Best in The Lake District

What can you say about “wild” swimming and The Lakes? Everyone is a winner!


River Brathay (between Elter Water and Windermere)

(A FIVE TRUNK location)

Location

Park in the car park (pay & display I’m afraid) on east side of B5343 0.5km to north of Skelwith Bridge. Cross the road and follow the footpath down to the river and pick your spot.

Grid Ref

NY 338/037

Features

Good stretch of deep water with its “own car park”

Hazards

Its pretty deep in places so don’t expect to stand on the bottom for long. However, the biggest hazard for those who can swim is crossing the B5343

Date of Last Swim

25th July 2009


Wastwater

(This is a FIVE TRUNK swim)

Location

Wast Water is in the SW Lakes near (but not too near) Sellafield. You can get in pretty well anywhere. My favourite spot (shown above) is just south of the junction of two minor road (the only one) on the west side of the lake.

Grid Ref

NY 151/053

Features

WHAT A SETTING. Surely the most dramatic of all the Lakes!

Hazards

In the past I remember the water always being icy cold, but it didn’t seem overly cold on this occasion.

Date of Last Swim

23rd July 2004


Allcock Tarn (near Grasmere)

(This is a FOUR TRUNK swim)

Location

Approx 1km due east of Grasmere. There are loads of pleasant walks up to it from the A591.

Grid Ref

NY348/078

Features

I’d like to say “remarkably warm (for the time of year)”, but there may be photographic proof that it wasn’t. Not that bad though. Good access and plenty of grass/moorland to sunbath on (in the Summer).

Hazards

SAGA walking groups settle down to their hampers and watch anyone stupid enough to go in.

Date of Last Swim

Late January 2003


Arnside Tarn (near Tarn Howes)

(This is a FOUR TRUNK swim)

Location

Situated 0.5km to north of Tarn Howes. Follow the Cumbrian Way footpath until it meets the dam in front of Arnside.

Grid Ref

NY 332/012

Features

Lovely quiet (ish) spot, surprising given its so close to Tarn Howes.

Hazards

Not as deep as it looks!!

Date of Last Swim

31st May 2008


Blea Tarn (near Langdale)

(This is a FOUR TRUNK swim)

Location

Situated to south of Langdale and east of Wrynose Fell. Parking on typical Lake District tiny windy road.

Grid Ref

NY 293/044

Features

Fabulous setting with easy woodland access from the west side of lake.

Hazards

Watch out for weeds and more importantly branches at bottom of lake.

Date of Last Swim

May 2011


Coledale Beck (nr Braithwaite)

(The setting is a FIVE TRUNK, and the swimming is FOUR)

Location

On very edge of Braithwaite (nr Keswick). Access is from the S bank of the river but difficult to find. Follow the track near the chapel/church and you will find parking.

Grid Ref

NY228/235

Features

Concrete access (they must get alot of visitors in the summer) into quite a large pool in the Coledale Beck. Rumours of VI form girls swimming here regularly proved false (even the 30something x VI form girl with me didn’t join in!).

Hazards

Watch your feet. A few cans/bottles on the bottom and quite a few bits of wood.

Date of Last Swim

Early October 2002


Crummock Water

(The setting is a FIVE TRUNK, and the swimming is FIVE)

!!! PHOTO AVAILABLE ON REQUEST !!!

Location

There is plenty of good access from a footpath that runs along the W side of Crummock Water. A few good places exist on the E side but its not as pleasant because the B5289 runs dead near the lake.

Grid Ref

TBC

Features

Nice easy access (a bit stoney) on the W side and a few places for diving/jumping. Reasonably warm even in October.

Hazards

None really

Date of Last Swim

Early October 2002


Loughrigg Tarn

(This is a FOUR TRUNK swim)

Location

Located c. 2km west of Ambleside. Take a minor road from Skelwith Bridge and park where you can once you can see the Tarn.

Grid Ref

NY 345/045

Features

Easy and shallow access from pretty well anywhere on the east side of the Tarn. Despite being close to Ambleside it doesn’t get too busy (for the Lakes that is!!)

Hazards

None more than the “usual”

Date of Last Swim

30th May 2008


Red Tarn (near Glenridding)

(This is a FIVE TRUNK swim)

!!! PHOTO AVAILABLE ON REQUEST !!!

Location

To the east of Helvellyn probably best accessed from Glenridding.

Grid Ref

NY350/153

Features

Fabulous setting with view of the Striding Edge and Swirral Edge routes up Helvellyn. Surprisingly there are even small beaches so access is easy.

Hazards

I remember on other occasions its been quite cold (its deep and shaded from the sun most of the day).

Date of Last Swim

30th August 2003


Rydal Water (near Grasmere)

(This is a FOUR TRUNK swim)

Location

Situated about 1km east of Grasmere so park where/when-ever you find a place. Footpath on west? side of lake that provides easy access to the water.

Grid Ref

NY 355/065

Features

Easy access, quite shallow (so relatively warm) and two islands to swim round (what more could you ask for?!!)

Hazards

Watch out for two swans that seem to patrol the Lakes trying to deter swimmers!!!

Date of Last Swim

July 2010


Tarn Hows (near Coniston)

(This is a FIVE TRUNK swim, I just wish I could find a photo to do it justice)

!!! PHOTO AVAILABLE ON REQUEST !!!

Location

Its about 3km NE of Coniston on a C-road off the A593

Grid Ref

SD998/328 (you can actually swim from OS 100ha square SD to NY)

Features

Lovely, lovely, lovely. Great setting and I swear the water sometimes seem heated.

Hazards

Very popular (avoid the middle part of day).

Date of Last Swim

June 2008


Ullswater

(This is a FOUR TRUNK swim)

!!! PHOTO AVAILABLE ON REQUEST !!!

Location

Ullswater is big and I’m sure there are plenty of swimming spots. I went in on the east shore just north of Devils Chimney where the footpath gets quite close to the lake and theres a small beach.

Grid Ref

SH394/178

Features

Good views and easy access (you commit quite quickly due to the shelf).

Hazards

More weeds than I was expecting.

Date of Last Swim

31st August 2003