Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds

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Britta Jaschinski / Time Out
North London

Originally dammed-off clay pits, the ponds are run by the City of London Corporation. It is consulting with local residents about essential works to protect against flooding, which – though unlikely – could be catastrophic if a large quantity of rain fell over an extended period. In the meantime, the three pools remain open to ladies, men and mixed groups (including accompanied children aged eight-15, at the lifeguards’ discretion) respectively. The Men’s and Ladies’ Ponds are open all year round but to use the Mixed Pond in the winter season you must join the Hampstead Heath Winter Swimming Club. Even in the summer the water is chilly.

Take a dip at more of London's lidos and public swimming pools

Venue name: Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds
Contact:
Address: Hampstead Heath
London
NW5 1QR
Opening hours: Open year-round: Men's and Ladies' Ponds 7am-8.30pm summer, winter (Sept-Mar) times vary; Mixed Ponds 7am-6.30pm daily, Weds in July until 8.30pm. Times are subject to adjustment due to daylight hours, see website for details
Transport: Tube: Kentish Town; Bus: then C2, 214 bus
Price: £2, concs £1

Average User Rating

4.9 / 5

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LiveReviews|7
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GT
Staff Writer

Bad luck boys, the Hampstead Ladies Pond is undoubtedly one of the prettiest spots in the whole of London. If you're not used to the whole wild swimming thing prepare yourself for a bit of a shock when first entering, when I went in early June it was still take-your-breath-away cold and required some ferocious paddling to warm up. But regardless it's an absolute delight - moor hens paddling around, an abundance of wild flowers and a picturesque meadow for sunbathing. Ahh London you really can be quite divine in the summertime.

Mura

A wonderful escape from manic city life.Having just moved here from a seaside town and year round seaswimming,I was finding my first week of London life a bit overwhelming.But walking down the path to the Ladies' Pond was like discovering a portal to another universe!The water was velvety and refreshing,the trees surrounding the pond cocoon you in green and the odd duck comes bobbing by! I thought I saw rubbish floating on the water surface but on approach,realised it was a feather.Fabulous.Winter pond swimming here I come!

Emily

There is nothing better than escaping the London hubbub by going swimming in an urban lake. Hampstead Heath is idyllic enough but the ponds themselves are on another level. Ignore the colour of the water though mind. The mixed pools cost a few pounds to attend. If you are lucky, you might even get to sit next to a celebrity in their swimming cozzie (Rupert Friend in my case...).

Sarah

A truly unique experience. Swimming in a pond in the middle of London is pretty unusual. The murkiness of the pond was slightly off-putting and made my bathers brown, though it washed out after.