Think of wild swimming and your first thought might not be a dock in east London. But our capital city has a plethora of outdoor swimming options for Londoners and tourists – so on your next trip, don’t forget to pack your swimming kit!
As well as London Royal Docks, a swimming tour of the capital should include the Ponds on Hampstead Heath. For a taste of lido culture, try Brockwell, Parliament Hill or Tooting (members only in winter) – or if you prefer heated lidos, try Charlton or London Fields. Membership of the Serpentine Swimming Club will get you access to the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park, or travel south to the new wild swimming pond in Beckenham Place Park. Many venues are open all year round. Head further out of London for a choice of lakes that offer safe wild swimming, including Shepperton, Heron, Bray and Dorney lakes.
London isn’t the only European capital city with wild swimming opportunities. We feature some great urban swim locations each month in Outdoor Swimmer magazine, including Berlin, Paris, Helsinki and more!
In the meantime, here are some of our favourite urban swim events, a great way to get to know local swimming communities.
Swim Serpentine, London
City Swim, Amsterdam
2 Bridges Swim Under the Walkway, USA
Portland Bridge Swim, USA