London's secret scenes

  • Feature_coldswimming.JPG least you'll have the pool to yourself

    Cold swimming

    With Britain’s lakes and rivers cleaner than ever before, outdoor swimming – popular with hearty types back in the early 1900s – is making a comeback. The Outdoor Swimming Society believes that swimmers have too long been held in chlorinated captivity, and will be making its point with a 500m dip in the Serpentine (wetsuits compulsory) on September 30, in aid of Cancer Research UK. Members of the South London Swimming Club take the plunge all year round in Tooting Bec Lido, and in January hosted the UK’s first Cold Water Championships when an overnight frost dropped the temperature to a challenging 3°C. Why not put your woolies on and take the plunge?For details contact the Outdoor Swimming Society ( or the South London Swimming Club (

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