Swim outside at Hampstead Heath Bathing Ponds
If the weather hots up during your visit, keep cool like a Londoner and head north to Hampstead Heath. The outdoor ponds here have offered a leafy swimming sanctuary for years.
There are separate ponds for men and women and entry is incredibly cheap: adults pay £2 to access any of the ponds for one day; children (under 16) are charged £1. Find out more about the three Hampstead Heath Bathing Ponds below.
Mixed Bathing Pond
Located near the southern edge of Hampstead Heath, this pond is for both men and women and is a 10-minute walk north from Hampstead Heath Overground station (or 20 minutes from Hampstead Underground station). It’s open all summer until 23 Sep, from 7am-6.45pm.
Kenwood Ladies’ Bathing Pond
This pond shares its name with Kenwood House, a beautiful English Heritage building in the north of the heath. The pool is for female bathers only and is located on the eastern edge of the heath, a 20-min walk north from Hampstead Heath Overground station (or 30 mins from Hampstead Underground station). This pond is open 365 days a year, usually from 7am, while closing times vary widely depending on the season.
Highgate Men’s Bathing Pond
The heath’s largest swimming pond is on the eastern edge of Hampstead Heath, between the other two bathing ponds. It’s only for male swimmers and takes about 15 mins to walk to from Hampstead Heath Overground station (or 25 mins from Hampstead Underground station).
Parliament Hill Lido
Don’t fancy jumping in a pond? For something a bit more civilised, Hampstead Heath’s Parliament Hill is also home to a lido (an outdoor, unheated swimming pool). It’s in the southeast corner of the heath, 15 mins on foot from Hampstead Heath Overground station and right next to Gospel Oak Overground. There are early morning, day and evening sessions, while prices start at £4 for adults or £2.50 for children (under 16).
For more information about visiting the Hampstead Heath Bathing Ponds, visit www.cityoflondon.gov.uk and don’t forget to check out this handy map of Hampstead Heath.