Hampstead Heath Ladies Pond

This afternoon I picked my sister up from Marylebone Station, put the roof down on my car and drove up the hill to the Highgate side of Hampstead Heath. It’s been warm for a few days now, so I figured it was time for our first dip of the year in Hampstead Heath Ladies Pond.

Hampstead Heath Ladies Pond

I was right: a positively balmy 20C. Some wag had chalked up: too warm for some! Let me tell you that there is still a short sharp shock on entry. I’ve swum there in 15C, but 20C is a lot more pleasant.

Although I’ve been swimming there for years on and off, I still find it hard to compute that this bucolic scene is taking place a couple of miles from Mayfair. The only sign of urban living is the occasional plane passing overhead on the Heathrow flight path.

Hampstead Heath Ladies Pond

With the heatwave, the flora and fauna are out in force. There is a handy board with sightings chalked up,

Hampstead Heath Ladies Pond

although it wasn’t hard to spot the Canada Geese and their offspring Ryan Gosling.

Hampstead Heath Ladies Pond

Hampstead Heath Ladies Pond

Hampstead Heath Ladies Pond

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12 comments

Reply

Such a lovely place , just pure summer there
Jx

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Am a huge fan of outdoor swimming and especially all the fabulous lido’s (ponds) that London has to offer. Have you tried Tooting Bec Lido? It opens at 6am in the summer and is wonderfully refreshing. At 91m (2nd largest outside pool in Europe) it’s easy to swim a good distance before you know it. 12 lengths 1km ;o). Hampstead ponds is on my to do list, I have seen it from afar but need to head there for a dip. Lovely post.

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@Torie: We have Gospel Oak Lido just up the road, about half way between the office and the Heath, so I tend to go there if the Lido thought strikes me. I’ve heard Tooting is lovely, but tbh it’s very rare I make it south of the river, just cos of time. Never say never tho: it sounds fab! LLGxx

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I have yet to swim in a British Lake/Pond. I’m always worried that my legs will get tangled up in plantlife etc. Not sure I’d be keen on that. But your photos make it look positively wonderful. Maybe, I’ll brave it myself one day.

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@Elizabeth @ Rosalilium: No plantlife in Ladies Pond, I promise! You get in off a pontoon, otherwise I wldn’t go anywhere near as also have weed/mud phobia! LLGxx

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“Ryan Gosling”…”so out of short trousers…only keeping a small Mohican for the festival season”. Brits and summer- love it!

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@Phyllida: I know I HOOTED with laughter when I read that. It properly made my day too LLGxx

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We are lucky to have a Lido really close to us here in Crouch End, and we usually go there early in the morning before the crowds come in, but I still miss the Ladies’ Pond in the Heath. Might try to get a dip there tomorrow before the heat wave ends.

Helenax

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@Helena Halme: Fingers crossed it stays hot a little longer! LLGxx

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I’ve never swum in a London pond but this sounds like what I’ve been hoping to find. I am newly in love with Hampstead, getting to know the area, but had no idea there was a Ladies pond there, this is good knowledge, Sasha xx

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