Swimming, boating and lidos in London

Rent a boat on one of London's lakes or cool off with a swim in one of London's outdoor pools or lidos.

There are many options for swimming or being on the water in London. In the summer, relax outdoors in London on a lake in a rowing boat or pedalo; or take a refreshing dip in one of the city's outdoor swimming pools or London lidos some of which are heated throughout the winter! We round up the best places for boating and outdoor swimming in London.

London's outdoor swimming and lidos

Hyde Park's Serpentine Lido

Go for a dip in Hyde Park's Serpentine Lido, which is home to The Serpentine Swimming Club (known for its Peter Pan Cup swim on Christmas Day). Come summer, you don’t need to be a member, so don your swimwear for a few lengths before refueling at the Lido Café and Bar. Open 1 June to early September (plus weekends and bank holidays in May)

Tooting Bec Lido

 

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Make a splash at Tooting Bec Lido, the oldest purpose-built open-air pool in London. At 90m (295ft) in length, this pool in Tooting is among the largest of its kind in Europe and is bordered by a grass area, a paddling area for children and a cafe. Open May to September (club swimming year-round)

Oasis Sports Centre

Take on a few lengths in Oasis Sports Centre's 27.5m-long (90ft) pool, the only public heated outdoor swimming pool in central London. Surrounded by a sunbathing deck and patio, this tranquil haven hidden in Covent Garden also has a poolside sauna and a smaller indoor pool. Open year-round

Hampstead Heath ponds and Parliament Hill Lido

Choose from four beautiful Hampstead Heath swimming pools, including three freshwater Bathing Ponds and the unheated Parliament Hill Lido. Giving a feel of “wild swimming”, these pools are some of the most picturesque spots for outdoor swimming in London. Open year-round (the mixed bathing pool is closed during winter)

London Fields Lido

Enjoy a toasty swim at London Fields Lido, which is maintained at a comfortable 25C (77F). This 50m (164ft) heated outdoor lido in London first opened in 1932 and was later closed for 18 years until it reopened in 2006 with a sunbathing terrace and cafe. Open year-round

Brockwell Lido

Marvel at Brockwell Lido’s art deco features, including its clock and Grade II-listed pavilion buildings, during a swim at this south London outdoor pool. Situated in a quiet corner of Brockwell Park, the lido first opened in 1937 and boasts a sunbathing area, cafe, sauna and gym. Open year-round

Charlton Lido

Head to south east London where you’ll find the 50m-long (164ft) Charlton Lido. Part of a large fitness complex that also includes a high-tech gym and a studio, this Olympic-sized outdoor pool is heated to 25C (77F), so you can swim even in winter – make sure to pre-book your slot in advance. Open year-round

Hampton Pool

 

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Relax at Hampton Pool, which is set in woodland on the outskirts of Bushy Park. This 36m-long (118ft) tiled pool is kept at 28C (82F); while its 12.5m-long (41ft) shallow pool is one of the best swimming pools in London for learner swimmers. Soak up the sun on a grassy area next to the pool between swims. Open year-round

Boating in London

Hyde Park’s Serpentine Lake

Navigate around on a pedalo, drift along on a rowing boat or hop aboard the solar-powered SolarShuttle at The Serpentine Lake. This vast body of water covers a large part of Hyde Park and is the focal point for many of the park's activities. Available April to 31 October

Regent's Park

Make use of boat hire in London’s glorious Regent's Park, which boasts a boating lake that’s home to many species of water birds, including herons nesting on the islands. There’s a separate Regent’s Park boating lake for children that’s open at weekends, bank holidays and school holidays only. Available late March to late October

Battersea Park

Rent a rowing boat or a pedalo and spend a leisurely few hours exploring Battersea Park’s boating lake during spring and summer. Make sure to keep an eye out for herons, grebes and cormorants along the way. Available school holidays, public holidays and weekends between Easter and late September