On a sweltering summer day in London, there’s only one thing to do with the kids - head to one of the many outdoor pools scattered throughout the city. Alexa Schummer dives into the best family-friendly London lidos.

10/10 Hampstead Heath Ponds

Location: Hampstead Heath
Nearest Tube Stop: Belsize Park (Northern line)
Prices: Adult: £5.10; Child: £3.00

Hampstead Ponds, renowned for its en plein air swimming, is made up of three swimming ponds: women’s, men’s, and mixed. Kids cue up to jump off of the platforms leading into the mixed pond. Only children older than eight are allowed, which translates to a quieter environment. The ponds are perfectly safe with a lifeguard on duty at all times. They are located on picturesque Hampstead Heath, so there is a beautiful surrounding landscape where you can sunbathe or have a picnic. The ponds are open every day of the year and remain chilly throughout, making them the perfect solution for a hot day in the city.

Best for: Kids over eight


  • There are no cafés or food establishments, so be sure to pack a snack
  • The ticket machine is occasionally out of order, so take change just in case