The whole country is longing for some sun to bask in, and working out exactly what their holiday plans are going to look like this summer. If you do end up staying much closer to home this year, then why not have a microadventure in the big city and give wild swimming in London a go.
Despite what you might think, London is actually home to some genuinely great wild swimming spots (or, if you prefer, open water swimming spots). We can’t think of a better way to cool off on a hot day in the city than by going for a swim at one of the locations below
“London is actually home to some genuinely great wild swimming spots”
With countless articles written on the subject, the mental and physical benefits of wild swimming have been the talk of the town in recent years. Combine that with a, not unrelated, cult following for wild swimming on social media and it’s fair to say the activity is “having a moment” right now.
Without further ado, here’s the best places to swim in London.
West Reservoir Centre (Hackney)
First up, we’re heading to a spot in East London. This location is home to 23 acres of water, and comes with an accompanying urban background. If you’re a little bit on the wild side and have a passion for swimming, then you should put the two together and head on down to the West Reservoir Centre in Hackney.
This stretch of water presents you with two open water courses – a 400m loop and a 100m warm-up lane. You can book a 50-minute slot for as little as £10 via the Better UK app.
Over the years, these waters have been home to sailing boats, kayaks, and canoes. When it comes down to it though, you’ll find that it’s open water swimming that’s at the heart of the West Reservoir Centre.
Serpentine Lido (Hyde Park)
A wild swimming in London list would not be complete without a mention of the Serpentine Lido in Hyde Park. It just so happens to have the Serpentine Swimming Club in its waters – the oldest swimming club of its kind in Britain. It’s arguably one of the capital’s most iconic swimming locations, with the surrounding Hyde Park adding extra charm for good measure.
If you don’t want to join the historic swimming club, then the Lido is open to the paying public between 10:00am and 6:00pm on weekends. There is an excellent 100m swimming area, and a children’s paddling pool here for the little ones to enjoy as well. The Serpentine Lido, by the way, is also on our list of the UK’s best wild swimming locations.