Sunday, August 14, 2022

Swimming at Birchmere Lake, Thamesmead

Going for an outdoor swim at Thamesmead hasn't been top of my bucket list, but when the opportunity arose this weekend for a dip at Birchmere Lake I thought I would give it a go and I am glad I did. PTP Coaching, who run the lake swimming at Beckenham Place Park, were putting on sessions with support of Peabody to try out the lake with a view to possibly making it an ongoing swimming venue in future.

The lake is mainly used for fishing at present, but it is a big body of water with plenty of room for swimmers and anglers to co-exist. Yesterday there was a 500m swimming circuit completely separate from the area where people were fishing, with lifeguards and a sloping entry point for easy access to the lake. On this very hot day getting in to cold (actually lukewarm) water was a treat, and this could definitely work as a regular swimming spot. With outdoor swimming become increasingly popular there is a need for more such places - at present apart from Beckenham Lake and the lidos (Charlton, Brockwell Park, Tooting Bec) there is very little in South London. 


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