London’s Art Deco lidos – bathe like a flapper
The term lido comes from Lido di Venezia, the sandy barrier beach that encloses the Lagoon of Venice where sea-bathing took place from the later nineteenth century.
The golden age of lidos and outdoor swimming pools was in the Thirties, when swimming became very popular, and over 169 lidos were built across the UK. Sadly, many are now closed thanks to our habit of holidaying abroad, however a few Art Deco masterpieces remain open in London.
London Fields Lido
Nearest Tube: Bethnal Green
Park Road Pools
London N8 8JN
Nearest Tube: Highgate
Hampton Pool, a heated open air lido, was built in 1922. It briefly closed in the Eighties but a local campaign successfully prevented the demolition and eventually brought about the re-opening.
Nearest train station: Hampton
Parliament Hill Lido
London NW5 1LP
Nearest Tube: Gospel Oak rail
Charlton Lido was opened in 1939 and has remained open thanks to the efforts of the Charlton Lido Swimming Club who brave the weather in this unheated pool come rain or shine. Recently Greenwich Council has been given the go-ahead to speak tothe owner about refurbishment plans for the lido, which could see facelift for the main pool and a new 35-metre deep diving centre.
Shooters Hill Road
London, SE18 4LX
Nearest Tube: Greenwich
Tooting Bec Lido opened in 1906 as the earliest purpose-built open air pool in London. It is the largest one in England. The pool was altered in the Thirties and new cubicles replaced the old changing sheds.
Tooting Bec Lido
Nearest Tube: Tooting Bec
Brockwell Lido was built by the London County Council in 1937. An Art Deco Grade II listed building, the lido – which is lovingly known as Brixton’s Beach – today features many modern facilities such as a gym and studios.
London Se24 0PA
Nearest Tube: use Herne Hill Rail