This is what it’s all been building up to. To have 50 swimming experiences written about, and 5000m of swimming in a freezing cold lido in October. To raise money for Macmillan. To try to beat my boss. This was a brilliant day and I would recommend everyone to do one of these swims, no matter what your ability is and what distance you decide.
Deptford Wavelengths does bring back a lot of memories as I used to live and work in New Cross. I think the most poignant having been about 7 years ago, mid-swim in mid-Winter, when the fire alarm went off and were marched along the slush-filled streets in nothing but our cossies and a foil blanket (weirdly, we were allowed to rush and get shoes from lockers, but that was it). So many questions about how to get set on fire in a pool…reasonably happy to say that today was much less eventful.
London Royal Docks a stunning place for a sunny morning swim. The water was gorgeous and the people who run it are really encouraging. There is a lot of faff to get involved, but well worth it. Just remember that opening times on websites are never really true.
One of the more difficult pools to get to, this one sounded quite glamorous, with ‘Wimbledon Leisure Centre and Spa‘ as the name. The building is stunning from the outside (even though it was dark outside with the evenings drawing in ever-closer) which set my expectations high. As I arrived expecting the pool to stay open until 10pm, and on arrival being told that the pool would be closing half an hour earlier, it was certainly more rushed than relaxing.
When I read about this pool, I was hardly inspired, 25m indoor pool, blah blah blah and after I trekked all the way to Swiss Cottage after work on a Friday evening to be told it closed at 6 (despite being listed as open until 10pm on the website) I wasn’t expecting much. Not a great start. This time was a totally different experience, and is aptly named (prepare for sweeping generalisation) with the efficiency expected from the Swiss and it presented in cottage-sized scale.
I’ve put off going to Hampstead Heath ponds for as long as possible. Here and Hillingdon lido are the only London outdoor ones left, and Hillingdon was closed when I wanted to go. It was daft of me to avoid this place, it is incredibly beautiful and a lovely place to swim.