In this hot weather there is only one solution… water. Not the type you find in a bottle (although that is also very helpful in times of intense heat) but the kind you find in a deep pool or at the end of a sandy – or even pebbly – beach. If you happen to live by the coast, then lucky you (I’m not jealous at all… honest!). However in London there is only one option for those without an open entry to Shoreditch House – the Lido. Retro, kitsch and minus the 1-year-waiting-list membership policy, the Lido is your pass to staying cool this summer. Which is exactly what I did last Friday. It was heaven.
There are quite a few Lido’s in London – Brockwell, London Fields & the recently refurbished pool in Charlton to name a few. I happen to live very near Tooting Bec Lido, the largest outdoor open-air pool in the UK. With cute brightly-coloured wooden changing cubicles and a massive 90 metre pool this is The Shard of Lido living.
Top tips – get there before 10am to avoid hour long queues and be prepared for mania on sunny weekends. Also I advise bringing your own food as the selection on offer (similar to many UK swimming pools) tends to lean towards the greasy, beige, deep-fried variety of cuisine. This weekend they are also showing a selection of cult classic films in the evening including the ever popular Withnail & I, and (hilariously) Ghostbusters. Pack a picnic, a bikini and your favourite sunnies and get down there pronto.
Tooting Bec Lido: Currently open 6am-8pm. Entry: £6.20 for adults; £3.80 for children/concessions; under 5’s free; £3.80 after 6pm.
Cinema at Tooting Lido (26th-28th July 2013) http://www.tootingartsclub.co.uk/
For further open-air swimming areas in London check out this article in The Telegraph archives