Rivers, Tarns Or Lakes? A Lake District Swimming Guide

With summer now upon us, more people will be keen to try open water swimming, not least out in the great British countryside.

Since even going to Portugal is now off the list for holidaymakers, a staycation in the British countryside will feel like a compelling prospect for many and if the sunny weather continues, many more will want a dip.

The Lake District offers some huge variety of wild swimming options. You can try one of the main lakes, one of its many small lakes - known locally as tarns - or mountain streams.

Among the most popular lakes to swim in are Derwent Water, Buttermere and Wast Water. These are highly accessible and have wonderful clear, clean water. However, it is worth noting that while the former two are quite shallow, Wast Water is the deepest lake in England. That means putting on clothing like women’s thermal swimwear is wise even on hot days.

There are some wonderful tarns to swim in, although it is worth noting some are much better for this than others; some tarns are too shallow, marshy or on private land.

Among the favourites are Red Tarn, Easedale Tarn and Blea Water. The latter is the deepest of all the tarns at 207 ft deep, although of course nobody will try to dive so deep. Red Tarn enjoys a magnificent situation below Helvellyn and Striding Edge, meaning it can be combined with a great hike, while Easedale Tarn is easily reached on foot from Grasmere.

Popular stream swims include Black Moss Pot in the Langstrath valley, although it gets busy in summer. For quieter options, try Stanley Gill Force in Lower Eskdale or Galleny Force in Borrowdale

Of course, these are just some of the great places to go for a swim in the most watery place in England. Indeed, there is so much choice you could try somewhere different on every single trip.

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