A place to play on a hot sunny day where you can enjoy some respite from the heat. Our round up of lidos, lakes, beach and paddling pools to take your family for a refreshing outdoor swim near East London this Summer.
*Please check with the venue where possible before travelling to ensure availability and open times
Don’t you love the summer? It’s all about good times, ice creams and sunny memories except when it isn’t. A heatwave in the city is like a bonfire blazing in a cramped room, its warmth and radiance otherwise appreciated can be suffocating especially if you have bored children and nowhere to go. Especially if you don’t drive. Hopefully, this will help you get more out of the summer by staying cool in lidos, lakes, beaches and pools near East London this year.
Lidos & Paddling Pools
Coram Fields Paddling Pool
A short ride on the central line or the number 8 bus will take you to paddling pool paradise. This lovely park is steeped in history and has existed solely for children and young people for 80 years! Adults are only allowed in if accompanied by a child and it’s delightful in the summer with a fantastic playground and sand pit. This year they’ve also got a festival of children’s theatre for your family to enjoy called Perform in the Park.
Opening 17th June 2023
93 Guilford St, London WC1N 1DN
London Fields Lido
While I’m upset they took the paddling pool away, the Lido is great to have and there are plans to open a new teaching pool by next year designed by the same people who gave us Brittania Leisure Centre, all very promising. Until then, you’ll need to book well in advance if the weather is looking especially nice. If you have a membership you get access to slots earlier so it might be worth investing if you plan on coming often. You should book swim for families on the Better app.
Open all year
London Fields Lido, London Fields West Side, Hackney, London, E8 3EU
Adults £5.70, Kids £3.35
Kids Summer Splash at Royal Docks (now closed)
Royal Docks Summer Splash is back, offering delightful dock swimming, deckchair chilling, and super sandpits. Featuring a shallow end for younger children, this large lido built into Royal Victoria Dock provides a refreshing place to cool off for free this Summer. Jump in the water, create sand masterpieces, and enjoy free summer activities. Please note each child under the age of 8 must be accompanied by one adult 1:1, if using the lido.
31st July to 20th August 2023 10 am – 6 pm
Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1A6
Around 30 mins drive or you can hop on the DLR to Woolich Arsenal where it’s a 13 min bus ride to a long stretch of 50M lido loveliness. There’s a smaller paddling pool for the kids. The water is heated and the lockers take contactless payment- why aren’t all lockers like this now? There is pay and display parking if you are driving. Very popular and bookings can only be made 1 week in advance.
Open all year – Toddler Splash 12 , 2 and 3 pm Sundays 10 am & 12 pm Fridays
Charlton Lido and Lifestyle Club, Hornfair Park, Shooters Hill Rd, London
Adults £11.50, Kids £5.50 – Children under 3 go free with paying adult
Beaches & Lakes
Fairlop Waters Country Park
Under an hour in the car or head straight out on the Central Line to Fairlop and it’s an 8 min walk to this beautiful lake, surrounded by lush green parklands. Kids should be able to swim to scramble around on the inflatables but they also provide wetsuits and lifejackets.
There’s a great cafe screening major sporting events and a Greek restaurant to calm the post swim tummy rumbles. When you get bored of being in the water, you can hire a bicycle for your whole family, kayaks, canoes, pedalos, SUP and more. Hire prices are around £20+ There’s also boulder climing, playgrounds, Fairlop High Ropes, an indoor Owl’s Play Centre and a little fairground with rides at around £2-£3 per go.
We had a great day out when we visited although it wasn’t quite warm enough for us to get in the water. Check out our reel.
Forest Rd, Ilford IG6 3HN
Aqua Park Lakeside – Alexandra Lake
If you’re not driving, it’s just 22 mins on the train from West Ham to Chafford Hundred then a 10 min walk to Aqua Park Lakeside where an inflatable assault course awaits. The course includes 30 obstacles, giant bouncy slides, blast bags and monkey bars. Children can play as young as 6 but will need an adult to supervise at a ratio of 1:3. You can hire a wetsuit or bring your own or brave the chill. Mini golf, rock climbing and a trampoline park can be found at Lakeside Shopping Centre.
Friday Saturday and Sunday’s through June. 7 days from 7th July until 3rd Sept!
Alexandra Lake South, Lakeside Shopping Centre, West Thurrock, Grays RM20 2AB
£20 for 1 hour including a life jacket
Stubbers Adventure Centre
This very popular Adventure Centre has a LOT going on for older children from banana boating to kayaking to archery to axe throwing, yes axe throwing. There’s Adventure Play Areas with a Young Adventurers area and big size play areas including climbing, spinners and swings, a Woodland Discovery Trail with play features and den build area and a Young Adventurers Sand Play and Paddle Beach.
Open daily 9 am – 6 pm
Stubbers Cottage Ockendon Road, Upminster RM14 2TY, England
Adults £3, kids £4 under 3s go FREE some activities like banana boating are extra (£300 per group)
Less busy that Southend-on Sea, Chalkwell is just 37 mins from West Ham station on the air conditioned C2C and just a 2 min walk from station to beach. The beach is a combination of sand, shallow waters, with a seawater paddling pool and lifeguard services during peak times. Children can enjoy beach combing and playing with tiny crabs. Tuck into some Fish n Chips and it’s back to London. Make sure to check the tides before you go. South End Pier is a 5 min taxi ride away should you want to take the kids for some amusement park fun.
If all this seems like a bit too much, and all you want to do is take the kids to the nearest place to cool down, check out our round up of splash parks near East London.