With the Summer holidays looming here in the UK I have everything crossed for lots of sunny days. I like my children to get plenty of fresh air as it really helps to tire them out. Nothing beats water play in the open air but there are actually very few places you can go near where we live in West London. I thought I would share our favourite places for outdoor swimming or water play in west London.
Places for outdoor swimming or water play in west London
Our favourite place was water play is Ruislip Lido in the London Borough of Hillingdon. Ruislip Lido is an amazing place for families, but does get pretty busy in Summer. Ruislip Lido is a large area and includes a miniature railway, nature reserve, ancient woodland, splash park, sandy beach, cafe and toilets. You can easily take a picnic and spend a day at the Lido. There’s a lovely splash area which opened a few years ago. You’re not meant to go in the water so the splash park is perfect for family fun. There are a couple of car parks but we usually park at the entrance to the woods and walk through. Entry is free of charge.
Hillingdon Outdoor Lido
We’re also really lucky to have the amazing Hillingdon Outdoor Lido at the Hillingdon Sports and Leisure Complex which is near us. This is where the children had their swimming lessons and they have a beautiful outdoor pool which is open during the warmer months. Formerly known as Uxbridge Lido, the Grade II-listed, 50m open-air swimming pool was re-opened in 2010.
The outdoor pool has been restored to its 1930s glory, complete with fountains at both ends and a new heated shallow splash pool for children. Be careful what ticket you buy as a ticket doesn’t give entry to the indoor pools. There are outdoor changing rooms and timed entry as it’s really popular on a sunny day.
Cassiobury Park, Watford
Cassiobury Park is just outside Watford and another lovely place for a day out with the kids. It has a miniature railway, playgrounds, football pitches, a splash park and you can even dip your toes in the River Gade which flows through the park. The parking gets crazy in Summer but it’s worth as there are three pools of varying size and depth which are open daily between 10am and 7pm (from Good Friday to mid September.) Entry is free and toilets and refreshments are available in the adjacent buildings.
Colne Valley Park river dipping
Have you tried river dipping? A few years ago my son went to a birthday party which involved river dipping at Colne Valley Park. He had a fab time discovering all the local river wildlife and it’s somewhere we’ve been meaning to re-visit every since. Colne Valley Park run lots of events throughout the year and it’s definitely something a little different to keep cool during the summer.
Diana Memorial Fountain, Hyde Park
When I was trying to think of places for outdoor swimming or water play in west London I couldn’t miss out the wonderful Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park. Hyde Park is a wonderful place to visit all year round but it’s also worth a special trip to visit the Diana Memorial Fountain. The design aims to reflect Diana’s life. Water flows from the highest point in two directions as it cascades, swirls and bubbles before meeting in a calm pool at the bottom.
It’s free to visit and we’ve never had trouble finding somewhere to park in Hyde Park. Pack a picnic and enjoy the Diana Memorial Fountain.
I would love to hear if you’ve visited any of these places for outdoor swimming or water play in west London? If I’ve missed anything off my list then please let me know, we are always looking for recommendations of places to visit!