Brockwell Park Lido
Dulwich Road Herne Hill London SE24 0PA
While many open-air swimming pools have become woefully underloved in recent times, Brockwell has remained a true icon of south London life. Opened in 1937 as a sister pool to a now sadly defunct one in Victoria Park, it’s easy to see why locals affectionately refer to Brockwell Park Lido as ‘Brixton’s Beach’. As the floating aroma of barbecues sets the taste-buds to salivate, and the poolside palm trees cast a soothing shade, this really is summertime bottled. On scorching summer days, the unheated, Olympic-sized pool attracts a diverse crowd of bathers (both the solar and aquatic kind), with refreshingly few 'serious' swimmers at weekends. Thanks to various cash injections over the years (most appropriately enough from bottled water giant, Evian), Brockwell's facilities are bang up-to-date. Framing the pool is a series of rooms hosting a range of activities including yoga and aerobics. Should your litt'luns tire of splashing around safely in the adjacent paddling pool, there's the Whippersnappers drama and music workshop for the under 5s. There's also an award-winning cafe on site serving decent fry-ups as well as classy mains and snacks. All this is housed within a Grade II listed art-deco masterpiece in the picturesque surroundings of Brockwell Park.