Serpentine Lido

Sport and fitness Knightsbridge
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)
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Serpentine Lido
© Celia Topping
Serpentine Lido

Early mornings and the winter months are the preserve of the Serpentine Swimming Club, but from May to September there’s a warm welcome for everyone in this section of the Serpentine lake – although the water is not heated. It’s not chlorinated either, a boon for swimmers who prefer to avoid the stuff, as well as to the wildlife (you may find yourself sharing a dip with the local ducks and swans). The gated family area with a (chlorinated) paddling pool, sandpit and swings means parents can relax while their children play. There's a private sunbathing area and sun loungers for hire and a kiosk within the lido grounds makes it possible to order from the popular Lido Café next door.

 

Posted:

Venue name: Serpentine Lido
Contact:
Address: Hyde Park
London
W2 3XA
Opening hours: 10am-6pm weekends and bank holidays in May; 10am-6pm daily June-Aug
Transport: Tube: Hyde Park Corner/Lancaster Gate
Price: £4.80, £3.80 concs, £1.80 children (over three), £12 family ticket (two adults and up to four children)
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Average User Rating

4 / 5

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LiveReviews|5
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Tastemaker

This is a great halfway house between a traditional pool lido and a full on open water swim because it's sectioned off so not as daunting as something like Hampstead Swimming ponds.


It is daunting in its own way for lots of other reasons. Firstly, it's still a lake so it has a population of ducks, geese and all of the things that come with wildlife. Secondly the changing facilities are sub par to say the least. Outdoor showers that you cannot use shower gel or shampoo in after swimming in murky water do not make you feel clean. The actual changing rooms are far too small as well.


The lido also opens fairly late, 10am, so it's not really possible to have an early swim to avoid the crowds although the earlier you go the better it is.


I thought the kids' facilities were nice and it's very reasonably priced too.

tastemaker

It's hot and sweaty. You're in London and all you want to do is jump into a cool mass of water. Welcome to the Serpentine! More famous for its paddle boats and Art Galleries, The Serpentine is also incredibly useful for cooling off on a hot day. Word of advice, it's a lake, not a pool. There will be plants, slightly murky water and swans...but this is why it's so great to swim in!

If you don't like moss around you toes, I'd give it a miss, or just dip your feet in the shallow end, but if you're willing to give it a go, I promise you it's totally worth it (even when there's a queue!). 

Take a towel and enjoy your surroundings while you're there too - it's a really unique opportunity and should definitely be added to your London Bucket List.


Well the swimming is nice and the small pool and play facilities for the kids are good. Location is great and there's a nice café next door.

But...

There are nowhere near enough lockers for the amount of people that use the facility.   I went last week and there must have been around three or four hundred people there.   There are approximately 40 lockers provided.   And there is no elastic band or wrist strap on the locker keys to let you wear it on your arm whilst you swim.   What do they expect you to do with the key ?   Why do the management consider it acceptable to run a facility with inadequate places to leave your valuables ?   It really isn't good enough.   Also, shower and changing facilities are dreadful.   2 open air cold showers by the lake - with the use of shampoo prohibited as the shower water drains back into the Serpentine.    Why couldn't they construct a small shower block nearby ?   There is plenty of room.   There are exactly 3 cubicles in the changing rooms (which is also the toilets) and the door opens right into the reception area - so if the changing cubicles are occupied and you have to get ready in the main room - every time someone opens the door, the whole queue at reception gets a view...

This place could be so much better if the people that ran it paid a bit more attention to the situation with the lockers, showers and changing areas.   All it would take is a little money and some common sense...

tastemaker

I came here a lot this summer for open water swim sessions by myself and with Swim for Tri technique sessions in preparation for my triathlon. The downside is there are no hot showers, only one pool-side straight after you get out. In the mornings there are ducks, and you do get the occasional feather or clump of pondweed in your face but it's all part of the natural open water experience. The views are so nice, and the lifeguards and staff are really friendly. There's also discounts for students - which is helpful. 


coool poool love it so much i cant wait to go back on tues i hope there are no more children around. its so lovely