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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Wild swimming within the Lake District

In only a few weeks’ time, 1000’s of swimmers might be heading to the Lake District to participate within the Nice North Swim. Happening from 10 – 12 June, there’s one thing for everybody, from the seasoned open water swimmer to absolutely the newbie.

Open water swimming has grown vastly in reputation over the previous few years, and whereas it’s not everybody’s cup of tea (definitely not mine!), the sheer quantity of water within the Lake District means it’s among the finest locations on this planet to expertise wild swimming. It’s additionally broadly reported to be a temper booster and a stress reducer. Possibly I’ll give it a go.

So, the place are the very best locations to go? Right here’s our Prime 10 – simply to whet the urge for food (pardon the pun).

Lake Windermere

Let’s begin with the house of the Nice North Swim, Lake Windermere. There are any variety of locations you’ll be able to go, particularly for those who rent a ship to discover the hidden seashores and coves, however we’ll persist with what we all know, beginning with Miller Floor. This can be a very talked-about vacation spot simply up the street from the centre of Bowness-on-Windermere, particularly when the climate warms up.

If you happen to’re staying in Ambleside, Borrans Park at Waterhead is ideal to your first dip; or pop right down to the southern finish of the lake to Fell Foot, forty-three acres of gorgeous parkland good for paddling, wild-swimming and picnicking.

Coniston Water

Coniston Water is a superb place for a swim. It’s usually much less busy than among the different main lakes and has loads of small bays and seashores. The japanese shore particularly has quite a lot of parking spots and the water stays comparatively shallow near the shoreline.

To make it a day to recollect, why not take a ship throughout to Peel Island, the inspiration behind Wild Cat Island in Swallows and Amazons?

Blea Tarn

We love Blea Tarn. It’s positively probably the most picturesque spots within the Lake District. With the Langdale Pikes framing the horizon, it’s a go to identify for photographer as attempt to seize them completely mirrored within the cool, nonetheless water (not one thing we managed to do). The stony seaside on the southern shore is the place to go.

Loughrigg Tarn

Like Blea Tarn, Loughrigg Tarn boasts spectacular views of the Langdale Pikes, so for a lot of it’s one of many loveliest locations to swim within the Lake District. What makes Loughrigg Tarn all of the extra interesting is that there are not any rivers feeding instantly into it, which means the water is comparatively heat. Okay, it’s no scorching tub, however on a summer season’s day it’s the right wind down after a tough day’s strolling.

Stickle Tarn

Staying within the Langdales, our subsequent cease is Stickle Tarn which sits under the steep japanese aspect of Harrison Stickle, with the large crag of Pavey Ark looming above.

It’s fairly a stroll to succeed in Stickle Tarn, a stroll which takes you up the aspect of Stickle Ghyll, however on a heat day you’ll be glad you persevered. The view is wonderful and the water welcoming. What a ravishing spot for a swim.

Rydal Water

One other spot the place you could be mildly shocked by the temperatures is Rydal Water, because of its decrease altitude. It’s additionally fairly calm, surrounded on all sides by Lake District fells.

If you happen to’re a novice, it is a great spot to start out your wild swimming journey. There’s a shallow seaside on the far aspect of the water from the street, twenty minutes or so on foot, which signifies that regardless of the lake’s proximity to the street, swimming right here nonetheless feels such as you’re barely off the overwhelmed monitor.

Buckstones Jum

On the opposite aspect of the street from Rydal Water, and a little bit over a mile on foot from the street, is Buckstones Jum. If you happen to’re with the youngsters, they might complain. However we will guarantee you it’s well worth the effort. The views throughout Windermere are wonderful, and the spot itself it fairly particular. There’s a big pebble seaside, in addition to massive rocky slabs, good for leaping into the plunge pool under. Pack a picnic and make a day of it.


Buttermere is taken into account by many to be essentially the most stunning surroundings within the Lake District. And it’s beautiful – these reflections. It’s additionally a unbelievable place to go wild swimming, though the steep drop offs close to the sting of the lake means it’s higher for these with extra expertise. To be trustworthy, it’s well worth the journey only for its breathtaking magnificence.


No Lake District wild swimming record can be full with out point out of Wastwater, England’s deepest lake. That is wild swimming with added drama – on the japanese shore, the screes tumble down in the direction of the deep, darkish water and to the north among the highest mountains in England, together with Scafell Pike, Nice Gable and Lingmell.

There are a number of small seashores which lie simply off from the distant street on the western shore, offering quick access to the water. And there are not any powered craft allowed on the lake, making it the right wild swimming spot. Simply be warned, its depth does imply it’ll really feel a little bit chilly (to say the least).


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Tongue Pot, Higher Eskdale

We’ll end our record within the Eskdale Valley, one other should go to place for those who’re within the Lake District (even for those who’re not wild swimming). It’s fairly distant, so for those who’re searching for someplace quiet, that is the place (though we will’t assure you’ll be alone). There are fairly a couple of swimming pools right here, however Tongue Pot is our choose – the deep pool and excessive partitions make it good for leaping in. That is one other one for the extra skilled and adventurous wild swimmer.

That’s it. Our ten favorite wild swimming spots. To be trustworthy, we might go on. There are such a lot of wonderful locations to take a dip within the Lake District. However please watch out. Because the title suggests, wild swimming isn’t with out its dangers. Under is a listing of untamed swimming suggestions.

  • Enter the water slowly at first to acclimatise and keep away from shock – the water could also be chilly, particularly in deeper areas
  • By no means leap in earlier than you may have turn into acclimatised and you recognize the depth of the water and what’s under the floor
  • Concentrate on your limits
  • Keep away from swimming alone
  • At all times test the climate forecast
  • Take heat garments and scorching drinks for after your swim – a scorching water bottle in your bag is a good thought
  • A wetsuit might help forestall your affected by chilly water shock – and it could possibly additionally act as a buoyancy assist
  • Keep away from swimming in rivers the place there’s a sturdy present as you may be vulnerable to being swept downstream
  • Don’t swim wherever the place there’s blue-green algae
  • Preserve an eye fixed out for boats
  • Be sure you’re seen – a brightly colored hat or tow float can be ideally suited – particularly if there are boats on the water
  • If you happen to do get in to bother, attempt to float in your again together with your legs and arms out
  • At all times clear your clothes and tools to assist maintain water free from non-native species
  • Take a picnic and make a day of it

Rachael Thomas is Managing Director of Matson Floor Property Firm Restricted, which has quite a lot of Lake District vacation cottages, together with Birkdale Home. Birkdale Home is a luxurious Victorian residence on the coronary heart of a privately owned property within the English Lake District.

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