I can’t say that I fancy an open air dip this morning but there are people who do. This clip from 1931 shows young women leap frogging around the Kenwood Ladies Pond before taking the plunge in very chilly water – Winter Nymphs indeed. NB for youngsters a reminder that 32 degrees on the old Fahrenheit scale is freezing point. There’s a wonderful association that cares about this magical little place http://www.klpa.org.uk/visitor-information.html and the following information is from Wiki.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPN1L1wI5pQWinterNymphs1931]
The Hampstead Ponds or Highgate Ponds are three large freshwater swimming ponds — two designated single sex, and one for mixed bathing — fed by the headwater springs of the River Fleet — in Hampstead Heath, North London, England. The swimming ponds are three out of some 30 ponds on Hampstead Heath.They were originally dug in the 17th and 18th centuries as reservoirs. A malarial marsh was drained by the Hampstead Water Company in 1777 to meet London’s growing water demand.
In 2004, the City of London Corporation, which holds the Heath in trust, since the abolition of the Greater London Council in 1986, tried to close the ponds on the grounds that they were an unsustainable drain on their expenses and posed a health risk to swimmers. The swimmers challenged this and won a victory in the High Court. To defray costs, the Corporation introduced a charge for admission of £2 per session, £1 for concessions. There was some opposition to this on the grounds that swimming there had been free since at least the 1920s, and some ticket machines were vandalised.
Kenwood Ladies Pond
Staff Yard Parliament Hill Park Office Highgate Road London NW5 1QR
Send an enquiry
020 7332 3773
Outdoor swimming for women only. For competent swimmers only. No children under 8, under-16s only with an accompanying adult and will need to pass a swimming test.
Opens between 7am and 8am as seasons change; Closes before sunset. Swimmers must vacate the water 15 minutes before closing.