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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 our Bathing Ponds and the Parliament Hill Lido. The Ladies' and Men's Ponds are the UK's only lifeguarded 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:


Paid car parking is available at the Lido and East Heath Road car park and pay-and-display street parking is available on Millfield Lane. These collectively provide close parking for all our swimming facilities.

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 or call us on 020 7485 5757.

Swimwear guidelines

Wetsuits are allowed to be worn at the Lido and ponds. We ask swimmers to check with lifeguards first to make sure the wetsuit is suitable for swimming, e.g. not a thick diving suit.

Recognised swimwear must be worn at the Lido. Cut-down jeans and t-shirts are not permitted for hygiene and safety reasons as they can restrict a person's ability to swim. Swim caps are not compulsory.

Water temperatures for swimmers

Lido: 7°C; Men's Pond: 7°C; Ladies' Pond: 7°C; as of 19 November.

Environment Agency bathing water quality

Water quality at bathing water sites 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 our swimming facilities has identified medical issues surrounding the acclimatisation associated with year-round swimming in water cooler than 12°C degrees.

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

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

It's recommended that you seek a medical check-up before swimming in cold water, with the examining doctor having been told the purpose of the examination.

For acclimatisation to occur, swimmers should continue swimming from summer through autumn into winter, preferably three or four times a week. Only brief immersion is necessary for acclimatisation, for example: two or three minutes on each occasion. See our cold water swimming video for more information.

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

Weather information

Five day weather forecast from the BBC​​​​

Paddling pool

See our activities page for information on our paddling pool at Parliament Hill Fields.

14 May 2012
Last Modified:
19 November 2018