Hampstead ponds price hike for spring swimmers

The ladies pond was 13C this week. Picture: Polly Hancock

The ladies pond was 13C this week. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

In a shock to the system comparable to the cold water in April, swimming prices at Hampstead Heath's bathing ponds have been raised by 4.9%.

Swimmers have been hit with the hike by the City of London Corporation (CoLC), which manages the Men's Pond, Mixed Pond, and Kenwood Ladies' Pond.

A single adult ticket, which cost £4 when introduced in 2020, and was raised to £4.05 last year, is now £4.25.

Concession rates for disabled swimmers or people on Universal Credit has risen to £2.55 from £2.43 last year.

A newly introduced junior charge is £1.30.

The price of a six-month season ticket has risen from £66.85 to £70.10. It is £42.05 for disabled, elderly and welfare adults, having been £33 two years ago.

Christina Efthimiou brought a Judicial Review against CoLC against its charges for disabled swimming which was heard at the High Court in February, and a judgement is due soon.

She said of the price rises: "It's crazy. They're increasing it even though there's a case going on in the background."

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Prices at the Lido have also increased by 4.9%.

A spokesperson for the CoLC, said: “Prices were increased by inflation as part of the annual review of fees and charges agreed by the Hampstead Heath Management Committee on February 9, and introduced from April 1."

They added: “Swimming charges are reinvested to ensure that affordable, safe, and sustainable outdoor swimming is available to as many people as possible for generations to come.”

A carer accompanying a swimmer, can make use of a free access wristband which can be applied for by the swimmer or their carer. 

Kenwood Ladies' Pond Association (KPLA) said that many disabled swimmers have been unaware of the process for applying.

The KLPA has promoted the scheme on its website and secretary Mary Powell said: "It is important that swimmers who need the support of a carer to swim are aware of this option."