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News / City Life

Get your trunks on: London might be getting a new lido!

Wapping Lido plans

Down for a Docklands dip? Tower Hamlets Council has just green-lit a new lido at Shadwell Basin.

Two local organisations have won permission to build a new Olympic-sized, open-air heated pool right next door to the old dock. Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre and the Turk’s Head Charity want to turn Brussels Wharf into a mini resort, complete with a kids’ pool, café and even a canoe polo court. Glitzy!

Some locals aren’t happy, though. There have been complaints about a perceived lack of transparency in the planning process, and about the prospect of the area getting clogged with swimmers: more than 500,000 people are projected to visit every year, with big peaks expected on hot days. ‘Wapping is not a big place: it doesn’t take much to bring it to a halt,’ says Mark Baynes, who runs local news site ‘And if the lido is full, will you just get a lot more people swimming in the rest of the basin?’ (The old dock is a popular but dangerous place for wild swimming. Seriously: stay out of it.)

Still, if the people behind the pool can iron out those problems then we’re very tempted by the idea of a new lido for the East End. Catch you on the Costa del Shadwell?

Can’t wait to get wet and wild? Here are the best lidos and outdoor swimming pools in London.



Roman W

What is missing from this enthusiastic article is how the construction of the lido will affect local wildlife. There are waterbirds nesting in the area, and the nearby tree alleys hosts many small birds (tits, dunnocks, blackbirds, jays, magpies, crows...). A large part of this habitat will be destroyed by the lido.

Emma B

Given how often Wapping is isolated due to sporting events closing off the Highway and the resulting very limited access, how do the developers envision getting outsiders to the site reliably?  

Judith M

Could someone rescue Haggerston Baths next please?   And why was work on London Fields Lido planned for spring and summer?

Wouter V

Can someone explain to me why exactly it is so dangerous to swim in the Shadwell basin?

Matt H

The depth of the water... Just a little below the surface is extremely cold water that never warms. People dive in on hot days and have heart attacks; drown etc Quite a few deaths in the last 10 years

Roman W

@Matt H Many swimmers being "under the influence" doesn't help either.

The lido will be accompanied by a restaurant serving alcohol.