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Wild Swimming: The Lake District Edition

Wild Swimming: The Lake District Edition

In our latest spotlight on the UK’s best wild swimming locations, we are taking a tour of the Lake District. Spanning a large area of Cumbria in the northwest of England, the Lake District is a popular destination for hikers, campers and anybody looking to escape to traditional British rurality.

Wild Swimming, The Lake District

Around two hours north of Manchester, and about the same again until the Scottish border, it’s easily accessible by motorway (M6). Famed for its panoramic views and vast expanses of Lakeland and mountains, it’s a must-visit corner of England for any lover of the outdoors.

If you’re a keen wild swimmer, or even if you’re looking to try it out for the first time, you couldn’t go far wrong than giving ‘the Lakes’ a try. So below, we take a closer look at our top three wild swimming areas in the Lake District – pack your towel and flask, this is going to be a good one…

Crummock Water

Wild Swimming, The Lake District

The longest of the three Buttermere Valley lakes, Crummock Water is host to some of the most beautiful slices of wildlife in the region. Nestled beside woodland, and featuring Red Pike, Mellbreak and Grassmoor all within view, the water and its surroundings are just like an oil painting.

Lanthwaite Wood car park is a popular stop for walkers beginning their exploration, and if you push further up from the trail here, you will discover a shingle beach beside an old boat house. This is a common place for wild swimmers to enter the waters.

Be sure to take your swimming socks or shoes, as the shingle can be sharp on the feet. Once you are in the water, which is clear and soft, soak in the valleys on either side and enjoy the peace of Crummock Waters! After your swim, the village of Buttermere is close by and can cater to your heart-warming needs with quaint pubs and cafes serving homely food and drinks.

Black Moss Pot

Possibly our favourite of all the Lake District wild swimming locations, Black Moss Pot of Langstrath Valley has it all. Steep and rugged cliffs, clear waters, waterfalls, jumping spots and a truly secluded feel about it. It’s worth noting that this body of water is particularly cold and may take a little time to adjust to, even for the veteran wild swimmer!

Black Moss is a narrow stretch of water, and not somewhere that will take long to explore and swim around. But the water is turquoise and clear, and the steep cliff walls on either side give it a magical feeling unfound in other UK swimming spots. The water can get very deep in parts (above 7 metres in fact), so we recommend this only for confident and strong swimmers.


Wild Swimming, The Lake District

No list of wild swimming spots in the Lake District is complete without Derwentwater. The most famous on this list, Derwentwater is one of the more significant bodies of water in the region. Lying just south of Keswick, and sitting within Allerdale, it is around 3 miles long and a mile wide, and the lake is a host to many banks that service wild swimmers and other watersport activities – especially in summer months. The views around this water are spectacular, and if you want to capture its beauty in full, a short hike up Cat Bells will give you an elevated shot of the landscape. When it comes to wild swimming on Derwentwater, Ashness Jetty on the east side of the lake, just above Barrow Bay, is an ideal spot for an early morning dip or a swim at sunset.

If you are a distance swimmer, you could swim beside St.Herbert’s Island (owned by the National Trust) and witness the very inspiration for Beatrix Potter’s ‘The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin’. We also recommend exploring Derwentwater by paddleboard or kayak to fully appreciate all its shores have to offer.

There you have it, three of our most highly recommended places to try out wild swimming in the Lake District. Be sure to come back to our blog soon to read the next edition of the very best wild swimming locations across the UK.