London's Best Lidos
Let's start with the biggest of them all, the largest pool in the UK in fact. Tooting Bec Lido is open May to September, although members of SLSC can use it all year round (btw it is unheated). This pool is BIG 100 yards by 33 yards, that's 91.44m x 30.18m in new money. Even the paddling pool is almost 20m! Undoubtedly, the pool's greatest accolade is that Brad Pitt once graced this venue, in a scene for the film Snatch :)
Not far from Tooting is another unheated gem - Brockwell Park Lido. This Grade II listed, art deco pool is 49m and like so many others in London was closed for a period of time before being restored and reopened. Open all year.
Staying south of the river we have one of the latest resurrections of London's swimming heritage. Charlton Lido was refurbished and reopened by GLL in 2012. One of only two heated 50m pools in London. The other being the fantastic London Fields Lido, also operated by GLL/Better (although this is currently closed for maintenance works).
Kings Cross Ponds was officially an art installation, but we'll count it as a pool. It was the first ever man made fresh water public bathing pond. Ingeniously filtered naturally through the reed beds and totally chemical free. Officially it was 40m, although some of that length included the out of bounds reed beds. We're talking about it in the past tense unfortunately, as it is now permanently closed :(
Parliament Hill Lido is another unheated, art deco oasis. At 60m x 28m it is London's second largest pool. Located on Hampstead Heath, but not to be mistaken with Hampstead Heath Ponds, that's a whole different blog!
Other lidos include Finchley, Hillingdon and Hampton pool - enjoy!