There are numerous big lakes in London to select from, whether you want to go swimming, boating, or simply admire the lake’s beauty from afar.
When London’s jam-packed and noisy streets become a lot to take, as happens quite often, there is no better way to clear the mind than by being near a beautiful lake.
While it is true that the capital city adores the color gray, it also enjoys a bit of blue.
There is something for the entire family to do in the city, especially when you plan on enjoying a day at the lake. You can either ride a boat or just stroll around with your kids.
Willing to dive in? Here are London’s five biggest lakes to explore.
List of the biggest lakes in London:
- The Serpentine
- St James’s Park Lake
- Hampstead Heath
- Beckenham Place Park Lake
- Alexandra Palace
1. The Serpentine
The Serpentine, one of Hyde Park’s worst-kept secrets, is a 40-acre lake where you can dive and paddle in the heart of London.
This serpentine lake located in the midst of Hyde Park is a hub of aquatic activity.
It is renowned for making pedal boating one of London’s most popular summer activities, and it also contains the city’s oldest lido, where strong swimmers coexist peacefully with flocks of geese.
On warm days, both tourists and residents flock to this area, however, do not let this deter you. There is so much to do here, from relaxing on the fresh green grass with your family or friends.
If you do not feel like swimming or boating yourself, you can engage in other activities or just stroll around the lake to absorb its beauty and calm.
Location: Hyde Park, London, United Kingdom.
For children above age 3: £3.50
Opening hours: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM seven days a week.
2. St James’s Park Lake
St James’s Park Lake’s primary attraction is the blue bridge, which provides the ideal vantage point for viewing the resident ducks.
You will be able to observe various beautiful ducks and mallards, as well as many swans.
Make sure to keep a lookout for a piece of land known as Duck Island, as this is likely where you may encounter wildlife.
However, this lake is not suitable for swimming because of the wildlife.
In the middle of all the palace and parliamentary structures, the walkways around the lake are a lifesaver for getting some nature into one’s system.
If you are fortunate, you may observe a politician enjoying some fresh air during their lunch break.
Tel: 0300 061 2350
Location: 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace, London, United Kingdom.
Opening hours: The Park is open from 5 AM to midnight seven days a week.
3. Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath is one of the finest lakes in London for cooling down by diving, with or without grace, into a large body of freshwater.
It is actually a cluster of 25 lakes, three of which are accessible for swimming.
After paying a minimum amount of money and a dipping charge, all you need is a good novel, a towel, and preferably some swimwear to enjoy your day at the lake.
The Heath is accessible year-round, so you can swim as nature intended even during the winter if you are courageous enough.
Tel: +44 20 7332 3322
Location: London, United Kingdom.
Opening hours: Opens 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
4. Beckenham Place Park Lake
Beckenham Place Park contains one of the newest lakes in London, which was inaugurated in 2019 as a 285-meter-long big swimming pool.
It was a bit of a tease when it originally opened, re-closing after only five days due to extreme overcrowding, probably a mistake on the part of the Council that miscalculated the enthusiasm of Londoners for the opportunity to swim outdoors.
Today, the first-week commotion is a thing of the past, and the lake runs gently with fish, ducks, and a more rational approach to guest management.
Additionally, you can swim in the lake if you are an adult or a kid above the age of 8.
Location: Capital Ring, Beckenham BR3 1UL, United Kingdom
Monday to Thursday: 7:00 AM to 8 PM
Friday: 7:00 AM to 3 PM
Saturday: 7:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Sunday: 8 AM to 3 PM
5. Alexandra Palace
The Alexandra Palace Boating Lake is the most popular lake in London. It offers a variety of pedalos to select from.
You can either ride a swan or a dragon in the lake with your friends or family.
This is a terrific place to bring the kids, and there is a lakeside cafe where you can refuel after a day on the water.
Tel: +44 20 8365 2121
Location: Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, London N22 7AY, United Kingdom.
Monday to Sunday: 9 AM to 5 PM