(image c wildswimming.co.uk)
Summer is definitely here, and – we hope – here to stay.
We all love a walk, but can there be anything better than after a few miles underfoot, when you’re hot and bothered, taking a plunge in a river, having a wild swim in a lake or a tarn, and generally messing about in water!
Before you take the plunge make sure you’re safe: the SwimSafe code is all about Be Seen – Swimmers may be able to see boaters but boaters may not be able to see swimmers!
- Have a safety boat or canoe support displaying a white and blue Alpha flag .
- Wear a bright swim cap and tow a bright float.
- Grab a pair of swimming shoes – around a fiver from lots of outdoor shops – they’ll help you to deal with slippy rocks and shale underfoot and make it a more pleasant experience getting in the water.
- Never swim alone. It’s more fun with a friend too.
There are many places in the Lake District to do this, here are a few ideas:
Quieter lakes best for swimming
- Bassenthwaite – but no diving allowed
- Crummock Water
- Rydal Water
- Wast Water
Anyone can swim in these lakes but there are more boats:
- Coniston Water
- Windermere (please note swimming is not allowed from White Cross Bay as it is a busy marina area. Head to Millerground a few minutes away)
Swimming is not allowed in Ennerdale Water, Haweswater and Thirlmere.
For more details check out the Lake District National Park Authorities: Access to Lakes (PDF)
Loughrigg Tarn – peaceful and small with easy access.
Tranearth/Banishead Quarry, Coniston – flooded quarry with waterfall. Access walk of around 30 minutes.
High Dam, Lakeside: Lovely walk through the woods and quiet swimming.
Holme Fell Lake, Coniston – about a 15 minute walk from Hodge Close Quarry.
Rydal Water – park at White Moss Common, and a short walk in with easy access.
Elterwater – combine a river and a tarn swim, where Langdale Beck becomes the Brathay – easy access and a nice walk too.
Blea Tarn – high in the Langdales – and the one that features on the opening credits for Countryfile – see if you can spot it!
Enjoy your wild swim, but do keep safe and sound! Check out safety tips here.