Tooting Bec Lido

Tooting Bec Road London SW16 1RU

There are open-air swimming pools and then there's Tooting Bec Lido. At 91 metres long, this is the UK's biggest swimming pool. It is also one of the oldest, having been built in 1906, since when the South London Swimming Club have called this place home. When a heatwave hits the capital, its reinvigorating waters are nearly filled to bursting. But with well-kempt grass and a decent café serving ice-cream, there's plenty of space poolside to relax. It's true that the unheated water is a little on the cold side, but what Tooting Bec Lido lacks in state-of-the-art facilities, it more than makes up for with retro charm. Indeed if its multi-coloured changing cubicles and turquoise waters look familiar, that's because the Bec has been featured in countless TV adverts and feature films – even Brad Pitt had a dip while filming Brit gangster flick Snatch.

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