609 in 2015 and later

648 past in 2015 (updated 17-07-'15)

London’s best open air swimming spots

There’s a queue outside Hampstead Ladies’ Pond most mornings when it opens. Even when the water has frozen over and sensible folk are preoccupied with trying to throw on as many layers as possible before de-icing their car windscreens, the swimmers turn up and wait for the lifeguards to let them take their early dip in the cold waters.

The three swimming ponds on Hampstead Heath are old and famous and popular. The Mixed Pond is open during the summer, but the other two have swimmers in them year round. The Men’s Pond is large and open, the light often silvery. 

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