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London Lido Listicle


Written by Don't Panic
18 Friday 18th May 2018

As London heats up, everyone's looking for an escape and if like most of us your following isn’t big enough to get you into any private member clubhouses, then outdoor spaces are the only route to summer salvation and there is nowhere better to cool off than in bodies of water filled with other bodies! London was once described as a 'city of lidos', and there were 67 in 1939 before people like the terrifying Trivago woman made people realise that there are much hotter, cheaper places than London meaning that public baths fell into disrepute. Luckily, like most things nowadays, the popularity of outdoor pools is cyclical and has now come full circle again. People have traded Tenerife for Tooting Bec and we created a lovely listicle that charts the best lidos and public pools in London this summer! 


Brockwell Lido, though it wasn't called a lido at the time, it was opened as part of the 'Golden Age of Lidos' in 1937 (what do you mean you haven't heard of it?), and closed in 1990, before being reopened in 1994 after an inspiring local campaign. Grade II listed, and located within the verdant Brockwell Park, (the new home of Field Day) There are pubs and even a Morleys within walking distance so that you can undo any health benefits gained by using the lido. See timetables here.



Tooting Bec Lido is not only London's largest outdoor pool, it is the largest swimming pool by surface area in the UK. It holds one million gallons of water, takes a week to refill and can hold a maximum of 1,400 swimmers at one time. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be people queuing out the door and around the corner on a hot weekend, however, so treat it like the latest Yeezy drop and turn up early. It's also London's oldest outdoor pool, having been opened to the public back in 1906 as Tooting Bec Bathing Lake.  More info here.


The Charlton Lido and Lifestyle Club in Hornfair Park. The last lido to be designed and constructed by the London County Council, it was opened as the Charlton Lido in 1939, and, like the Brockwell Lido, was designed by Rowbotham and Smithson. As the pool is heated, this isn’t just a summer staple, it hits hard all year round. See their opening times here.

And to finish off our list is Shadwell Basin, it's not a lido or a pool, which means its much less commercial than the other options on this list and boasts an edgier clientele. Expect beers, inflatables and skaters all summer long. Unlike some of the London Docks which have been landfilled, Shadwell Basin, the most easterly part of the complex, has been retained which means this rare dock isn't just filled with water and hipsters but history as well. 



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