Saturday morning and a moorhen is busy repairing her nest. Nearby a new brood cluster, while one bravely ventures out over the still water. Trees overhang in heavy green and reeds, bushes and white flowers tussel for poolside seats - for this is Hampstead Heath swimming ponds and the swimmers are visitors to this natural wonderland. Brought up in nearby Archway, these cool waters drew me in after hot days at school and then later after work office. The secluded green fields around the ponds are perfect for laying out to dry in the sun with the weekend papers and a carton of juice. There are three pools, one for women, one for men and a mixed pond, all complete with showers, changing rooms, lifeguards and wooden decks to access the deep water. Each time I have brought a friend, its such a pleasure to see their glee as they swim with ducklings or float on their backs under the blue sky, worlds away from the bustling city that lies just across the park.
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