Wild swimming spots

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  • I’m allergic to chlorine so can’t swim in public pools.
    It’s hot.
    I want a dip.

    I know already:

    • Shadwell basin
    • Serpentine
    • Royal Docks
    • Most lidos

    Looking for a properly wild feeling spot somewhere near East London yet inside the M25. I know there’s a good point in Hackney Marshes, anyone got a GPS ref? And there must be something in the Lea Valley.

  • I wouldn't swim near hackney marshes mate.

    However, if you wanted to, look for the field south of lea bridge road and west of orient way. It is like the Lea Valley riviera

    There is a new one in Beckenham, and if you didn't mind a slight departure from the M25 (<5 miles) there is another one in between Reigate and Dorking at a quarry

  • Leyton one here

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  • RTC trip that takes in the former Lewes to East Grinstead line with a dip at Barcombe Mills?

  • NCR 1 up near roydon. The lake is called ‘Glen Faba’. Go past Dobbs Weir, on the gravelly bit of route 1 northbound. Near the lock. I’ll look for a picture.

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  • Went to the Lea Valley riviera. The water was lovely and very warm! There was plenty of well behaved company. Thanks :)

  • If you swam far enough south, you wouldn't have been able to have missed the race on the marshes.

    Got loads of cheers on the parkrun early in the morning!

    Glad you liked it

  • @doubleodavey or @platypus can you please elaborate on the Lea Valley riviera and the Beckenham swim place you mentioned? I can't decipher the instructions you've given for finding those places 😢 (sorry!)
    Or a screen shot of the location on the map would be beyond amazing!

  • Just outside the m25... but Leigh is pretty good. Train return is about £14 from Blackfriars. Walk down Ensfield Rd heading south until you get to a public footpath which follows the Medway

  • The Beckenham one is a new 'artificial' lake in Beckenham Place Park. Looks nice but closed at the moment though.

  • I wouldn't go in the Lea for any amount of money. I've seen all the industrial waste going into it further upriver

  • Lovely swim in the Thames today just past Sunbury.

  • Are you able to show where on a map? Made it out to Glen Faba, security guards doing the rounds but were pretty relaxed about telling people off really, turning a bit of a blind eye

  • Please tell me you weren't one of the 500 people down there last night

  • 51°24'05.1"N 0°24'49.0"W

    More of a paddle than a swim I suppose.
    If you follow that cycle path up the river to sunnymeads there's some more spots in and around there.

  • was crazy on hackney marshes a day or two back ... hundreds and hundreds in the water
    how anyone can think of swimming in that brown filthy muck is beyond me

    crystal clear chalk streams or gtfo >>

  • Isn't swimming banned in the Thames without permission?

  • you are right.

  • Cloudy doesn’t necessarily mean dirty. In Hampstead ponds you’ll never see your hands beneath you, but it’s perfectly clean and safe.

  • Tiniest pier (a fishing pad?) found here: 51°43'18.0"N 0°00'48.2"W
    Fast flowing Lee, in shade on a hot afternoon. Step lightly when getting in, or wear sandals - broken up rocks/rubble, not dangerous but be careful. Nice pebbles further on, and not deep.

  • I used to cycle up the Lea to work in Tottenham. The part next to the Marshes looks beautiful - but the rats, rubbish, abandoned scooters, and chemical scum further up have always put me off.

    Yesterday I cycled past at about 4pm and it looked like those pictures of Bournemouth beach.

  • But the river Lea is a different kettle of fish.

    Possibly even two headed fish

  • The Lea Riviera

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  • Great to see that those 'foul water misconnections' apparently still haven't been sorted out. They've been known about for a long, long time. I think I first heard about them about 20 years ago. IIRC they were in some of the developments along the river around Markfield Park. Just incredible.

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Wild swimming spots

Posted by Avatar for platypus @platypus