Swim for free at het Wed

Looking for the ideal place to swim (for free) in Haarlem?

Sport is on the minds of many with the Rio Olympics in full swing. Perhaps the Games are inspiring you to kick start your fitness regime, or to take your fitness to the next level? Here’s one tip, which you can try out, right on your doorstep in Haarlem!

Imagine a swimming pool with no time restrictions, no lanes. Imagine a pool in which you can clock your laps without eating people’s feet. Imagine a pool flanked by sand, tranquility, and nature, with zero waves, and the occasional flying fish to entertain you. Imagine swimming here for free.

If you’re new to Haarlem, you might not yet have discovered this special place – het Wed, in the dunes. It’s a lake, designed for recreational swimming (with a roped-off swim zone for kids), located a few hundred metres from the Visitors Centre in the Kennemerduinen, just off the Zeeweg. The water is super clean, boasting the ‘Uitstekend’ water quality rating from Zwemwater.nl, and right now, the temperature is perfect for swimming.

The lake is big enough to give you a proper work out, but not too big for it to feel daunting: one full round takes around 25 mins (for a slow swimmer like me). If you arrive early in the morning (I’m talking 7am), you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled into a majestic hidden paradise – the lake taking on an almost ethereal quality, shrouded in mist and offering a deep silence away from the hustle of daily life.

Early birds might also catch the odd Dutchie indulging in a bit of naked swimming (you have been warned!), but the lake is plenty big enough if that’s not your bag!

Swimming is often cited as one of the best all-round forms of exercise, for both body and mind. So next time you’re battling the boredom or fighting off ‘lane rage’ in your local pool, why not consider making a trip to this natural wonder in the dunes. I’m convinced you won’t regret it. Happy swimming! 


Swim for Free

     Swimming for Free (Courtesy of Sarah Fencott)

Sarah Fencott