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Questions and answers about sports

Can you swim in the Serpentine in London?

2 min read

Asked by: Todd Krenek

The Serpentine Lake is situated in London’s Hyde Park. The club has its own (somewhat Spartan) changing facilities and members are permitted by the Royal Parks to swim in the lake in the mornings from 05:00 to 09:30.

Can you swim at the Serpentine?

The Serpentine Lido is, arguably, London’s most iconic ‘open water’ swimming location.

Do you need a wetsuit to swim in the Serpentine?

A. Wetsuits are optional when the water temperature is 15 degrees or over. However, for safety reasons, all swimmers in the event must either wear a full-length wetsuit or use a tow-float. A small number of wetsuits and tow-floats may be available to hire/buy on the day.

Did they swim in the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park?

Created as an ornamental lake in 1730, the Serpentine has been a recreational landmark for central London for almost 300 years, used for boating and swimming.

How deep is the Serpentine Lido?


Deep end 3m
Area 3000m2
Movable floor No

Is Serpentine clean?

Originally the lake was created by damming the river Westbourne, but water is now sourced from springs, surface water, and boreholes (at the Diana Fountain and the Italian Gardens). It’s clean, and with the length of the swimming area surpassing 100m, there’s certainly a lot of it.

How long is the serpentine swim?


The two-mile distance at Swim Serpentine is also one of the three events that make up the London Classics – a trio of prestigious events brought together to create an endurance challenge like no other.

Who drowned in the Serpentine?

Harriet Westbrook

The lake achieved notoriety in December 1816 when Harriet Westbrook, the pregnant wife of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, was found drowned in the Serpentine having left a suicide note addressed to her father, sister and husband. Shelley married Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin less than two weeks later.

Is the serpentine a man made lake?

Queen Caroline made a large lake called the Serpentine by damming the Westbourne Stream. At that time, artificial lakes were usually long and straight. The Serpentine was one of the first created lakes in England that was designed to look natural.

Why is the Serpentine lake called the Serpentine?

The Serpentine takes its name from its snakelike, curving shape, although it only has one bend. Originally fed by the River Westbourne and Tyburn Brook in the 1730s, the lake’s water was then pumped from the Thames in the 1830s.