Wild swimming lake and new wet woodlands opening in south London’s Beckenham Place Park

A natural swimming spot in south-east London, once a Georgian lake, has been brought back to its wilderness days offering visitors a chance to cool off.

The wild swimming lake, which opens at Beckenham Place Park on 20 July, is around 285 metres long by 48 metres wide and is 3.5 metres at its deepest level. Aside from swimming, the lake will also offer boating, kayaking and other water-based activities to visitors.

Swimmers will have to book in advance and pay electronically before jumping off the jetty, but a beach area that’s also suitable for children will be free to use for paddling. The wild swimming lake will be open all year round, with changing facilities available during the summer.

The wild swimming lake takes pride of place in Beckenham Place Park, the largest green space in the London Borough of Lewisham, covering 98 hectares. It contains large areas of ancient woodland ideal for woodland walks.

The lake was first dug in the 1700s, before being filled in in the 1900s. As part of a £4.9 million Heritage Lottery Fund restoration to restore the green space to its former glory, a new café and education centre will also open alongside the swimming lake.

Around 15,000 trees have also been planted at Beckenham Place Park, and visitors to the park can also explore a new wet woodland which aims to be an ecological environment for London’s wildlife.

The swimming lake officially opens on July 20 with a launch party, including family-friendly activities, food stalls and bars, live music and DJs.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

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