People running in to wild water
People running in to wild water

Cold Water Swimming Locations in London


In recent years, the phenomenon of cold water swimming has taken the nation by storm. In fact, cold water and wild swimming are among the most popular hobbies of the century. With pools and gyms closed during the pandemic, more and more people in the UK have been turning to cold water or wild swimming to keep fit and, believe it or not – relax! So where should you go to get started? Let’s dive into some of the best places for cold water swimming in London.



Where to Go Cold Water Swimming in and Around London

You might be wondering, “Where can I go cold water swimming?” Fortunately, when it comes to London, there are no shortages of lakes and natural ponds. Here are some of the best places to try around the capital.




Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Ponds

Hampstead Heath

Enjoy cold water swimming at one of London’s natural mixed bathing ponds. £4.05 for a single session. The park also features Kenwood Ladies Pond, a freshwater spot for stronger swimmers. Check the City of London website for the seasonal swimming schedule.


Where? Hampstead Heath, London, NW3 1BP.

The Royal Docks

Royal Docks

The Royal Docks

London’s beautiful, historic dock with changing facilities. Open for all types of swimming – from a casual dip to competitive training. £8 per session. Check the Love Open Water website for temperature updates, swim times, and bookable sessions.


Where? Royal Docks. East London, E16 1AH


Pangbourne water


For clean, calm waters beside the Chiltern Hills, why  not jump in a Zipcar and try Pangbourne? Gain access to the water opposite the bank at Lower Basildon (signposted A329, north of Pangbourne). See the Pangbourne-on-Thames Parish Council website for details.


Where? River Thames, Pangbourne – 40 minutes from central London.

Beckenham Place Park Lake

Beckenham Place Park Lake

Beckenham Place Park Lake

A Georgian swimming lake in the park with a sandy beach. £6 for non-Lewisham residents (£5 for locals). Pre-booking is required. See the Lewisham Council website for swim times and additional information.


Where? Beckenham. BR3 1SY.


Henley on thames


Entry-level swimming by the Flower Pot Hotel. For information on swimming groups and events, see the Henley Swim website. They also have a helpful blog featuring stories from new swimmers.


Where? Henley-on-Thames, Surrey. RG9 2BA




This peaceful stretch of the Stour meanders from Dedham in Essex to Flatford just over the Suffolk border. Find a quiet entry point along the riverbank between Dedham and Flatford, where there are plenty of suitable places to wade in. Book a Zipcar to get there.



Where? River Stour, North Essex.

Why might you want to go cold water swimming?

There's good reason for the growing popularity of cold water swimming, beyond just the pandemic. With numerous health benefits, it’s no surprise that people are flocking to cold water spots for a dip.

It’s so easy. All you need to book a Zipcar is a valid credit or debit card. You won’t even need to organise insurance as Zipcar cover this for you. By planning your swimming location and booking a Zipcar, your cold water adventure isn’t far away.

Book today

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