As we’re in the middle of summer and have been experiencing some hot weather recently, we’d thought we’d help you cool down by letting you know about the best places to live in London near lidos. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, a lido is an outdoor (usually public) swimming pool.
The lido in Herne Hill can be found in Brockwell Park, which is the beautiful expanse of space in the centre of the area. The lido is open from April till October and has a cafe onsite that has recently been voted Best Park Cafe 2011 by TimeOUt. The pool is 50m long and is surrounded by fantastic Grade II Art Deco buildings. Herne Hill is located in South-East London and is near to areas such as Brixton, Camberwell and Dulwich. It is small, yet trendy with it’s selection of bars, restaurants and independent shops.
The outdoor pools in NW5 are the Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds. The separate Kenwood Ladies Pond and Highgate Mens Ponds are open throughout the year, but the Hampstead Mixed Pond is only available to members during winter. Hampstead is a desirable and expensive area located in North-West London. It has a great selection of quality restaurants, independent and boutique shops and gastropubs.
Tooting Bec Lido can be found on Tooting Bec Common (also accessible from the areas of Balham and Streatham). The lido is open from May to September to non-members. Swimmers wishing to visit in winter must belong to the South London Swimming Club. The pool is 90m long and is the country’s largest outdoor freshwater pool. Tooting is located in South London and has good transport connections in the form of the tube which is on the Northern line. Tooting can offer a bustling high street with a supermarket, a handful of decent pubs and loads of curry restaurants which is second only to Brick Lane.
The Park Road Leisure Centre/Park Road Pools were opened in 1929 and are located in Crouch End in North London (N8). At 50m, it’s smaller than some of the other lidos on this page, but it does have diving areas, a kids pool, a sunbathing area and a cafe. Crouch End is a small and often overlooked area, which is trendy and is getting much less affordable by the week. The hub of the area centres around Crouch End Broadway which has a real village feel to it.
The lido available to the public in Hackney is located at London Fields. This lido was nearly closed but a long 18 year battle by the locals saved it and it reopened on a regular basis in 2006. There are two cafes located with the heated 50m lido.
Hackney is located in East London. It offers quick and easy access into the City.
Only for those with a bottomless wallet, if you want to live near a lido in one of the richest parts of town, then the Serpentine in Hyde Park is for you. Obviously though you don’t have to live near it to travel into Central London and bask in this most glorious of outdoor pools. Unless you belong to the Serpentine Swimming club, you’ll be unable to access the lido during early mornings and the winter, but other than that you’re welcome to join in the fun amongst the ducks and swans that may float past you during your leisurely breast stroke. Only parts of the lido (kids paddling pool for instance) are chlorinated and heated.
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