September 05 2023
Without water parks in London, summer can get a little hot and sticky. So cool down with a dip in a historic London lido. Watch your little ones dash between London’s splash fountain jets extraordinaire. Or dip your toes in an outdoor pool. London has whatever floats your boat. Cool down in our pick of London’s best water adventures.
Swim in a historic lido, do laps among the ducks in a pond and discover the outdoor swimming pool in Central London you wouldn’t expect to find. Here are some of London’s best outdoor swimming spots.
Get your laps in at this Olympic-sized heated outdoor pool in Greenwich. The water in Charlton Lido is a toasty 25 degrees, and the leisure centre has a children’s pool, gym, café and sunbathing spots, too.
Tucked away in Covent Garden is the Oasis Sports Centre with its 27-metre heated outdoor pool. There’s a lovely sun terrace in this unlikely Central London outdoor swimming pool. On hot weekend days, this place gets crowded, so visit midweek and arrive early if you want a proper swim.
Hampstead Heath has three swimming ponds and the 60-metre Parliament Hill Lido. Hardy regulars have used the swimming ponds for decades, with a ladies’ pond, men’s pond and mixed pond. Older children can join in if they’re strong swimmers, but for a family splash-about, the lido is your best bet. Book ahead in summer.
Stomp in shallow water, chase jets and get soaked at these kid-friendly splash areas and water parks in London.
Watch children dash through 1,000 bouncing water jets at Granary Square Fountains in Kings Cross. Sunny days attract plenty of kids to this urban splash spot as they chase jets of water and giggle away the hours. At night, they light up too.
Visit Hyde Park and dip your toes in this memorial to Diana, the former Princess of Wales. Toddlers are welcome to paddle in the Diana Memorial Fountain, and the lawns around the fountain are wonderful for a picnic.
Take your children for a play session in the water at Kensington Memorial Park on St Mark’s Road. This is London’s largest outdoor water park, with fountains, tipping buckets and shower tunnels. There are tennis courts and a dry playground here, too.
After a busy day in the water, get a great night’s sleep in one of our Central London hotels, such as Thistle Bloomsbury Park, Thistle Hyde Park Lancaster Gate or Thistle Trafalgar Square. Enjoy splash-tacular spots right on your doorstep.