Now that the summer is creeping up on us and it’s starting to get warmer (sort of) outside I have been thinking about where I want to swim, particularly where to practice for those open water triathlons. I have listed below a few of my favourite places to swim or places that have been recommended to me. I will be writing a blog post soon to talk about what you need and what to remember when swimming in open water. It’s important to be prepared and safe people!
London Aquatics Centre – 50m – Because who wouldn’t want to swim in the 2012 Olympic pool?
Kentish Town Sports Centre – 30m – This is probably one of my favourite pools in London. It has history as it used to be the town hall and has a lovely wooden viewing platform and a huge glass ceiling. However the best thing about the pool is that it’s only lane swimming.
Ironmonger Row Baths – 30m – Another recently refurbished pool in London, taken over by Better Gyms (Better have a lot of good pools, worth checking one out in your area)
Serpentine Lido (actually in the Serpentine 30 x 100) – I swam here a lot last year with my wetsuit in hand and I definitely wasn’t the only one. Pretty murky but what do you expect really. Either way great to have some outdoor swimming in central London and one can always run around Hyde Park afterwards.
Oasis Covent Garden – 27.5m – Outdoor heated pool which has also been taken over by Better Gyms (like many of the others in this list) right in the middle of a block of flats…I would definitely consider this urban swimming 🙂
Hampton Pool – 36m – I swam in here over my birthday last year and it was lovely. It’s heated all year round with a nice grassy area to one side and a roof terrace cafe. One could easily spend the whole day here.
Hampstead Ponds (Ladies, Mens & Mixed) – I practiced for my first ever open water triathlon here, it was the very first time I wore my wetsuit and it felt so buoyant! I have however been told that is usually under the lifeguards discretion to allow people to wear wetsuits.
Parliament Hill Lido – 60m – I have a feeling this may be my 2nd home in the summer as I now live pretty near, yay!
Tooting Bec Lido – 90m (SAY WHAT) – now this is what I am talking about.
Stoke Newington Reservoir – I took part in my first duathlon here in September and had to pull out 3/4’s of the way round the swim. It’s nevr a good feeling pulling out of a race but I knew I made the right decision. I was so cold and my chest was tightening, I felt like I could hardly breathe. As mentioned above I will be writing a blog soon about open water swimming, especially in terms of safety and relaxation in the water. However it was a great place to swim and has only been open for the last couple of years (I think) and does sessions on Thursday, Saturdays and Sundays.
London Fields Lido – 50m – Another lovely heated pool all year round. There is definitely something wonderful about swimming in warm water and getting that slight shock every time your arm comes out for the next stroke when it’s a bit chilly outside!
Noteworthy outside of London
Cambridge – Jesus Green – 91.44m – one of the longest pools in the country.
Cheltenham – Sandford Park Lido – 50m – Heated outdoor Lido surrounded by grass for picnics or just sunbathing post swimming. It has those old wooden changing rooms like Hampstead Heath Ponds, great place to swim but like any lido in the summer gets pretty packed.
Surrey – Shepperton Lake – This lake is beautiful and great to cycle and run around afterwards. I got a bronze medal here a couple of years ago, for an all female 750m swim so this place has good memories for me.
Middlesex – Merchant Taylors School – Run by Hercules Events, I used to swim at Stanborough Lakes with these guys and then they moved to this private lake last year. It’s a lovely course with changing facilities in the school and they do sessions on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Thanks for reading #preparedtoswim x