Unless you were living under a rock back in 2012, you probably watched the London Olympics. Fancy taking a swim in the same pool as Phelps won his gold medals?
Located in Queen Elizabeth’s Olympic Park – just a stone’s throw from Stratford and its beloved Westfield – you can make use of the London Aquatics Centre’s three pools.
Or better yet – if you’re looking for fun in the water rather than just fitness, visit the Inflatable Aqua Splash – an inflatable obstacle course. You can get a full-body workout by dipping and diving through huge inflatables and slides.
However, if you’re looking to try something completely different, the London Aquatics Centre is also home to the official Tom Daley Diving Academy. You can learn to dive from coaches who can – if they think you’re good enough – fasttrack you to competitive diving clubs.
2. Britannia Leisure Centre, Shoreditch
Fancy a swim after a stroll through Shoreditch Park?
Step into the world of Britannia Leisure Centre – which not only has two swimming pools, but a climbing wall, tennis and football courts, and even an aromatherapy studio.
It’s ideally located close to central London, with slides and a wave machine – so you can battle a wave pool minutes after clocking off from work.
Even better this pool, like many of the swimming pools in East London, have concession prices for certain groups. For example if you’re under 18 or over 60, you can swim for free year-round in Hackney pools.
Don’t take the Britannia Leisure Centre for granted, though. In 2021 Sadiq Khan is planning on demolishing the centre and replacing it with a block of flats.
3. London Fields Lido
Not only is this Olympic-sized pool located in the heart of one of London’s most beautiful and serene parks – it’s the capital’s very first floodlit outdoor pool.
A short stroll from London Fields and Hackney Central Overground stations, we recommend visiting London Fields Lido around dusk – where you can take advantage of the open pool by looking at the night sky as you backstroke down the lanes.
The view is well deserved, too. It took the London Fields User Group 18 years’ worth of campaigning to convince the council not to tear down this East London treasure.
We sure are glad this one isn’t turning into a block of flats any time soon.
4. Leyton Leisure Centre
If you’re not interested in all the Olympic swimming pools in East London – then let’s have some fun. Grab your kids and get down to the Leyton Leisure Centre where you’ll find water flumes, jets, aqua play areas and much more.
If you wear yourself out swimming, you can reward yourself by kicking back and relaxing in one of their saunas or steam rooms.
As part of the Waltham Forest Council funded initiative, at Leyton Leisure Centre you can also swim free if you’re under 18, over 60, a member of the armed forces, or disabled.
5. Love to Swim – Stepney Green
Nothing embodies this swim school’s brand better than its own name.
Love to Swim owns eight swimming pools in East London, including ones in Docklands, Poplar and the Limmo Peninsula. This branch is located just off of Whitehorse Road Park in Stepney Green.
From private swimming lessons, to female-only lessons – Love To Swim Stepney Green offers you options to learn where you’re most comfortable.
The business focuses on smaller group lessons for your children, so you know they’ll get closer guidance when learning to swim.
If your kids can already swim, you can let them explore their inner mermaid by immersing them into the world of mermaid swimming lessons – where you can watch them don a mermaid tail and complete group routines and synchronised swims.
Sound exciting? Your kids will likely think so. You can even hire the venue for private mermaid-themed birthday parties, hen parties or any special occasion.
Best swimming pools in East London: Our top 5
Whether you’re a novice swimmer here to see what all the fuss is about, a pro who wants to further develop your skills, or a parent getting your kids to try out a new sport – you’ll find many of the capital’s best swimming pools in East London.