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The lake in Beckenham Place Park

Beckenham Place Park has London's first purpose-built swimming lake.

Entry to the lake

You will need a ticket to come into the lake area. It is open from 7am–6pm.

  • You must be able to swim 25 metres and be over eight years old to use the open water swimming area.
  • Paddling for under-8s is not currently available.
  • Boat hire is available at an extra cost.
  • Numbers are limited. If one session fills up, you can book for the next session.

Swimming and activity times

All swimmers must have attended a winter induction. For more information and to book an induction, email Pia@ptpcoaching.co.uk.

Last entry is 30 minutes before closing.

Term-time programme


  • 8am–12 noon: open water swimming
  • 10–11am: learn to canoe
  • 12 noon–dusk: boat hire

There will be an announcement 15 minutes before the end of each session. 

Weekend and holiday swimming times

  • 8am–1pm.

Entry fee

  • Adult: £3
  • Child: £2
  • Family ticket: £10 (2 adults and 3 children)

Boat hire fees

Half-hour Hour 
 Canoe £10  £15 
 Stand-up paddle boarding £8 


Boat hire

Canadian canoes hold up to three people. Under-16s must be accompanied by an adult in the boat.

Paddle board hire

Children over eight can hire boards if they are supervised by an adult from the bank or in the water. Under-8s must be accompanied by an adult on the board.

How to pay

You book and pay on the day at the lake entrance.

We only accept credit or debit cards. We are unable to accept cash.

Rules for lake users

  • Please use the sand area to enter and leave the water. Do not use the jetty – it is for canoes and paddle boards only.
  • Do not jump in at any point as there may be hidden dangers underwater.
  • All under-16s must be supervised by a responsible adult at all times. You are responsible for their safety and behaviour.
  • Children aged 8–12 will be required to do a swim test before using the lake.
  • People in the main lake must be able to swim 25 metres.
  • All lake users must wear the tow float provided to them at all times whilst in the lake.
  • Swimmers must not enter the boating area.
  • Do not use inflatables in the lake at any time.
  • Please be aware of other water users.
  • Please put all litter in the bins. Let staff know if the bins are full.

If you break these rules, we may ask you to leave.


  • The lake is an open body of water. It is not a swimming pool.
  • Open water swimming carries risks. Please be aware of your limits.
  • The sandy area is not level and the steepness of the slope varies.
  • The lake is cold. Be aware of the effects of cold water.
  • Note that the edges are steep and slippery.

If you are unsure of anything please speak to a member of staff. By paying your entry fee you are accepting these rules and risks.

More about the lake

The lake was first dug in the 1700s. It is around 285 metres long by 48 metres wide and is 3.5 metres at its deepest level.

The water in the lake

The lake is filled and refreshed by three sources of water:

  • Natural run-off as it is located at a low point in the park.
  • Ground water harvested through a drainage system installed below the lake liner.
  • Water from the chalk aquifer under the park, which is accessed by a new 76 metre deep borehole.

There is also an outflow into the wet woodland that will, over time, create a new ecologically rich and locally rare habitat. Aquatic planting will take place during spring, to help absorb nutrients and improve the quality of the water. There are three planting shelves in the lake which will help to absorb nutrients.

As the lake has only just been filled initially the water:

  • may look green at first. This is natural and does not necessarily mean that the quality is compromised
  • will be tested regularly. If tests show the water quality has dropped below acceptable levels for swimming, we will let you know. 


Please keep dogs out of the lake at all times. This may mean you need to keep your dog on a lead when you’re near the water. Dogs pose a threat to young wildfowl, trample the establishing lakeside planting, reduce the water quality for swimmers and can increase the risk of accidents. Dogs might enjoy other bodies of water in the park – the swales and the river Ravensbourne.