Spend The Summer At London's Lidos

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 130 months ago
Spend The Summer At London's Lidos
Parliament Hill lido

With 2008 racing from winter to summer with nary a hint of spring to be scented, mid-May finds us enjoying glorious weather and turning our thoughts to happy days at the local lido.

Despite dozens of closures over the years since the lido's post-war heyday - inspiring such evocative imagery of lost sites in books like Paul Talling's Derelict London - many of London's lidos are still going strong, and some, like London Fields, have risen from decay and abandon to offer a new generation all the fun of the seaside in the inner city.

Coming in June, Londonist will really get it's lido on - we're planning to spend a day visiting every one on this list, because, well, just because. However, in the meantime, here's the skinny on the best in outdoor swimming London has to offer this summer:

Brockwell Park: Fresh off hosting its first Modern Movement Design Fair, Lambeth's popular lido will welcome visitors for the summer on 21st May. 020 7274 3088. Map.

Tooting Bec Lido, at 90 meters England's largest freshwater pool, throws its doors open on 26th May. Just be careful not to annoy the regulars - the South London Swimming Club call this home, and take their front crawl very seriously. 020 8871 7198. Map.

Charlton Lido, Shooters Hill Road, SE18 4LX. No opening details available at present - call 020 8856 7180 for more information. Map.

Park Road Lido, in Hornsey, opened for the summer on Saturday 3rd May. This popular destination operates a timed ticket system so it's worth calling them on 020 8341 3567 to see what's going on. Map.

Parliament Hill lido's art deco environs are yours to enjoy - it opened last Saturday. Unheated, this 60m pool attracts a wide range of north Londoners. 020 7485 5757. Map.

The Lido on the Serpentine opened on 1st May. This picturesque pool is open on weekends only, from 9am. 020 7706 7098. Map.

London Fields Lido - lovingly refurbished, this 1930s built lido re-opened in October 2006 after an 18 year closure. The 50m pool is heated and open year round. 020 7254 9038. Map.

The outdoor pool at Covent Garden's Oasis Sports Centre is open now until 9pm (weekdays only), meaning you can get in some last-ditch lengths as the sun begins to set. 020 7831 1804. Map.

Hampton Pool is another heated lido open all year round. 020 8255 1116. Map.

Richmond Pool offers 33 metres of cerluean enjoyment. It's also heated, and open year round. 020 8560 9679. Map.

Pic of Parliament Hill lido from Ti.mo's Flickrstream

Last Updated 09 May 2008