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Hampstead Heath swimming ponds
Photograph: Anutr Tosirikul / Shutterstock

Hampstead Swimming Ponds are getting a £700k makeover

The ponds will become more disabled-friendly with better facilities for all users

Chris Waywell
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Chris Waywell
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One of London’s most beloved leisure spots, Hampstead Swimming Ponds, are set to receive the better part of a million pounds in investment to improve their facilities for all swimmers.

The main focus of the proposed improvements is to make all the Ponds more accessible to disabled users. Works will take place at Highgate Men’s, Hampstead Mixed and Kenwood Ladies Ponds, with new toilets and changing facilities for all swimmers. Impetus has been given to the project by the growing number of people using the Heath’s bathing ponds, partly prompted by the legacy of London’s lockdowns.

A hoist will be installed at the Men’s Pond, and a wheelchair ramp at the Mixed Pond. There will also be new changing rooms and improvements to the showers at Parliament Hill Lido. 

The Ponds are run by the City of London Corporation, who said in a statement: ‘The objective is to create inclusive layouts at the bathing ponds which will enable ambulant disabled and wheelchair users to enjoy these unique bathing facilities. The key project aim across all the locations is that the facilities are fit for purpose, taking account of the increase in visitor numbers, along with ensuring the configuration and layout is adapted to enable bathing load to be managed more effectively while ensuring the swimming facilities are welcoming to a diverse range of visitors.’

The works are slated to begin next year. The Corporation hopes to not stop access to the Ponds altogether during the upgrades, saying ‘a phasing plan [is] being considered to allow normal swimming to continue where possible’.

So you should still get your freezing morning dip in.

More info and updates are available at the Corporation of London’s site.

Find more brilliant London lidos and outdoor swimming ponds.

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