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The ladies pond on Hampstead Heath, London

England

This long-awaited burst of fine weather has brought crowds to the city’s parks and lidos. Our correspondent instead opted for the sylvan delights of Hampstead Heath, and the cooling waters of the ladies’ pond. For more than 150 years bathers have exercised here and sought relief from the heat of city streets. Hot days bring crowds, of course, but it still has the air of a refuge with people at ease, happy to share the pond with bobbing ducks and with each other.

Published 25 July 2012

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