Londoners can actually swim in an East London dock this summer
If the idea of swimming in the waters of the River Thames has always intrigued you, there’s now a perfect opportunity to take a dip. Canary Wharf’s middle dock, the one right in front of the Jubilee line Tube station entrance, has been transformed into an outdoor swimming pool. Open until the end of September, the pool was part of an initiative launched by the swimming operator, Love Open Water, and the Canal & River Trust.
If you fancy swimming amongst the sea of professionals and suits, you’ll need to purchase a NOWCA membership for GBP15 per year. The membership grants users access to over 40 NOWCA-affiliated UK locations. Open water swimming sessions are charged at GBP8 per three- four-hour session, or you can take part in the free NOWCA Swim event that will be offered regularly.
Take a dip or a hot tub around the waters of the Docklands (Image: Getty Images)
Every session is open to anyone over the age of ten. To access the Middle Dock, swimmers will have to access the pontoon across from Humble Grape on Mackenzie Walk, where they will find changing huts to get ready ahead of their swim. Love Open Water has a team of qualified lifeguards and safety crew available for each swim session, and will also run regular water testing to make sure Canary Wharf’s waters are safe to use.
But if you don’t fancy going all the way, you can dip your toes into one of the Thames hot tubs, which are regular features seen at the docks. Last month a man took to TikTok to share an unfortunate story of how he and his girlfriend were m ocked and pelted by ice cubes as they went on a romantic hot tub date down the River Thames. He explained how he was subject to verbal abuse about his choice of date location as passers-by shouted at the pair before a group on a yacht took their chance to torment the couple.
The waters at West India Quay are a hotspot for swimming and hot tub-goers.
The tubs travel directly beneath the bridges and walkways across Canary Wharf, passing the office workers in their suits and ties. Speaking to his 408,000, Joe Leggett explained: “Me and my girlfriend booked this as a romantic trip, but I don’t know what we thought was going to be romantic about sitting in a little boat going along a stinky stream of p*ss in the middle of Canary Wharf where everyone and their dogs are going to be watching us float around like idiots. “It started off alright until we start going down the little bit with walkways either side and it was very thin so everyone is in talking distance.
As you can imagine everyone’s staring. There was not one person who walks past who doesn’t look and think ‘ooh there’s some d***heads in the hot tub’.
“The majority of people actually shouted stuff at us – one shouted ‘nice nipples you mug’.”
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It’s completely FREE. All you have to do is sign up for Going Out Out here. After being mocked by the passers-by, Joe said he and his girlfriend were then subjected to more abuse by a group of people on a nearby yacht.
He said: “There was a group of people having a party on their yacht, as they look at us in the hot tub come cruising by the person at the end grabs the group and they start launching ice cubes at us. I’m now sat in the Thames in my swim shorts showing everyone my body taking cover to flying ice cubes.” For more information of swimming at Canary Wharf, visit here.
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