Escape to these 8 relaxing swimming spots without leaving the city!
Posted on 14/10/2020

CultureSouth Africa

Twitter Facebook 1 share

It's easy to get stressed out when you're living in a big, noisy and fast-paced city. We all deserve a break once in a while, and thanks to these divine swimming spots, you can escape your busy life without leaving the city. You no longer have to wait for the next vacation, or long weekend. These places are so close that you can go for a quick swim after work, or even on your day off!

St.James pool, Cape Town

St.James pool, Cape Town
© Rodger Shagam/123RF

To reach this gorgeous location you just have to drive an hour away from Cape Town and here you'll find a grand tidal pool that has become the talk of the town. This charming little escape will make you forget that the city is close because it's surrounded by nature, wildlife and the sea. You can go solo, as a couple or with your family, so pack a picnic, go for a swim and enjoy your break in nature. The famous tidal pool was created for those who do not want to venture into the rough waters, and it is perfectly placed between the natural rock pools that are on the beach so you won't even realize that it was man-made. Along the shore you will find vibrant little wooden huts where you can change or set up your picnic. Make sure to get there early because it can get pretty packed - afterall, it costs you nothing to enter.

Hampstead Heath, London

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Svetlana (@gdekonfeti) on

In the northern region of London lies Hampstead Heath and this is a relaxing getaway that city dwellers come to for a cool dip in the water. Hampstead Heath is a natural wonderland with green lush lands, dense forests and deep pools of water. There are three bathing ponds in Hampstead Heath which are open all year round and they are segregated into three categories: the mixed pond is for both men and women, then there is the Highgate Men's Pond and finally the Kenwood Ladies' Pond. When you reach Hampstead Heath you will be submerged into nature and you can bet that you'll be swimming with some peculiar little birds as well. Unfortunately these pools come with a price so take some change along with you because a single day ticket can cost an adult £4.

Bronte Baths, Sydney

View this post on Instagram

Bring it in Bronte! This may just be one of Sydney's most Instagrammable beaches, and there's no shortage of pics to prove it. ?? This pretty much sums up a typical day for Sydney east-siders: A morning stroll from Bondi, followed by a refreshing dip in Bronte's ocean-side pool, and then brekkie at @ThreeBlueDucks for their Vegemite on homemade toast. Tomorrow morning, sorted! ???? #ilovesydney ???????????? ?? @thedroneman

A post shared by Sydney, Australia (@sydney) on

Bronte Beach is a popular swimming spot for tourists and locals who want to take a break from the city and enjoy the natural world. All the way at the end of the beach you'll find an exquisite pool and unlike many pools in Sydney, this one is totally free! This turquoise bath is secluded from the raging ocean which makes it great for a swim in tranquility. It gets even better because the pool is open all day long, but travellers recommend taking a dip at sunset or sunrise because the ocean view is magical during those times. Despite what the name suggests, the pool is perfectly designed to suit everyone's needs from experienced swimmers to parents who want their kids to have fun. The location of the pool is ideal because there are plenty of cafés around the beach where you can go to replenish your energy.

Astoria Park Pool, New York City

View this post on Instagram

Free public pool ??

A post shared by Kiki Katahira (@monkiidansu) on

Astoria Park Pool is the most iconic swimming facility in all of New York City and it has been that way ever since it opened in 1936. Just like NYC, this pool is super sized and sees hundreds of visitors every single day - from children who are learning how to swim to professional athletes practicing their sport. Given the harsh winters of New York, the pool is only open from June until early September so you can imagine how crowded it gets during the summer. You'd think that there would be a hefty entrance fee for this grand facility but it's actually free! All they ask is for you to bring a lock for your belongings, wear only white garments over your swimsuit and if you want to snack, you have to buy from their food stalls. That's not a bad deal at all.

Aare river, Bern

Aare river, Bern
© bloodua/123RF

The Aare river is the heart and soul of Switzerland which has been kept in pristine condition by the Bernese people. This is the longest river that flows within Switzerland and it's 288 kilometers long. It is also known as one of the cleanest rivers in Europe and this is all because of the love it gets from the local community. This river encircles the city of Bern and during the summer months it comes to life with all the swimmers who are gathered in the river to bask in the cool waters. This is an activity that everyone should partake in and swimming in the Aare river is so authentic to the Bernese culture that it is an official Swiss tradition that is recommended to all travellers who are visiting in the summer.

Boekenberg swimming pond, Antwerp

Hop on a tram in the center of Antwerp and you'll be well on your way to the incredible Boekenberg park in the suburb of Deurun. Within this park you'll find the Boekenberg natural swimming pond that is adored by everyone in the city. This ecological pond uses plants and rocks to filter the water and because it's so natural, it is also known to rejuvenate your body. There are two ponds that are accessible by the public, one has a depth of 1.80 metres and the other is used more often by children because it's just 50 cm deep. Swimming is not the only activity here, there are plenty of large open fields where you can play other sports and there is also a playground if you're visiting with kids.

The Forty Foot, Dublin

View this post on Instagram

What's your excuse? ?? ?? ? ?#ReviveActive #EnrichYourLife #SuperSupplement #Fortyfoot #Sea #Swim #Health #Wellbeing ? ???: @desdoris

A post shared by Revive Active (@reviveactive) on

The Forty Foot is located just south of Dublin Bay and it's one of the most recognized swimming spots in the country - and perhaps the world. This is a historic bathing pool that used to be exclusive to men, but all of that changed in 1974 and now anyone can enjoy its freezing waters - well anyone who dares. The swim here isn't considered comfortable by everyone because the temperature of the water is always icy cold, even during the summers. However, many argue that this is all part and parcel of the experience. The Forty Foot is regularly frequented by many older swimmers from the ages of 73 to 83 and it has become a place of socialization and exercise for many. If they can brave the cold waters, you can too!

Kitsilano pool, Vancouver

View this post on Instagram

??last day of pool season ???????

A post shared by Shira Sade (@sadeshira) on

Located in the city of Vancouver is Canada's longest pool, the Kitsilano pool. This place is buzzing during the summer because the locals love to swim in its salty waters while looking at the Vancouver skyline. It's open from May to September and you'll often see many fitness enthusiasts take advantage of the facilities to get their swim on. Given the sheer size and decadence of this pool, you can imagine that there is an entry fee to pay. Depending on your age, you can pay anywhere between £2 to £4. This pool sits just beside the Kitsilano Beach Park and there are many other amenities for visitors to enjoy like the playground, a picnic area and volleyball courts.