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Parliament Hill Lido

Gordon House Road Hampstead London NW5 1QR

If you don’t fancy the pond water (and segregation by sex) of Hampstead Heath’s ‘Bathing Ponds’, then you don’t have to go far for a dip. Parliament Hill Lido is sited on the edge of the Heath, by Gospel Oak (overland) station. It’s a big pool – 200ft long, 90ft wide – which lets you get some pretty serious strokes in, at least outside of the school holidays, when it’s more like a scene from The Beano. The pool is open year-round but unheated and until recent years, when a stainless steel lining was installed, it was pretty chilly. It now heats up well, at least when the sun’s out. The pool has a good-looking 1930s cafe, or you can bring your own snacks if you want to make a day of it.

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