Brockwell Lido has been a haven for fans of cold water for many years and our Swimmers Club is an inclusive organisation for people to share their love of this beautiful urban oasis.

To sign up for your FREE membership click here.

Brockwell Lido, an unheated open air swimming pool situated in South London.

Pool Open Today

Recent Posts

  • Swim Drill – Basic Freestyle Technique - We are often asked about swim technique so we have trawled the internet to find you some useful advice. First up is Freestyle where we found this set of videos by American coach Mary Jo who explains the five basic drills taking you towards your perfect technique. Ensure you use the full movement of your […]
  • Swim the difference for MacMillan - We’re putting a team together to raise money for the MacMillan cancer charity’s All Out Swim happening Saturday 30th September. We have pledged to swim 5K (100 lengths) in relay and need four members. If more members want to swim we’ll make up another team. It’s the perfect combination of swimming and raising money for […]
  • Farnham to Frensham 2017 - Farnham to Frensham Great Pond (or on to Bentley Station) Sunday 24th September. This is taken from Wild Swimming Walks, walk number 4, distance 8 (or 13) miles. We will be meeting at Brockwell Lido Car Park at 10am, Sunday 24th September, then driving down to Farnham Station arriving at 11:10am. Please let us know […]
  • Testing the Watering Holes of Hampstead - Great to see some new faces at our annual trek round Hampstead Heath on Sunday 19th August. Yet again we found a new route which this year included a pub for lunch thanks to Sue’s recommendation. Starting at sister Lido Parliament Hill Fields for a refreshing 18·8°C plunge followed by some very tasty coffee and […]
  • Winter Water Polo is Back! - Following our three awesome Polo seasons at the Lido, and our earlier experiment with indoor sessions, we’re excited to announce another season of 15 winter indoor sessions. This time we’ll be at St Joseph’s College, Beulah Hill, London SE19, and coached by the amazing Hannah, who many of you will have met at our summer […]

History of Brockwell Lido

The Lido was originally opened in 1937 to replace the natural public bathing ponds in the park. The Lido would remain open during the war, though one swimming gala was cancelled in 1944 due to a feared flying bomb attack. From 1947 to 1968 the London Swimming Championships were also held at Brockwell Lido. However, after much neglect and declining usage, the pool was closed by Lambeth Council in 1990.

For 4 years the pool lay empty until two former council employees, Casey and Paddy, won the management contract and reopened the lido in 1994. “It was a time when we let as many things happen as possible just for fun, not necessarily making money, giving people chance to try things out”. However, the future of the Lido again came into question when mounting maintenance costs forced the duo to resign their tender in 2001.

This sparked a strong campaign by local swimmers who produced a survey containing 4,674 signatures from Brockwell Lido visitors that demonstrated the community’s intense attachment to the space. This forced a dialogue with Lambeth Council, resulting in a new three-way framework involving the council, users, and a site management company.

Various management companies were approached and the winning tender was awarded to Fusion Lifestyle who won a 25 year contract to redevelop and run the site (3 million pounds from Fusion and ½ million pounds from English Heritage).

The main alternation to the building was the moving of the south west wall six metres further into the park. English Heritage chose this solution from a number of options developed by Pollard Edwards Thomas architects. Moving this elevation doubled the size of the old changing rooms allowing Fusion to replace these with a new gym and spa complex, ensuring the economic viability of the lido as a whole. The ‘wet’ changing rooms were then moved next to the new entrance on the south east side. Work was completed in July 2007, just in time for the Summer season and the Lido’s 70th birthday.

Present Day

At first the pool was only open during the Summer, but with the increased popularity of cold water swimming, the unheated pool is now open all year round. Hurrah! As well as the fabulous pool, the building also contains a gym, sauna, steam room, exercise studios, a very fine café… and some very, very enthusiastic swimmers.

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