Hampstead heath swimming ponds map
At the Pond: Swimming at the Hampstead Ladies Pond by Ava Wong DaviesThere was something magical about the unplumbed depths, the moorhens, the dragonflies, the waterlilies, the willows, the floating rings and rafts . . .
Tucked away along a shady path towards the north-east edge of Hampstead Heath is a sign: Women Only. This is the Kenwood Ladies Bathing Pond. Officially opened to the public in 1925, it is the only wild swimming spot in the UK that is reserved for women.
Created centuries ago, the Heaths chain of ponds are one of the sources of the River Fleet that runs subterraneously through London. Swimming in the Ladies Ponds green, silty, silky waters, its hard to avoid the feeling that you are moving through history and outside of time.
On a hot summers day, thousands of swimmers from eight to eighty-odd can be found queuing to take a dip before sunbathing in the adjoining meadow. In the cooler months, when the water temperature plummets, the Pond is still visited daily by hardy regulars, many of whom have been swimming there for decades.
Combining personal reminiscence with reflections on the history of the place over the years and through the seasons, for the first time this collection brings together writers impressions of the Pond.
Highgate Bathing Pond, London: Address, Phone Number, Highgate Bathing Pond Reviews: 4/5
I live in Devon so spoilt for choice for year round swimming We had a day out at Hampstead Swimming Pond. The changing facilities are jolly The best place to stay cool on the hottest day of the year. Changing facilities are basic and nowhere to lock valuables. Cold shower and toilets on site. I have wanted to swim in Hampstead ponds for a long time.
Winner Originally dammed-off clay pits, the ponds are run by the City of London Corporation. It is consulting with local residents about essential works to protect against flooding, which — though unlikely — could be catastrophic if a large quantity of rain fell over an extended period. Even in the summer the water is chilly. Take a dip at more of London's lidos and public swimming pools. Hampstead Health is one of the best places to spend a sunny weekend in the city but the ladies pond, in particular, is freeing. Although insanely busy on particularly hot days, there is something incredibly refrigerating about swimming in the pond without any chance of the male gaze.
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While we are always keen to share our passion for outdoor swimming, all swimmers must be solely responsible for making their own assessment as to the risks involved in any particular swim. For more information on individual responsibility read the Swim Responsibility Statement in wildswim. This is a crowd-sourced map. Abilities vary, and conditions change. Always assess risks for yourself before getting in. Please give your collection a general title, eg. It really helps other swimmers to have a brief description of a swim spot.