Notes from Yawn | Team Yawn takes a dip
It's not very often that you or a friend would suggest you go for a dip together when living in the UK. In fact, the only time people really seem to go swimming as adults is when on holiday.
But rather than countdown the days until your next holiday to feel the sensation of freedom, you can cool down and relax in an outdoor pool right in the city.
In a bid to 'do less' and take some time out to relax, team Yawn decided to head north and visit Hampstead Ladies Pond. A unique, hidden location of natural beauty that allowed us to escape London's noise before heading to work for the day.
Originally dug in the 18th century as a reservoir, since 1926 it has acted solely for the purpose to offer women an exclusive place to swim, (there's one for the men too).
With a mixture of committed swimmers and those popping by to relax or spend time with friends, it's a complete technology free zone. The only noises you'll hear are the local birds diving in and out of the weeping willows and a hum of chat and laughter as women come together in their swimsuits to slow down and brave the refreshing water.
Cold at first, once your body adjusts to the temperature a sense of weightlessness overcomes you as you create ripples across the water. Like meditation, you can quite easily lose yourself in the moment and forget about the outside world.
It's not about competitive swimming or who can last the longest, the pond is merely a tranquil setting for people to enjoy and recover.
The experience naturally changes throughout the year with the seasons, and as it gets colder we'd suggest investing in an open-water wetsuits. However, during this fair-weather period, with a £2 admission price we highly recommend first-timers to grab your cossie and enjoy a haven away from the stresses of daily life.
If you find yourself feeling peckish after your swim, head to Polly's at 55 S End Rd. A traditional family run cafe known for great cakes, tea and charming service.
Managed by the City of London’s Hampstead Heath Department, for opening hours and charges click here. Or, for more general information and directions click here.