Swimfinity and beyond: What are the best swimming pools in London?

Do you know that London is home to many remarkable swimming pools? From Olympic-sized aquatic arenas to secret urban sanctuaries where you can perfect your butterfly stroke, this metropolis has it all.

Whether you’re a freestyle fanatic, a synchronised swimmer, or just in it for the poolside cocktails, join us as we unveil the most exquisite and enticing swimming pools that the British capital has to offer. 

So grab your swimsuit, sunscreen, and a sense of adventure, because we’re about to reveal the best swimming pools in London if you want to make a splash!

Crystal Palace National Sports Centre

Media from better_uk

Location: Ledrington Rd, London SE19 2BB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8778 0131

Website

Crystal Palace was the swimming venue for the 1948 London Olympics. Yes, you read that right. It’s soaked in history and has been the backdrop for some of the world’s best athletes making a splash. 

The legacy lives on, and the pools have been modernised to continue to attract both professionals and casual swimmers.

Today, it offers a variety of pools to cater to all levels of swimmers. There’s a 50-meter competition pool, a diving pool, and even a warm-up pool. Whether you’re a seasoned swimmer or just a water baby looking for some fun, they’ve got you covered.

Balham Leisure Centre

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Location: Elmfield Rd, London SW17 8AN, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8772 9577

Website

The main pool at Balham Leisure Centre is often affectionately referred to as the ‘Hydro’ – and for a good reason. With its 33-meter length, it’s perfect for both casual swimmers and aspiring Olympians. It’s like having your own slice of the ocean right in the heart of London.

It’s not all about the water here, though. Balham’s got a fully-equipped gym, group exercise classes, and a sauna to unwind in after your swim. It’s a one-stop shop for fitness enthusiasts.

The London Aquatics Centre

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Location: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E20 2ZQ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8536 3150

Website

First things first, this place is a stunner! Designed by the acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid, the Aquatics Centre boasts an eye-catching, wave-like roof. It’s so mesmerising that it’s practically an art piece in itself. 

The London Aquatics Centre was also the star of the show during the 2012 Summer Olympics. Fast forward, and it’s still carrying the Olympic torch. The pools are state-of-the-art, making it a mecca for elite swimmers and inspiring the next generation of aquatic champions.

Oh, and the London Aquatics Centre also features a leisure pool with water slides, wave machines, and fun water features. Talk about fun!

Brockwell Lido

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Location: Brockwell Park, Dulwich Rd, London SE24 0PA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7274 3088

Website

If you’re the kind of swimmer who revels in the great outdoors, Brockwell Lido is your paradise. It’s an outdoor pool, and let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like doing your laps under the open sky. Here, you can breathe in that fresh air, and let the sun or stars be your witness.

London’s weather can be quite unpredictable, but the pool’s water is heated. So, whether you’re plunging in on a scorching summer day or a crisp winter morning, the water is just right.

Now, here’s the cherry on top. The Lido is nestled in Brockwell Park, a lush, green haven in South London. After your swim, you can laze on the grass or take a leisurely stroll through the park. It’s like a two-for-one deal for nature lovers.

Marshall Street Leisure Centre

Media from everyoneactive

Location: Marshall St, London W1F 7EL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7734 4325

Website

Marshall Street Leisure Centre has the James Bond of swimming pools – suave, sophisticated, and boasting a dash of history. It was built in the 1930s, so when you swim here, you’re doing laps in a pool with a side of nostalgia.

This 30-meter pool is perfect for everyone from serious swimmers to those looking to do a casual doggy paddle. After your swim, you can indulge in some well-deserved relaxation at the sauna and steam room. It’s like a spa day without the hefty price tag.

Camberwell Leisure Centre

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Location: Artichoke Pl, Camberwell Church St, London SE5 8TS, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7703 3024

Website

Whether you’re the Michael Phelps of your local pool or just a beginner finding your aquatic legs, Camberwell has you covered. The 25-meter pool welcomes swimmers of all levels.

During the summer, Camberwell even opens its outdoor pool, making it the perfect place to soak up the sun while you swim. And beyond swimming, Camberwell offers a range of fitness classes. From aqua aerobics to spinning, there’s something to cater to all your exercise needs.

Golden Lane Sport & Fitness

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Location: Fann St, Fane Lane, Golden Lane Estate, London EC1Y 0SH, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7250 1464

Website

Let’s start with the basics, shall we? The water at Golden Lane Sport & Fitness is a sparkling, crystal-clear masterpiece. If you’ve ever hesitated to take a dip in a murky pool, you won’t have to worry here. It’s so clear you could almost mistake it for liquid sapphire.

One of the standout features here is the versatility. You’ve got a 25-meter main pool for your serious laps, but there’s also a separate learner pool – perfect for beginners or those just looking for a relaxed dip.

Central YMCA

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Location: 111 Great Russell St, London WC1B 3NP, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3994 9600

Website

Founded in 1844, this is one of our city’s oldest pools, making every swim a dip in the pages of London’s past. Besides, Central YMCA is a holistic health and wellness centre. You can go for a swim, work out in the gym, and even unwind with a post-swim sauna session – it’s a one-stop shop for well-being.

The Castle Centre

Media from everyoneactive

Location: 2 St Gabriel Walk, London SE1 6FG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7091 4243

Website

Castle Centre is perfectly situated in the heart of South London, specifically in Elephant and Castle. This means that it’s not only easily accessible but it’s also surrounded by a lively neighbourhood that’s constantly buzzing with energy. 

Alright, let’s get to the star of the show – the pool. The Castle Centre boasts a 25-meter, six-lane swimming pool, which is just the right size for a variety of activities. 

Charlton Lido

Media from better_uk

Location: Hornfair Park, Shooters Hill Rd, London SE18 4LX, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8856 7389

Website

One of the standout features of Charlton Lido is its Olympic-size, 50-meter pool. It’s the same length as the pools you see during the Olympics. So if you want to enjoy a good, long swim, this pool is your mecca.

After all that swimming, you’re bound to work up an appetite, and Charlton Lido has you covered. They have a cafe that not only serves delicious food but also offers a fantastic view of the pool. 

Finchley Lido Leisure Centre

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Location: Great North Leisure Park, High Rd, London N12 0GL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8343 9830

Website

Finchley Lido Leisure Centre boasts a location that’s as enviable as a front-row seat at a rock concert. 

Situated in the heart of Finchley, North London, it’s got the charm of a quiet suburban oasis without being too far off the beaten track. That means you can get your splash on without navigating the city’s chaos.

If regular swimming isn’t thrilling enough for you, Finchley Lido Leisure Centre has something that will really float your boat – a wave machine. They can transform the pool into your very own mini ocean. It’s like a tropical vacation… minus the sunscreen and jet lag.

Hampton Pool

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Location: High St, Hampton TW12 2ST, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8255 1116

Website

Hampton Pool’s heated waters are a year-round treat. That’s right, whether it’s the icy grip of winter or the sweltering heat of summer, you can count on the water being just the right temperature. Say goodbye to those shocking cold-water wake-up calls!

But wait, there’s more. Hampton Pool proudly embraces the ‘lido’ tradition. What’s a lido, you ask? It’s not just about swimming, it’s a way of life. Think sunbathing, socialising, and, of course, swimming, all rolled into one glorious poolside package.

Ironmonger Row Baths

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Location: 1 Norman St, London EC1V 3AA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3642 5520

Website

Here, you can enjoy indoor and outdoor pools, depending on your mood and the weather. On a sunny day, the outdoor pool is pure bliss, while the indoor pool is a cosy retreat when the British weather decides to do its thing.

Now, here’s the kicker – Ironmonger Row Baths also uses a saltwater system. This saltwater is gentler on your skin and eyes. So, you can splash and swim without the usual heavily chlorinated after-effects.

The Laboratory

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Location: 1A Hall Ln, Mill Hill, London NW4 4TJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8457 3300

Website

The Laboratory is an Aquatic Research Center that collaborates with universities and researchers to study the benefits of water-based activities. So, when you swim here, you’re essentially contributing to a pool of knowledge (pun intended).

Let’s talk about water quality. They’ve developed a groundbreaking water filtration system that’s not only eco-friendly but also provides you with crystal-clear water that’s free from harsh chemicals. So, no more itchy skin or red eyes after your swim.

London Fields Lido

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Location: London Fields West Side, London E8 3EU, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7254 9038

Website

London Fields Lido is no ordinary swimming pool. It’s a whopping 50 meters long, making it an ideal spot for those serious about their laps or anyone just looking to stretch out and float. 

Let’s face it, London’s weather can be a bit unpredictable. But London Fields Lido defies the rain and cold with an outdoor pool that’s open year-round. 

Oasis Sports Centre

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Location: 32 Endell St, London WC2H 9AG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7831 1804

Website

The Oasis Sports Centre is perched on the roof. So, as you glide through the water, you can enjoy sweeping views of London’s iconic skyline. It’s like a swimming experience with a built-in sightseeing tour.

And we can’t talk about the Oasis Sports Centre without mentioning affordability. In a city where costs can make your wallet weep, this place offers fantastic value for money. Memberships won’t break the bank, and they frequently run special offers. 

Parliament Hill Lido

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Location: Parliament Hill Fields, Gordon House Rd, London NW5 1LT, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7485 5757

Website

Parliament Hill Lido sits high atop the glorious Hampstead Heath, offering breathtaking panoramic views of London. Imagine doing your laps with a backdrop of the city’s skyline in one direction and the lush green expanse of the Heath in the other. 

What makes this place truly special is its extra-long pool, stretching 60 meters. That’s twice the length of an Olympic pool! If you’re serious about your laps or just want to stretch out your strokes, this is your aquatic haven.

Pools on the Park

Media from poolsonthepark

Location: Old Deer Park, Twickenham Rd, Richmond TW9 2SF, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3772 2999

Website

Pools on the Park sits alongside the serene River Thames in Richmond. Picture yourself swimming as you watch the gentle flow of the river. It’s like having a built-in soundtrack of soothing water while you take your laps.

What’s great about this place is that it boasts not one but two outdoor pools. One for serious swimmers who want to churn out their laps and another for those who prefer to paddle leisurely while soaking up the sun! 

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