Cool swimming

As London revels in a mini heat wave – 31 degrees and rising – a great place to cool off are the Ponds in Hampstead Heath. With the London Triathlon looming large, and the English Channel Swim on the horizon, today I headed for the Heath and some more open water practise.

I swam in the mixed pond, located off East Heath Road with it’s own off-street parking and costing only £2 for an adult swim (see Heath map). There are changing facilities and toilets if required, and the Ponds have life guards on hand to ensure safety. Arriving at 5.15pm was a touch late and – given the weather – bathers were out in force. Moreover, the water is very murky due to the shallow depth so siting was doubly difficult. I opted for swimming lengths on the west side, using the reeds and bushes for guidance (the left of the photo below). Unfortunately the water wasn’t as cold as I needed – 20 degrees today – so my quest for gaining 15-18 degree experience (without wetsuit, in prep for the Channel) continues…

Hampstead Heath_Mixed Pond