Throughout the process of learning to swim, one thing I cannot recommend highly enough is practise. It is extremely important to practise what you have learnt on each lesson, if you have a 1 hour weekly lesson I suggest practising twice per week on top of this for the same amount of time in order to solidify what you have learnt. My top 5 locations to swim, all of which have areas for beginners to practise in are as follows.
1. London Fields Lido – located in Hackney, this is a 50 metre outdoor heated pool. A true gem with a great coffee shop and dedicated lanes to suit your ability. Beware – on sunny days this place get extremely busy! If you have not visited yet, don’t give it a second thought and make your way there. Cost is 4.80 for an adult and lockers are 20p. View site.
2. The London Aquatics Centre – located in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, this is an indoor facility which boasts a 50m competition pool that was used for the Summer 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. It has also hosted numerous other high profile events. A state of the art facility! The competition pool is for the competent swimmer as it is 3m in depth, however there is a 25m training pool which has areas for beginners/intermediates to practise in. Cost to use this facility is 5.20 for an adult. View site.
3. Ironmonger Row Baths – located just off Old Street and recently refurbished. This 30m pool is an excellent choice for city workers where you can make best use of your lunch break. It’s open 6:30am – 9:30pm Monday to Friday and 9-6pm Saturday and Sunday. A swim costs 4.45 or 4.85 depending on the time and use of lockers will require a 1 coin. View site.
Cold Water Locations to Swim
4. Tooting Bec Lido – located on tooting bec common, the lido is an open-air freshwater swimming pool. It is 100 yards in length and 33 yards wide. (91m by 33m). The largest swimming pool by surface area in the UK. It is open to the public late may to the end of September each year. It is open to South London Swimming Club who have exclusive access to the pool during winter months – yearly membership is 125.
Some individuals may require a wetsuit if they wish to swim for a considerable amount of time here as the temperature will be a lot lower than the average heated pool. View site.
5. Brockwell Lido – located in brockwell park, this is a 50m outdoor pool with an excellent cafe. It is open 7 days a week all year round and membership is not required to make use of this fantastic cold water swimming pool. View site.