Wild Swimming Spots Near London That You Might Not Know Existed

Published . By Anisah Audu.

Forget holiday plans abroad, this summer, it's all about the UK. From quirky London hotels to drinks with a view and beaches right here in the city, it’s about time you made the most of what these isles have to offer. Up next on our post-heatwave list? The wild swimming spots in and around London… for when you've maxed out all the beer gardens and rooftops.

💦💦💦

Divers Cove Reservoir, Surrey

Just as beautiful as it sounds, Divers Cove in Surrey is a must-visit when it comes to wild swimming near London. The reservoir spans over 7 acres, with spots for swimming, diving and even a café. Whether it’s a swim session or hot tub and sauna, make sure you book in advance. Sign up for membership for the option to book slots through the week.

Divers Cove Wild Swimming London

Best places to swim near London? I'm about to dive in...

London Royal Docks, Docklands

Not one for those of you looking for a little toe-dipping action, London Royal Docks are dedicated to hardcore open-water swimming. Grab those goggles, bring your wetsuit and be sure to pre-book for a socially-distanced swim. Choose between 400m, 750m and 100m loops before a rest in the 'casual dip' area. 

Royal London Docks Wild Swimming London

Open-water swimming in London? Dust off that cossie.

River Colne, Rickmansworth

If you’re after open-water swimming in Hertfordshire, then the River Colne should be on your hit list. Located within the M25, the natural beauty touts plenty of space for bathing, as well as a circular 6-mile walk offering a little escapism. If getting the tube to Rickmansworth isn’t an option, then it’s only an hour’s drive from Central London.

River Colne Wild Swimming London

For free open water swimming near you, check out these Insta-worthy scenes in Rickmansworth.

West Reservoir Centre, Hackney

If you're wondering where to swim in London, head north of the river. Straddling Finsbury Park and Clissold Park, the West Reservoir Centre is a great choice for watersports and wild swimming. If the likes of Hampstead ponds and London Fields Lido don't float your boat, get to N4 for swimming, watersports and even paddleboard yoga sessions in this public water sports centre.

West Reservoir Centre Swimming London

Splish splash in the West Reservoir.

Frensham Great Pond, Surrey

If you live in South or West London, then Frensham Great Pond is easily within an hour’s drive. Sandwiched between Farnham and Hindhead, this Green Flag-winning space is one for wild swimming in Surrey; think dedicated dog routes, sandy scenes and Insta-worthy views that’ll have you feeling like you’re on a seaside retreat.

Frensham Great Pond Wild Swimming London

You'll be spoilt for space here.

River Medway by Ensfield Bridge, Tonbridge

Just past the M25, the River Medway runs through Tonbridge in Kent. You’ll probably want to drive here, where open stretches and deep water make for a great swim. But for a real challenge, grab your bicycle and follow the regional cycle route downstream to the lakes.

River Medway Wild Swimming London

Wild swimming in Kent never looked so good.

For more alfresco inspo, check out our extensive guide on the most things to do on the water this summer and sign up for our London newsletter.