You won’t need to look far to find innumerable quotes proponing the myriad benefits of heading into the great outdoors for a swim. And, now that the capital is finally experiencing some sunnier days, there can be no better time to seek out one of London’s famous lidos and get moving.
With this in mind, we’ve curated a list of our favourite spots, both public and private, in the city to head for a dip. Time to take the plunge.
Step back in time: Shoreditch House
If you aren’t lucky enough to be a member of Shoreditch House yourself, then it’s time to start sweet-talking somebody who is — since they’ll be able to bring a plus one to the house’s glorious rooftop swimming pool. Instantly recognisable, thanks to its 1920s-inspired decor (think red and white-striped loungers and tasseled parasols), the pool also afford views across London’s East End and iconic skyline.
Where: Shoreditch House, Ebor Street, London E1 6AW
Enjoy a Moroccan-inspired marvel: The Curtain
Another exclusive entry on the list, the lido on The Curtain rooftop is only open to members and hotel guests, but we’d recommend booking yourself in for the night just for the experience. With a retractable glass roof and Moroccan-inspired pool, this is a year-round dining destination which also features a day-to-night brasserie. So, after taking a dip, you can enjoy fresh, seasonal fare whilst drinking in some seriously big sky views.
Where: 45 Curtain Rd, Hackney, London EC2A 3PT
For the fitness junkies: Charlton Lido & Lifestyle Club
Charlton Lido boasts a heated 50 metre pool overlooked by an incredible cycle studio (in case swimming isn’t enough of a workout). The Olympic-sized pool in the heart of Greenwich reopened to the public in early 2013 following a £2 million refurbishment, so makes for a seriously impressive fitness destination.
And, once you’ve had enough exercise, the facility has two sun terraces — perfect for soaking up the sun whilst sipping a cool drink from the Coffee Corner, open from June to September.
Where: Hornfair Park, Shooters Hill Road, Greenwich, SE18 4LX
A chic West London hideout: White City Soho House
One of Shoreditch House’s cohort of glamorous siblings, White City’s Soho House has placed West London firmly on the map as a creative hub. Set in the former BBC headquarters, there is much to attract any would-be members — in particular its gorgeous rooftop pool with playful paintwork, brightly coloured loungers and retro feel.
Where: White City House, Television Centre, 101 Wood Lane, W12 7FR
Swim above the skyline: The Berkeley
Long a firm favourite with locals and tourists alike, the seventh floor terrace pool at The Berkeley is surrounded by panoramic views across the city. And, it’s Belgravia bellissima this summer — as its rooftop terrace has been transformed into a slice of the Italian coast. Capturing the classic style of the Riviera — loungers are shaded by lemon trees, and guests can enjoy tricolore salads, limoncello sorbet and an Aperol Spritz poolside.
Where: Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RL
Make a day of it: London Fields Lido
The best thing about London Fields Lido? It’s heated. While many of London’s lidos require a nerve-stilling shot of whiskey to get you in the water, this Hackney pool is a comfy 25°C all year round. Go early if it’s sunny as the place gets packed, then pick up some goodies from nearby Broadway Market for a picnic in London Fields afterwards.
Where: London Fields, London, E8 3EU
Now, take a look at the best swim shorts for summer this year…