The Serpentine, in Hyde Park, was formed in 1730-1733. Queen Caroline wife of George 2nd had the idea of providing an ornamental lake to further enhance the park’s beauty.
Hyde Park had for centuries been a royal hunting ground and King Charles 1st opened it to the public in 1637. The lake was formed by damming the Westbourne which, via a series of ponds, flowed into the Thames near present day Victoria.
A bright and early start on a hot day in July. These committed swimmers are regulars to the lake, which is often covered in a beautifully green algae!
Shot using a Gandolfi 10×8 field camera, we captured the eclectic mix of keen swimmers who brave the lake whatever the weather, wetsuits recommended but as you’ll see from the shots, there’s a large contingency that prefer the more traditional swimwear.