London Lido Openings this Christmas
Create a new tradition with your friends and family by taking a festive dip this Christmas! Here's our pick of pools to swim this Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
London Fields Lido
Of course, we have to start with the Lido from the 'hood, with an Olympic sized 50m pool, heated to 25 degrees, this Hackney pool has become a locals favourite. Open Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, the resident Hoxton Beach Cafe will be serving mince pies and mulled wine.
Psst. don't believe what you read online about it being closed for refurbishment until Spring 2017, that work has been put back and Hey! Holla can confirm they are open for festive fun as usual!
East London | London Fields Lido | Christmas Eve 8am-3pm | Boxing Day lunchtime swim, 10am - 12pm, £4.80. Tickets available from reception on the day | call 020 7254 9038
Where does Father Christmas go to chill out after a long night of sleigh riding and squeezing down chimneys? Hampton Pool on the outskirts of Royal Bushy Park of course. Join Santa for a festive breakfast of scrambled eggs and salmon from the cafe, washed down with a Bucks Fizz or mulled wine. Er...yes please!
No need to worry about the temperature at this outdoor pool, they heat the lido to a tropical 28 degrees! It's always a fantastic atmosphere and you can earn your second helpings of Christmas dinner and Quality Street, by doing a few laps on Christmas morning.
South West London / Middlesex | Hampton Pool | Open Christmas Eve 6am-2pm, Christmas Day 8am - 12 noon, Boxing Day 8am - 2pm. New Year's Day 8am-2pm. No Booking Required. Peak Prices apply £7.10 for adults and £4 for juniors | Call 020 8255 1116.
This Boxing Day morning go swim off that Turkey down at the Charlton Lido, just down the road from Greewich. Christmas jumpers and Santa hats are thoroughly encouraged, in fact there's prize for the best outfit so make it count!
As well as the main pool, heated to 25 degrees, the gym and group cycle are also open so you can get get cracking on the new year's fitness resolutions early.
South East, Charlton/Greenwich | Charlton Lido | Boxing Day Swim 9am -11am, Group Cycle 9.30 -10.30am, Gym 9am-11am | £6 Non members, £5 if booked in advance online.
Park Road Lido
Park Road Lido is situated in Crouch End not too far from Ally Pally, they have two sessions this Christmas Day morning, but you'll need to move fast as there's a capacity of just 60 people in each. If you miss out you can always head down to this 22 degree heated pool for a festive dip on on Christmas Eve.
North London, Crouch End | Park Road Pools & Fitness | Christmas Eve 7am - 5pm £4,70 | Christmas Day, two sessions 10.15am-11.00am and 11.00am - 11.45am £5.60 |No booking required on Christmas Eve. Bookings for Christmas Day must be made in advance, call 020 8341 3567.
Cold water swimming...
BrockwellBrockwell Lido is a much loved Art Deco landmark in Brockwell Park, Herne Hill. The pool is open this Christmas eve for a morning dip, but you'll need to brace yourself as this cold swim is not for the faint hearted! Check out their Twitter page for daily temperature updates.
South London | Brockwell Lido | Christmas Eve 8.30am-12noon | £3.00 with £3.10 for a Sauna bolt on. Wetsuits and boots allowed and encouraged!
Please note Lido Cafe will not be open, so no yummy Christmas Eve brunch and the Christmas Day charity swim is fully booked.
Serpentine Lido, Hyde Park
Who doesn't love a bit of tradition at Christmas? The annual Christmas Day 100 yard open air race hosted by the Serpentine Swimming Club has been going since 1864, without missing a single year! Not even a bit of ice can deter these brave souls. In 1870, the Daily Telegraph reported that "...in no country save Happy England could such a scene be witnessed...had to break three inches of ice before sufficient water to enable the race to be swum" Brrr.
The oldest swim club in London, may only be for club members, but a lovely Christmas Day stroll through Hyde park on Christmas morning to go watch the swimmers take the plunge is a real experience.
Fun fact! It's called the "Peter Pan Cup" as J. M. Barrie himself provided the silverware and even presented it for a few years!
Central London | Hyde Park | Christmas Day 9.00am | FREE, view from the banks!
Photo Credit: Madeleine Waller, her book 'East London Swimmers' is available now from Hoxton Mini Press. We just love these images of real swimmers in their day clothes and swimwear side by side, so striking. Check out Madeleine's books for more great 'real life' photography gems.
Let us know your favourite outdoor swimming spots in the comments below!