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Two women relax at the poolside at Parliament Hill Lido.

Swimming at Hampstead Heath

Open-air swimming is internationally famous on Hampstead Heath with the Ladies' Pond, the Men's Pond, the Mixed Pond and the Parliament Hill Lido. The Ladies' and Men's Ponds are unique in the United Kingdom in being the only life-guarded open-water swimming facilities open to the public every day of the year. The Lido is a 60 x 27 metre uncovered, unheated swimming pool at Parliament Hill.

How to get here

See our Hampstead Heath map (2MB)

View our Google Maps:

Please note that apart from life-guarded areas of swimming ponds, swimming in Hampstead Heath ponds is very dangerous and not permitted.

Parking

Paid car parks serving the Lido and Mixed Pond are available at the Lido and our East Heath Road car park respectively; and pay-and-display street parking is available on Millfield Lane serving the Men's and Ladies' ponds.

For more information, please see our Getting to Hampstead Heath page.

Opening times and charges

For opening times and charges, please see the following pages:

Contact us

If you'd like to contact us about swimming at Hampstead Heath, please email hampstead.heath@cityoflondon.gov.uk or call us on 020 7485 3873.

Water temperatures for swimmers

Lido: 23°C; Men's Pond: 22°C; Ladies' Pond: 22°C, Mixed Pond: 22°C as of 25 August 2016.

Environment Agency bathing water quality

Water quality at designated bathing water sites in England is assessed by the Environment Agency. Their website displays the results of these tests for the Ladies' Pond, the Men's Pond and the Mixed Pond.

Cold water swimming guidelines

An independent safety audit of the Heath swimming facilities by Amateur Swimming Association has identified medical issues surrounding physical acclimatisation (Habituation) and psychological acclimatisation associated with all year round recreational swimmers who enter water that is below 12°C degrees.

Three main problems associated with immersion in cold water have been identified:

  • numb freezing cold injury
  • hypothermia
  • sudden immersion syndrome (SIS)

Before this activity is commenced, it is recommended that a medical check up occurs with the examining doctor having been told the purpose of the examination. For physical habituation and psychological acclimatisation to occur, swimmers should continue from summer through autumn into winter, preferably three or four times a week, although only brief immersion is necessary to achieve habituation, say for the order of two or three minutes, on each occasion.

For more information, please call us on 020 7485 5757.

Weather information

Five day weather forecast from the BBC​​​​

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Published:
14 May 2012
Last Modified:
25 August 2016

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