Lidos are officially cool now. And when it’s hot outside – or hot enough, at least – there’s no better place to cool off than in one of the capital’s offerings. 

With a little bit of imagination, a day-cation (something I may have jut invented) in one of London’s lidos will almost have you thinking you’re chilling in a European resort. Mostly found housed in restored 1920’s art-deco buildings, their open-air pools, sunbathing terraces and chic, continental-esque cafés will take you away from the city in a flash.

Here are 5 of the best London lidos to visit if you’re looking to to top up a tan or cool off in an open-air pool.

1. London Fields Lido, Hackney 

London Fields Lido offers 50m of heated water under the summer sky. It’s open from 6.30am to 9pm all year round and puts on activities such as water workouts several times per week.

Membership is not essential but could save regulars a few pennies.

2. Finchley Lido, Barnet 

Finchley lido is not a standalone lido but part of a larger complex with something for everyone. It includes a leisure centre, cinema, bowling alley and several food outlets so you can really make a day of it.

Charlton Lido Greenchwich London

3. Charlton Lido, Greenwich

Another 50m heated outdoor pool, Charlton Lido had a £2 million makeover before reopening in 2013. It’s a fitness freak’s dream with a gym and exercise studio also available on-site.

4. West Reservoir, Hackney

West Reservoir is so much more than a lido; it’s an expansive man-made lake and the city’s foremost Open Water Swimming venue. Located in the heart of Stoke Newington, the former pumping house has been converted into a lovely waterside café.

Warning: Wetsuits are compulsory here!

5. Oasis Outdoor Pool, Holborn

Located in the city centre but still unknown to many, the Oasis pool is refreshing 27.5m expanse of pool in the middle of concrete blocks. This hidden gem isn’t just a modern secret – it was first recorded as a Turkish Bath in 1728!

More information including opening times of all the above lidos can be found on the Better website.

Image credit: 4195/ GLL Charlton Lido..Photo©Andrew Baker