Well we are very spoilt for choice in where we are located.
For the toddlers – there is the most amazing splash pool right down the road in Viccie Park. This is situated in the very large playground next to the Deer enclosure.
Of course – as it is outdoors – it is only available in summer – but well worth waiting the whole of winter for. It is a beautifully landscaped series of pools - which run downhill into each other – with loads of knee high ponds to cool off in.
Check out: http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/data/discover/data/parks/data/vic.cfm
Then there is the newly re-opened London Fields Lido. Just get the number 26 or 388 bus from St Mary’s church – and in ten minutes you get off at Mare Street – walk for 5 minutes to London Fields – and you have a luxuriously heated lido – even in winter!!
Check out: http://www.hackney.gov.uk/c-londonfields-lido
& map at: http://www.gll.org/borough/centre.asp?CategoryID=1704
There is also the new swimming pool at the Mile End Park Leisure Centre – which is a 15 minute cycle along the canal upstream. Or you can catch the No. 277 bus from Grove Road in Viccie Park – which stops right outside the Leisure Centre
Check out: http://www.towerhamlets-sports.org.uk/centredetails.aspx?ref=28&club=false¢re=true&title=Mile+End+Park+Leisure+Centre
& map at: http://www.gll.org/borough/centre.asp?CategoryID=979
Closer than that is York Hall Leisure Centre. This is literally on the other side of Viccie Park. If you go out of the Approach Road gate in the middle of the park – then just walk up Approach Road – turn right into Old ford Road - & it’s on your right hand side.
If you don’t fancy walking through Viccie Park – then take the number 26 bus from St Mary’s Church – and get off in Mare Street near the Childhood Museum. There is a sign pointing to the York Hall Leisure Centre across the road
Check out: http://www.towerhamlets-sports.org.uk/centredetails.aspx?ref=11&club=false¢re=true&title=York+Hall+Leisure+Centre
& map at: http://www.gll.org/borough/centre.asp?CategoryID=753
Then there is the Kings Hall Leisure Centre in Hackney centre – right opposite Hackney Police Station. Although it was damaged by fire in early 2006 – it has not affected the swimming pool. This is still operating smoothly and is a great place to cool off.
Simlpy get the number 30 bus from St Mary’s church – and after 15 minutes - get off at the top end of Mare Street – walk through the pedestrian/bus part of Mare Street – and turn right into Lower Clapton Road – and it’s on your left hand side.
Check out: http://www.hackney.gov.uk/index.htm/c-sports-facilities/cs-kingshall.htm
&map at: http://www.gll.org/borough/centre.asp?CategoryID=970
Then the Brittania Leisure Centre re-opens in January 2007 – with a completely new look! This is a great pool to take toddlers as well - as it has a shallow splash area too. It is easy to get to if you cycle along the Regents canal by simply getting off at the Whitmore Road bridge – but it’s a bit complicated to explain how to get there by car or bus – so check out the map at:
& map at: http://www.gll.org/borough/centre.asp?CategoryID=969
Then a bit further – but great fun if you have kids is the fantastic leisure centre in Woolwich. This is brilliant as it also entails a trip across the Thames on the famous & free Woolwich Ferry.
Although it sounds far – it actually takes just as much time to get to some of the nearer pools because all you have to do – is hop on the train here at Hackney Wick. Take it all the way to North Woolwich. Get on the ferry – and the pool is in front of you.
This pool has a series of water slides – but the huge python slide actually goes out of the building for a few meters and comes back in to splash you into the pool.
There is a separate shallow pool for babies & toddlers – and a few more linked pools for swimmers of different capabilities. Of course then there is a laned pool for any future Olympic swimmers in Leabank Square.
Check out: http://www.gll.org/borough/centre.asp?CategoryID=101
So – as you can see – we are right at the centre of heaps of swimming pools & leisure centres – there really is no excuse to get swimming.
And remember – the Clissold Leisure Centre should also re-open soon – so that’ll add another to our list.