Tooting Bec Lido - how to freeze first thing in the morning

I have lived a short walk from Tooting Bec Lido for four years now and I've shamefully never been. Boasting Britain's second largest open-air fresh water swimming pool with over 100 years of history, the Lido is a popular choice for the hardy local early morning swimmer. 

I thought it was time to give it a go. So I set my alarm for 5.45 am this morning with my swim shorts at the ready.  



Looks inviting... 

Looks inviting... 

I made it down, despite the efforts of the snooze button, and the first thing that grabbed me when I entered the Lido was the sheer size of it - some 92 metres long and 30 metres wide.  


I got changed in one of those funky little booths and walked over to the stairs to get in the pool. I dilly dallied for a good 10 minutes while scoping out my pool entry strategy. A man noticed my reluctance and came over with some words of wisdom. He advised not just jumping straight in and instead easing your way in using the stairs. I took his advice.  

It was good advice. I was underway.  

The cold really knocks the wind out of you, and I choked and spluttered my way down for the first two lengths, making a real splash. I managed another two lengths after this before the cold got the better of me.

It was certainly an experience. I can imagine this being the perfect hangover cure!