London’s Best Child-Friendly Swimming Pools
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London’s Best Child-Friendly Swimming Pools

Splish splash

It’s getting hot out there… Desperate for a refreshing swim, little ones in tow? Whether they’re just learning the ropes or they’re ready and raring to take your breath away with underwater handstands, there are plenty of child-friendly pools in London ripe for the splashing.

London’s Best Child-Friendly Swimming Pools

London Fields Lido, Hackney

Conclude your dog-filled stroll around London Fields with a dip in the lido, where a sun deck, sunbathing areas and outdoor, heated 50 metre pool awaits. The ‘free swim’ area is perfect for families, and lessons can be booked, too.

How Much? £5.70 for adults, £3.35 for children. Under 3s go free.

Find It: London Fields West Side, London E8 3EU. better.org.uk

Park Road Pool, Crouch End

North Londoners can make the most of Park Road’s 50×23 metre pool – one of London’s largest lidos. If the sun doesn’t shine, never fear: there’s a large indoor pool to enjoy, too. As well as family swimming for fun, parents can take up special toddler swim classes, with autism friendly classes available, too.

How Much? Lido swims are £8 for adults and £4.10 for juniors, while indoor swims are £5.75 for adults and £2.40 for juniors.

Find It: Park Road, London N8 8JN. fusion-lifestyle.com

London Aquatics Centre, Stratford

We know very well that the sun doesn’t shine year-round in London – but that doesn’t stop us swimming. For an indoor, child-friendly pool, head to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, where London Aquatics Centre is ready and waiting with its child-friendly pool. Or take it up a notch by booking one of the Aqua Splash sessions (which run regularly on weekends and during school holidays), where adults and children can tackle an inflatable obstacle course for a day of splashy fun. Originally the home of the London 2012 Olympics swimming events, you can entertain the kids (and yourself) with some sporting trivia while you’re there, and marvel over the fact that, oh yes, the games took place over a decade ago.

How Much? Adults are £7.85 and children are £5.70 for regular swimming (under 3s go free), and adults are £11 and children are £8 for Aqua Splash (suitable for competent swimmers aged 8+).

Find It: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E20 2AQ. londonaquaticscentre.org

Hampton Pool, Hampton

Over in south west London’s Bushy Park, this outdoor heated swimming pool is open year round, with changing facilities and a special shallow pool for teaching toddlers and babies. Plus, with a spacious grassy area, relax in the sun with a picnic (or grab some tasty treats at the Sun Deck Café), or have a post-swim kick about. If you live in the area, you can sign your children up for swimming lessons, too. Opening times change weekly, so make sure you check the website before you rock up in your goggles and cozzy.

How Much? £8.75 for adults, £6 for children (aged 3–15 years)

Find It: High Street, Hampton, Middlesex TW12 2ST. hamptonpool.co.uk

Serpentine Lido, Hyde Park

Maybe one for the less fearful kids out there: haul the family to Hyde Park to paddle in Serpentine Lido’s gated family area, where a paddling pool, play area and sun loungers await. Open June to September, brace yourself: the water is very cold (you’ll probably be considerably warmer on those loungers), and you may share the water with the Royal Park’s resident waterfowl.

How Much? Adult tickets from £2 and children from £1.50.

Find It: Hyde Park, London W2 2UH. royalparks.org.uk

 

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Leyton Leisure Centre, Leyton

Another indoor option, Leyton Leisure centre is home to a spacious teaching pool for swimming lessons, perfect for beginners. You can really inject some excitement into your swimming outing, however, by paying a visit to the Leyton Leisure Lagoon where you’ll find a 25 metre pool, a water flume and an aqua play area. Better still, residents of Waltham Forest aged under 18 can swim for free during school holidays with a junior membership.

How Much? Adults from £5.25 and children from £2.85.

Find It: 763 High Road, Leyton, London E10 5AB. better.org.uk

Brockwell Lido, Brixton

Locally known as Brixton’s beach, art deco Brockwell Lido is an Olympic-sized swimming pool in Brockwell Park. A perfect child-friendly pool for summer (note: it is unheated), Brockwell Lido is accompanied by a modern cafe for post-swim snacks – or pre-swim fuel.

How Much? £8.50 for adults, £5 for children.

Find It: Brockwell Park, Dulwich Rd, London SE24 0PA. fusion-lifestyle.com

Parliament Hill Lido, Hampstead

While the iconic Hampstead Ponds are less suitable for little ones, the sprawling Hampstead Heath is also home to Parliament Hill Lido, which welcomes children with open arms with its 60 metre long pool (that’s bigger than Olympic sized) and paddling pool. Though it’s open year-round, save this unheated pool for sunnier days – or kit out the kids with wetsuits.

How Much? Adults from £4.50 and children from £1.40.

Find It: Parliament Hill Fields, Gordon House Road, London NW5 1LT. parliamenthilllido.org

Charlton Lido, Woolwich

Another park-based, child-friendly swimming pool, Charlton Lido is nestled in Hornfair Park, perfect for a post- or pre-swim stroll (or play in the playground, or a splash in the paddling pool in the summer). The outdoor, heated pool is Olympic sized, and is split in half to allow for fitness swimming and leisure splashing.

How Much? £11.60 for adults and £11.50 for children aged 3-16.

Find It: Hornfair Park, Shooters Hill Road, London SE18 4LX. better.org.uk