Tooting Bec Lido
For a swim in the great outdoors head to the Tooting Bec Lido, an open-air fresh water swimming pool that’s been voted ‘best outdoor pool’ for the second year running. The Art Deco pool is a huge 91.5 metres long and surrounded by the brightly coloured doors of the changing cubicles that run along side it. There’s also a children’s paddling pool, next to a large lawn with plenty of space for picnics and lots of shade. With a sauna, cafe, modern changing rooms and lockers for small valuables too, it’s a great, relaxing place for all the family to visit in the summer.
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Latchmere Leisure Centre, Battersea
Your little ones will love this pool with its elephant slide and gentle sloping pool which is perfect for nervous toddlers who can splash in and out as if they are at the beach. Plus there’s a wave machine that gets switched on at the weekends and after school. There’s also a separate children’s teaching pool and a busy programme of group and one to one swimming lessons for everyone from babies through to adults. The café and soft play area upstairs also make for a fun day out.
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Putney Leisure Centre
Water babies will love this swimming pool, with it’s splash pool for tiny tots, 12m teaching pool for those who want more of a challenge and a 33m L-shaped main pool, complete with daunting high diving board, for adept swimmers. A good place to learn to swim, it has NPTS lessons on offer to take your non-swimmer from his or her first splash to developing confidence and competence in the water.
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Balham Leisure Centre
Situated on Elmfield Road, this leisure centre houses a 25m swimming pool with lane swimming plus parent and baby sessions, swimming lessons, fun inflatable sessions, a swimming club and aqua aerobics. Some sessions may restrict area available in the pool so call before you head off to check times.
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Tooting Leisure Centre
There’s a 33m main pool and 12m teaching pool which is kept at a warmer temperature so little ones don’t get cold although this is only available when not being used for swimming lessons. Their popular instructors run a range of swimming courses for all ages from babies to adults. The centre also houses a small soft play area so you can combine this with a swim to really tire your little ones out! There’s also a crèche so you can have a serious swim too.
Trinity Hydro Centre, Tooting Bec
Opened in 2010, this was London’s first purpose built baby swimming centre. The pool is small (just 5.5m long by 2.8m wide) but warm and sees heavy use for baby swimming, toddler classes, water yoga and hydrotherapy. It is also filtered using ozone and sand filters so that the levels of chlorine in the pool are only slightly higher than you’d find in drinking water. Perfect for delicate new skin! There’s a small café area and plenty of space for buggy parking. Unfortunately the pool is not open for drop-in swimming and so you need to book a course of lessons.
London Baby Swim, Wandsworth
London Baby Swim is due to open in central Wandsworth in April 2012. Another pool specially designed for babies, it promises to offer “ the cleanest and safest environment for your baby swimming classes as well as a host of convenient course times”. The pool will be warmed to 33°C and sanitised with a UV system keeping chlorine levels at a minimum. A range of swimming courses for babies and toddlers will be offered.