The Historic Serpentine Lido Opens to Public

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Don’t miss out on this perfect summer activity!

As Britain bakes in an unprecedented 40-degree plus heat, the Royal Parks open up the Serpentine Lido to an overheated public. So, grab your speedos and head down to Hyde Park for a refreshing swim in the UK’s most iconic and exclusive open water swimming venue.

Serpentine Lido
The Serpentine Lido in the Summer (Booking.com)

The Lido is home to the Serpentine Swimming Club – the oldest in the country. Each day, without fail, the club members descend to the central London lido for their early morning swim. Christmas Day, snowstorms, or iced surfaces won’t deter these committed cold-water swimmers, as members attend all year round. For most of the year, the lido is closed off to the public, but this summer anyone is allowed in for a dip. You have until September to book your slot.

The lido is situated in a man-made ‘ornamental lake’, that dates back to 1730. Queen Caroline, the wife of George 2nd came up with the idea of building a spectacular body of water that would further enhance the park’s beauty. Since then, it has been a recreational landmark that is only used for swimming and boating.

The most famous event in the Serpentine happens each year on Christmas day. While most people are tucked away in the warmth of their homes, these wild swimmers head down to the lido, to jump in the freezing water and compete in the iconic Peter Pan Cup. The cup has taken place each year since 1864 and consists of a swimming race of a distance of 110 yards, which is roughly 2 lengths of an Olympic size swimming pool – quite a feat considering the bitterly cold water temperatures. Each year hundreds of members take part in the race, with hundreds more spectating from the bridges and cafes. The current record is held by Nick Adams, who completed the fastest swim at 57 seconds.

Serpentine Lido Christmas Day race
Christmas Day Race at the Serpentine (BBC)

But now, the lido boasts a tepid 20-degree temperature. Perfect for an all-around family activity. Whether you intend to build up your fitness or cool off in the heat, the Serpentine is a perfect summer swim that’s steeped in history and natural beauty.

Information regarding booking can be found on the website.

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