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Keeping The Kids Cool In London

by Rebecca Formston (follow)
As the weather heats up, here are ways to keep cool

When it is hot in the city, it is hard to keep cool. The days can seem endless and the kiddies can get cranky!

So we are here to inspire you with these great ideas to help keep you and the kids cool this summer in London. With a focus on fun and water play! Most activities are free too, so that is a bonus.

Photo Credit: Somerset House Facebook Page

1. Water Fountains

Dotted around the city, these water fountains and playgrounds really are a fantastic find on a hot summer day. Let the kids run around in the fountains and splash in the water to cool off, just remember to bring a towel and spare clothes! Here's a couple of our favourites:

A popular and fabulous spot in London for kids is the Princess of Wales Memorial Playground. Children of all ages will have a wonderful time exploring the pirate ship playground, digging in the sand and playing with the musical instruments and wooden animals. On hot days, the splashable mermaid fountains are a perfect way to cool off.

What better way to cool off in the city by splashing around in the 55 fountains at the impressive Somerset House. Children will have fun trying to guess what fountain will sprout next, with each water jet appearing in an orchestrated sequence, at different heights and times.

Appearing as different heights of walls of water and constantly changing, children will have a great time jumping through them and back again.

2. Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is always a great option to take the family, especially on warmer days as you'll find plenty of shade amongst the trees, shrubs and flowers. Open daily from 10am and with entry for children under 4 free, you'll find plenty to do to keep cool (though bare in mind some of the large greenhouse attractions may get hot on very warm days).

Head to the fabulous Treetop Walkway, where you'll keep cool 18 metres high in the trees, plus be spoilt with views right across London. Please note, no prams are allowed on the treetop walkway.

Kew is also home to several lakes, with plenty of shady spots next to them, for relaxing and enjoying the summer weather.

3. Outdoor Swimming Pools and Lidos

Though London may not be next to the coast, there are plenty of public water spaces to make the most of during summer. Here's a couple we recommend for families:

The country's largest outdoor freshwater pool is a perfect place to cool off at. It also includes a paddling pool for young children, lockers for storing valuables and a cafe to refuel at after some swimming.

Here you'll find a small outdoor lido with a surrounding grassy area. There's also an indoor main pool and a leisure pool with a wave machine. The lido is part of a leisure complex which includes the pools, a cinema and a bowling alley so there's plenty to keep whole family busy on a hot day!

A popular spot amongst locals, Hampton Pool is open all year round and kept heated to 28C, plus has a huge grassy area for sunbathing or picnicking on. There's also a smaller pool for younger children and a fun slide to play on in the main pool.

Photo credit: Tooting Bec Lido Facebook page

4. River Thames

Why not head to one of London's most iconic spots, the river Thames, for a perfect place to cool off. Running right through the city and surrounding areas, there are plenty of wonderful riverside pubs along the Thames, with shady pub gardens to relax in and enjoy a cool refreshment. Some of these pubs may also boast a playground so the kids will be kept busy too. A top suggestion is The Anglers pub in Teddington, South West London. With great food, a family friendly atmosphere, river views in the shaded pub garden plus a fantastic playground, it's a great spot to spend a summer afternoon.

Or simply take a leisurely stroll next to the river, enjoying the views whilst making the most of the shade from the trees and the cool water breezes and, if you're lucky, perhaps you'll run in to an ice cream van or two.

5. Boating in London

Drifting about on a boat in one of London's many parks and lakes is a wonderful way to cool down.

In North London, you'll find Ally Pally Boating Lake at Alexandra Palace, with rowing boats and pedalos for hire. The pedalos come in fun designs such as a swan, dragon or VW Beetle car- perfect for families!

In Central London, head to Regents Park's large boating lake to hire rowing boats and pedalos. There's also the added bonus of a smaller lake just for children where they can hire child sized pedalos, meaning you can kick back and relax whilst they burn off some energy!

6. Ice Cream

Who doesn't love an ice cream, especially on a hot summers day! London boasts some of the best ice cream shops so go grab some to keep cool.

Having ice cream doesn't have to be too unhealthy with these great places. Scoop Gelato Covent Garden makes ice creams containing no artificial colours or flavours. Yorica in Soho was the first to make London's first dairy, egg, nut and gluten free ice cream.

7. Woodlands and Parks

London may be a busy capital city, but it is also home to some of the most beautiful green parks, which are fantastic places to keep cool at. With plenty of trees creating shaded areas, pack a picnic, put on some sun cream and embrace the summer weather. Here's some of our favourites:

One of London's royal parks, keep your eyes peeled for the stunning free roaming deer. Enjoy a stroll along one of the many cycle paths, with plenty of woodland areas for shade to keeping cool.

Keep cool next to the lake, which is also home to pelicans.

With many play areas to enjoy, Battersea Children's Zoo, a riverside promenade, fountains and boats available for hire on the lake, there's plenty to see and do whilst keeping cool at Battersea Park.

Victoria Park is home to several canals and ponds, the perfect places to keep cool next to, as well as a pavilion, tennis courts and a sports ground.

Keep cool in the trees at Richmond Park. Photo credit: Richmond Park Facebook page

Have we missed any? Where is your favourite place to keep cool in London? Please let us know in the comments below, we would love to hear from you!

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