Ruislip Lido is a reservoir and artificial beach in Ruislip, within the London Borough of Hillingdon, situated between Ruislip Common, Ruislip Woods (a Site of Special Scientific Interest), and Poors Field. Originally opened as a feeder reservoir for the Grand Junction Canal in 1811, the reservoir was reopened in 1933 as a lido, with facilities for swimming and boating. A narrow gauge railway, the Ruislip Lido Railway was opened in 1945, and now runs about two thirds of the distance around the reservoir.
Having fallen into a state of disrepair during the 1970s and 80s, the lido has since undergone renewal works, and was the subject of an enhancement project unveiled by the London Borough of Hillingdon in January 2010. The project would involve the return of boating and swimming in the reservoir, which had previously not been possible due to pollution and an artificially low water level.
Ruislip Lido Railway
The railway was opened in 1945 with short trains being hauled by Prince Edward, an Atlantic-type steam locomotive. The line was less than a third of what it is today, as it was just a dog bone circuit on the south-east shore of the lido, running around the woods. It was built by the Grand Union Canal Company as part of the Lido along with a beach on the south-east shore. The Ruislip Lido Railway (miniature railway) is still running today, manned by volunteers, and has been lengthened considerably, a second station and platform having been added near the Water's Edge pub.