to be missed.
Nearby: Mansfield Road, Hampstead, NW3
1 bed flat | £425,000
This chic one-bedroom flat is moments away from Parliament Hill and Hampstead Heath, offering a wealth of outdoor space nearby with beautiful views across London. White painted floors, stylish gloss kitchen, spacious shower room and fitted glass wardrobes in the bedroom combine to make this a very appealing choice.
Another Art Deco jewel, Brockwell Lid hosts plenty of events throughout the year to keep locals pouring through the doors. Furniture fairs, cinema nights and even the odd wedding make this a wonderful community venue for Herne Hill residents.
1 bed flat | £550,000
This bright apartment with airy open-plan reception and kitchen area is located in desirable Herne Hill. Standout features include beautifully aged wood floors, large windows and a generously-sized dual-aspect bedroom.
For those who tend to feel the cold, Hampton Pool is heated to 28C all year round. Large grassy areas with picnic tables make this a great spot to spend the whole day when the mercury starts to rise.
Nearby: Thames Street, Hampton, TW12
2 bed house | £550,000
This end-of-terrace two-bedroom house is ideally located close to Hampton High Street. Attractive front and rear gardens, conservatory and large reception room make this an appealing prospect for young families.
Park Road Lido
A popular 50m pool near Crouch End, Park Road Lido is heated and offers swimmers the option of either lane swimming or fun sessions during busy periods. A children’s pool, sunbathing areas and a diving section make this an excellent choice in North London.
Nearby: Rosebery Gardens, Crouch End, N8
2 bed flat | £499,950
Crouch End is an enduringly popular location thanks to its village feel and attractive period properties. This two-bedroom apartment on the second floor offers a bright reception and dining area, modern bathroom and Juliet balcony off the kitchen.
Pools on the Park
A favourite since its construction in the 60s, Richmond's Pools on the Park offers indoor and outdoor options, as well as spa facilities and a fitness centre. During the summer the outdoor pool is open every day, while only morning swimming is offered during the winter months.
Nearby: Catherine Drive, Richmond, TW9
1 bed flat | £650,000
Located near the train station and centre of Richmond, this modern two-bedroom flat in a purpose-built development offers a wealth of style and convenience. Each bedroom includes built-in storage, while the large reception area provides the perfect space for relaxing and entertaining.