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Swimming

Two women relax at the poolside at Parliament Hill Lido.

Kenwood Ladies' Pond is closed this week while some work is carried out. As a substitute, there will be mixed swimming at the Mixed and Men's Ponds from 7.30am to 9.30am and women-only swimming at the Mixed Pond from 9.30am until 3pm.

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)

Find our swimming sites on what3words:

  • Parliament Hill Fields Lido: ///ruby.elder.tides
  • Men's Pond: ///class.jumpy.cure
  • Ladies' Pond: ///spaces.fantastic.crust
  • Mixed Pond: ///windy.smashes.slide

Parking

Paid car parking is available at:

  • The Lido car park: ///robe.resist.words
  • East Heath Road car park: ///tree.span.coast

Pay-and-display street parking is also available on Millfield Lane: ///volume.link.ally

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 us or call 020 7485 5757.

Swimwear guidelines

Recognised swimwear must be worn at the Lido and ponds. 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.

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.

Water temperatures for swimmers

Lido: 7°C; Men's Pond: 6°C; Ladies' Pond: closed; as of 9 December

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.

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

  • non-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 the Outdoor Swimming Society's website for more information on the risks of cold water swimming and how to acclimatise to cold water.

If you have any other questions, 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.

Published:
14 May 2012
Last Modified:
09 December 2019

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