Chill factor: Tooting Bec’s million gallon antidote to overheating

After the longest hot stretch in recent memory, I had expected a pulsating throng at Tooting Bec Lido. Instead, it was a surprisingly select gathering of refugees from the sweltering Smoke who assembled at the venerable south London oasis on this July Saturday. The Lido is among Britain’s oldest and […]

Bank failure: my involuntary Cam dip

  Reaching the riverbank in Grantchester, my instinct was to first test the water’s temperature. The grassy bank is nearly two feet above the lapping surface so I inched forward from a sitting position before fully committing.  It wasn’t to be. As my toes touched the stream, I slid involuntarily […]

Clocking off: a dip in Lake Geneva

Few are the major cities that afford outdoor swimming at their very centre.  Geneva, by virtue of its site at the head of one of Western Europe’s largest lakes, has always been an exception.  There are several points at which the water is accessible to bathers in the city centre.  […]

Swim city: cooling my heels at Kings Cross

Bathing on a building site is an improbable antidote to June in the city.  Nonetheless, the Kings Cross Pond Club provides an enchanting, if unusual, oasis as the mercury rises. This temporary installation in the midst of the vast goods-yard redevelopment to the north of the rail terminus is little more […]