RAC Pool"I'm not big on gentleman's clubs," admits Tim, "but this is a wonderful hidden pool in London".Open to members only, it is "marble lined, and in the Grecian style, and I have been dreaming of swimming here since reading the remarkable Haunts of the Black Masseur – The Swimmer as Hero by Charles Sprawson"."Picnic at Barcombe Mills, in open meadows, or head upstream to the riverside Anchor Inn," he advises.At the latter "you can hire one of its fleet of blue paddle boats and row, or swim, for more than two miles through remote countryside".Dan Graham is managing director of wild swimming holiday company Gone Swimming (uk)Juliet Kinsman is editor-in-chief of Mr & Mrs Smith (mrandmrssmith.com)Kate Mc Knight is head of facilities development at the ASA (swimming.org) Daniel Start is the author of several books about wild swimming.His the latest is Wild Swimming France (uk)Tim Taylor is an artist whose projects have included swimming the 14 pools of Edinburgh on Midsummers' Day (timgtaylor.com)Hampstead Ponds The three freshwater ponds on Hampstead Heath, also known as Highgate Ponds, are recommended by Daniel.
Lymington Sea Water Baths Tim says this is "an ideal location to swim off the effects of a riotous party," this "enormous" outdoor pool, overlooking the Solent, was built in 1833 and is the oldest lido in the UK.The Serpentine It may be a predictable choice, says Dan, but this swimming area, part of Hyde Park's Serpentine lake, plays host to "a unique and wonderful community of swimmers and is quite unlike any other swimming venue in the capital".If you book Spring Cottage, sold as a secluded luxury suite in the grounds of this stately home and hotel, you can also take a dip in the Thames.London Aquatics Centre Described by Kate as a "breathtaking 2012 Olympics venue, designed by Zaha Hadid and inspired by the fluid geometry of water in motion," this three-pool facility has "an undulating roof that sweeps from the ground like a wave". It won't open to the public for swimming until 2014.
"Originally built to collect spring water, which was channelled down to the city in a series of hollow elm pipes", today they see service as mixed, ladies' and men's ponds. Cliveden House"Cliveden's outdoor pool is pretty darned special," says Juliet.
"Not just because you're hidden away amid glorious rolling National Trust scenery but because you'll also be splashing about where John Profumo first laid eyes on Christine Keeler".