6 of London’s best outdoor pools to enjoy the heatwave 

BY Olivia Kenyon

London

6 of London’s best outdoor pools to enjoy the heatwave 

Here's a selection of places to get your tan on or swim some lengths, right here in the capital.

BY Olivia Kenyon

06th September 2023

Looking for somewhere to cool off? While London isn’t particularly known for its pool scene, turns out there is actually a good selection of places to get your tan on or swim some lengths, right here in the capital. As the September scorcher continues, the team at Oliver Bernard have rounded up their favourite outdoor pools, from members clubs to luxe hotels, so you can enjoy the heatwave with some added elegance.  

Soho House 

The White City, 180 and Shoreditch House locations offer open-air pools that are open all-year round. You might recognise them from their prominent red and white striped loungers, but these pools have way more going for them than their Instagram hot spots. In the summer months, you’ll often find a selection of different food pop-ups, DJ sets and more. You can book your poolside slot online and members are able to bring one guest with them.  

The Ned 

Quickly feel transported to somewhere far away from London at The Ned’s rooftop space. With one of the best views on this list, this 20m pool overlooks the City and St Paul’s cathedral and is accompanied by a restaurant, two converted domes and outdoor terraces for eating and drinking, so you really do feel like you’re on holiday. 

Hampstead Heath Ponds 

A Londoner’s staple, Hampstead Heath Ponds is set among 800 acres of parkland making it one of the most picturesque outdoor swimming spots in the UK. Here there are three ponds, a men’s, women’s and mixed depending on where you feel most comfortable, all of which are open from 7am to 8:30pm everyday (all year round!).  

Serpentine Lido  

A sprawling lake based right in the middle of Hyde Park, Serpentine Lido has been officially open since 1930 and attracts plenty of swimmers when the sun starts shining (as well as plenty on Christmas Day for their famous Peter Pan race). Here you’ll find changing rooms on site,  sun loungers for hire along the lake’s banks, The Lido Café for some post-swimming refreshments and of course, once you’ve recovered, the whole of Hyde Park is available for strolling.  

The Berkeley Hotel 

Transport to Tuscany at The Berkeley Hotel’s rooftop pool, here you’ll find panoramic views of Hyde Park, Knightsbridge and Belgravia as well as a retractable roof and a Tuscan-style terrace, placing this as the top spot for luxurious alfresco swim. Make the most of the remaining summer evenings and stick around post-sunset to enjoy the rooftop bar with a menu of refreshing spritzes and Mediterranean small plates.  

Sky Pool, Embassy Gardens 

Whether it’s from a viral video on Instagram or simply a drive through Wandsworth, it’s likely you’ve seen or heard of the Sky Pool at Embassy Gardens. Forming a bridge between two adjacent apartment buildings, this 25m pool is suspended 115 feet above the ground with a totally clear glass bottom. We’d say it’s probably not for the faint-hearted or those afraid of heights, but it is described to feel like swimming in the clouds and when accompanied by a rooftop spa and accompanying gardens, you can’t find a pool much more luxe. Unfortunately, this showstopper of a pool is only accessible to Embassy Gardens and their guests.  

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