The Best Wild Swimming Locations in The Lake District

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Are you looking for a refreshing and exhilarating way to explore the stunning beauty of the Lake District? Look no further than the best wild swimming spots in this breathtaking region. Whether you’re a seasoned swimmer or simply seeking a peaceful dip in nature’s own pool, the Lake District offers an abundance of options that will leave you feeling invigorated and rejuvenated.

Imagine immersing yourself in the crystal-clear waters of Buttermere, surrounded by the tranquil beauty of the surrounding mountains. Or perhaps you’d prefer to discover the magic of Ullswater, England’s second largest lake, where you can swim alongside graceful swans and take in the awe-inspiring scenery. From Grasmere, the poetic inspiration for Wordsworth himself, to the hidden gem of Rydal Water, the Lake District is full of some of my faevorite wild swimming spots in England.

Whether you’re visiting the Lake District as part of a staycation, or from abroad there’s so many amazing places to go wild swimming.


Buttermere Lake during Sunset
Buttermere Lake, in the Lake District. Photo by Jocki84

Buttermere is the perfect place for you to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the Lake District. Nestled amidst the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding mountains, this hidden gem offers a serene oasis for wild swimming enthusiasts. One of its highlights is the Buttermere Infinity Pool, a natural pool formed by the river flowing into the lake. This unique feature provides a picturesque setting for a refreshing swim, with the crystal-clear waters reflecting the stunning landscape.

When it comes to wild swimming in the Lake District, Buttermere is one of my top choices. I love how clean the waters are, as one of my concerns when wild swimming is the water safety. Plus its surrounded by beautiful towering mountains and verdant forests.

Aside from the picturesque lake, Buttermere is also blessed with enchanting rivers that are perfect for exploring. The rivers weave their way through the landscape, creating hidden pools and cascading waterfalls. These natural wonders provide ideal spots for wild swimming, allowing you to immerse yourself in the refreshing currents and connect with the untamed beauty of the Lake District.



As you explore Ullswater, you’ll be captivated by the enchanting beauty of England’s second largest lake. Nestled amidst the stunning landscapes of the Lake District, Ullswater offers a magical experience for wild swimmers. Dive into the crystal-clear waters and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this picturesque oasis.

Immerse yourself in the magic of Ullswater’s wild swimming opportunities. From secluded coves to open stretches of water, the lake presents a variety of options for every swimmer.

Whether you prefer a leisurely paddle or an invigorating swim, Ullswater has it all. Dive into its depths, explore its hidden corners, and let the natural beauty of this enchanting lake captivate your soul.



Wordsworth’s favorite spot, Grasmere, and let the tranquility of this enchanting location captivate your soul. As you arrive at the shores of Grasmere, you’ll be greeted by the stunning sight of crystal clear waters surrounded by lush greenery.

Take a moment to breathe in the fresh mountain air as you dip your toes into the cool water. Grasmere’s serene ambiance will instantly transport you to a world of tranquility and peace. Allow the gentle ripples of the lake to soothe your senses, as you glide through the water, surrounded by the majestic beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Grasmere is one of my faveorite places in the Lake District. It’s also where William Wordsworth, one of England’s greatest poets, found inspiration for many of his famous works. As you swim in the same waters that once stirred Wordsworth’s creativity, you can’t help but feel a sense of connection to the beauty of the natural world and the power of human imagination.

Rydal Water

Rydal Water
Rydal Water

Rydal Water, a hidden gem, offers a tranquil swim experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. This serene lake is surrounded by lush greenery and towering trees, providing a picturesque backdrop for your swim. As you dip into the crystal-clear water, you’ll feel a sense of calm and serenity wash over you. The peaceful atmosphere and untouched beauty of Rydal Water make it the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

  • The secluded location of Rydal Water ensures that you can enjoy a peaceful swim away from the crowds. With fewer people around, you’ll have more space to yourself and can truly connect with nature. It’s a wonderful opportunity to escape from the noise and distractions of modern life and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the lake.
  • The water at Rydal Water is incredibly clean and clear, making it a joy to swim in. You can see right to the bottom of the lake, allowing you to admire the underwater world teeming with life. The clarity of the water also adds to the overall sense of tranquility and calm that you’ll experience during your swim.
  • The surrounding landscape of Rydal Water is simply breathtaking. As you swim, you’ll be surrounded by stunning views of the Lake District’s rolling hills and majestic mountains. The combination of the serene lake and the awe-inspiring scenery creates a truly magical and rejuvenating experience.

So, if you’re looking for a hidden gem where you can enjoy a tranquil swim, look no further than Rydal Water. With its peaceful atmosphere, clean water, and stunning surroundings, it’s the perfect spot to unwind, reconnect with nature, and leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.


Wastwater lake
Wastwater lake

Discover the hidden depths of Wastwater, England’s deepest lake, and let yourself be captivated by its mysterious allure. As you approach the shores of Wastwater, you’ll be greeted by its breathtaking beauty. Surrounded by towering mountains and rugged cliffs, this wild swimming spot offers a truly immersive experience. Take a moment to soak in the tranquility of the surroundings before taking the plunge into the deep, dark waters.

Once you’re in the lake, you’ll feel a sense of freedom and adventure like never before. The water is refreshingly cool, inviting you to embrace its embrace and explore its depths. As you swim further out, you’ll notice the underwater world come to life beneath you. Schools of fish darting by, plants swaying gently with the current, and if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a shy otter or a graceful swan.

The depth of Wastwater adds an element of mystery to your swim. As you dive deeper, the water becomes darker, concealing the secrets that lie beneath. It’s a thrilling experience, but one that requires caution and respect for the lake’s power. Whether you’re an experienced swimmer or a beginner, Wastwater offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature and test your boundaries. So, take a leap of faith and let the deep, dark waters of Wastwater envelop you in their embrace.


View of the dock at Ashness Gate Derwentwater Landing
View of the dock at Ashness Gate Derwentwater Landing

As you approach the picturesque shores of Derwentwater, let the majestic beauty of Keswick’s iconic lake captivate your senses. The crystal-clear waters shimmer in the sunlight, inviting you to dive in and explore its depths. The surrounding hills and mountains create a stunning backdrop, adding to the charm of this enchanting location.

Here are four reasons why Derwentwater is a must-visit wild swimming spot in the Lake District:

  • Peaceful Serenity: Immerse yourself in the tranquility of Derwentwater, as you swim in its calm waters. Away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, you’ll find solace in the peacefulness of this idyllic setting. Let the gentle lapping of the waves against your skin soothe your soul and wash away any worries.
  • Scenic Walks: Derwentwater offers more than just swimming opportunities. Take a leisurely stroll along the lakeside paths, breathing in the fresh mountain air and taking in the panoramic views. The circular walk around the lake is a popular choice, allowing you to fully appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds you.
  • Island Adventures: Derwentwater is home to several islands, each with its own unique charm. Hire a kayak or rowing boat and venture out to explore these hidden gems. From St. Herbert’s Island with its peaceful woodland, to the iconic Derwent Island House, there is something magical about discovering these secluded spots.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Keep your eyes peeled for the abundant wildlife that calls Derwentwater home. From graceful swans gliding across the water to majestic ospreys soaring overhead, you’ll have the opportunity to witness nature at its finest. Be sure to bring your camera to capture these unforgettable moments.

So, pack your swimsuit, grab a towel, and get ready to embark on a wild swimming adventure in Derwentwater. Let the beauty of this iconic lake mesmerize you, as you create memories that will last a lifetime.

Crummock Water

A mountain is reflected in a lake at Crummock water
Crummock Water

Immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of Crummock Water, a remote and underrated gem that will leave you feeling at peace and surrounded by nature’s serenity. Located in the picturesque Lake District, Crummock Water offers a unique and untouched wild swimming experience. As you dip your toes into the crystal-clear waters, you’ll be enchanted by the stunning backdrop of towering mountains and lush green forests that surround the lake. It’s a true escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

One of the highlights of Crummock Water is its peaceful atmosphere. Unlike some of the more popular lakes in the area, Crummock Water remains relatively quiet and untouched by crowds. You can truly connect with nature here, as you take a leisurely swim or simply float on your back, letting the gentle ripples of the water lull you into a state of relaxation. With its remote location, Crummock Water provides a sense of tranquility that is hard to find elsewhere.

Another aspect that sets Crummock Water apart is its stunning natural surroundings. The lake is nestled between the dramatic peaks of Mellbreak and Grasmoor, creating a breathtaking backdrop for your wild swimming adventure. As you explore the lake, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the ever-changing colors of the sky reflected on the water’s surface. It’s a truly magical experience that will leave you feeling connected to the beauty of the natural world.

Ennerdale Water

Ennerdale Water
Ennerdale Water

Escape to the pristine wilderness of Ennerdale Water and experience a hidden paradise where you can swim undisturbed and revel in the untouched beauty of nature. This remote gem is a true escape from the crowds, offering a serene and tranquil atmosphere that will wash away all your worries. As you dip your toes into the crystal-clear water, you’ll feel a sense of calm and peace that can only be found in such pristine surroundings.

  1. Immerse yourself in the untouched beauty: Ennerdale Water is a place where time stands still and nature is left to flourish. The untouched beauty of the surrounding mountains and forests creates a breathtaking backdrop for your wild swimming adventure. As you glide through the water, you’ll be surrounded by the vibrant greens of the trees and the majestic peaks that rise in the distance. It’s a truly awe-inspiring sight that will leave you feeling connected to the natural world.
  2. Swim undisturbed in crystal-clear waters: Unlike some of the more popular swimming spots in the Lake District, Ennerdale Water remains relatively undiscovered. This means you can enjoy the tranquility of the lake without the noise and distractions of crowds. The water is so clear that you can see the rocks and pebbles on the lake bed, creating a surreal experience as you swim through the pristine waters. It’s a rare opportunity to connect with nature on a deeper level and escape the chaos of everyday life.
  3. Explore hidden coves and secret beaches: Ennerdale Water is dotted with hidden coves and secret beaches just waiting to be discovered. As you swim along the shore, you’ll stumble upon secluded spots where you can relax and soak up the sun in complete privacy. These hidden gems offer a sense of adventure and exploration, adding an extra element of excitement to your wild swimming experience. It’s like uncovering a treasure trove of natural beauty that few have had the privilege to witness.
  4. Connect with the wilderness and find inner peace: Ennerdale Water is more than just a wild swimming spot; it’s a place where you can connect with the wilderness and find inner peace. The quiet solitude and untouched nature create the perfect atmosphere for reflection and introspection. Whether you’re floating on your back, gazing up at the clear blue sky, or wading through the water, you’ll feel a sense of serenity wash over you. It’s a place where you can escape the noise and distractions of modern life and find solace in the simplicity of nature.

Escape to Ennerdale Water and discover a hidden paradise where you can swim undisturbed, surrounded by untouched beauty. Immerse yourself in the pristine wilderness, swim in crystal-clear waters, and explore hidden coves and secret beaches. Connect with the wilderness and find inner peace in this remote and underrated spot. It’s time to escape the crowds and dive into the serenity of Ennerdale Water.



Discover the hidden charm of Loweswater, where you can experience the serenity and seclusion of this small lake nestled amidst untouched nature. As you approach Loweswater, you’ll be captivated by its tranquil beauty. Surrounded by rolling hills and lush greenery, this secluded lake offers a peaceful retreat away from the bustling crowds. With its crystal-clear waters and picturesque surroundings, Loweswater is the perfect spot for a refreshing swim in the heart of the Lake District.

Once you dip your toes into the cool water, you’ll be instantly transported to a world of calm and tranquility. The absence of crowds allows you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of your surroundings. You can swim at your own pace, taking in the breathtaking views of the surrounding fells and the peacefulness of the lake. The lack of noise and distractions creates a truly serene experience that is hard to find elsewhere.


Loweswater is also known for its diverse wildlife, providing a unique opportunity to observe nature up close. As you swim through the clear water, keep an eye out for the resident otters and a variety of bird species that call this lake home. The untouched nature of Loweswater ensures that the ecosystem remains intact, allowing you to witness the harmony between wildlife and their natural habitat.

Loweswater is a hidden gem in the Lake District, offering a charming and secluded swimming experience. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be enchanted by the untouched beauty of this small lake. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or a chance to connect with nature, a visit to Loweswater is a must. So, grab your swimsuit and immerse yourself in the serenity of this idyllic wild swimming spot.

The Duddon River

Duddon River
Duddon River

Get ready to be mesmerized by the serene beauty of Duddon River, where the clear, cool waters offer an invigorating plunge and the surrounding greenery paints a picturesque landscape. Located in the heart of the Lake District, this spot is a hidden gem for wild swimming. It’s like your personal infinity pool Lake District style, where you’re surrounded by the lush natural beauty and the tranquil sounds of flowing water.

Bridge over the Duddon River
Bridge over the Duddon River

The river is fringed with stunning beaches in the Lake District that add to the charm of this location. Take a break from swimming and unwind at these peaceful lake district beaches, basking in the sun or having a picnic amidst the stunning scenery. These are some of the best beaches Lake District offers, providing a perfect blend of tranquility and beauty.

You’d be hard pressed to find a more idyllic location for wild swimming. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely dip or a more adventurous swim, Duddon River doesn’t disappoint. The river meanders through beautiful landscapes, making every swim a new adventure. So why wait? Dive into the clear waters of Duddon River and discover one of the best wild swimming spots in the Lake District.

Coniston Water

Coniston Water
Coniston Water

As you approach Coniston Water, you’ll be mesmerized by the rich history and thrilling adventures that await at the Lake District’s third largest body of water. Nestled amidst the picturesque landscape, Coniston Water offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and exhilarating activities. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or an adventure seeker, this lake has something to offer for everyone.

One of the highlights of Coniston Water is its connection to the famous speed record attempts made by Donald Campbell in the 1960s. As you dive into the history of this lake, you’ll learn about Campbell’s iconic Bluebird hydroplane and his quest to break the speed barrier on water. The Bluebird Exhibition at the Ruskin Museum showcases the artifacts and memorabilia from Campbell’s daring endeavors, allowing you to immerse yourself in the world of speed and adrenaline.

Apart from its historical significance, Coniston Water also offers a range of exciting recreational activities. From kayaking and paddleboarding to sailing and windsurfing, there are plenty of opportunities to get your adrenaline pumping. You can rent equipment from the local providers and explore the vast expanse of the lake at your own pace. If you prefer a more leisurely experience, you can simply relax on the lakeshore and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding fells.

Coniston Water is a captivating destination that combines rich history with thrilling adventures. Whether you’re intrigued by the speed record attempts of Donald Campbell or eager to explore the lake’s recreational opportunities, this is a place that will leave you in awe. So, put on your adventurous spirit and dive into the history and excitement that await at Coniston Water, the third largest lake in the Lake District.

Unearth Elterwater

Next up on your adventure is the charming Elterwater, a tranquil haven that’s sure to steal your heart. Nestled within the scenic Langdale Valley, this quiet lake is a hidden gem amidst the Lake District’s famous landscapes. You’ll find it’s the perfect place to escape the crowds and experience wild swimming at its finest.

Elterwater may be smaller than other lakes, but don’t let that fool you. Its crystal-clear waters offer a refreshing dip that you’ll find is nothing short of magical. Paddle out and take in the stunning mountain views that surround you. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some local wildlife.

There’s a small pebble beach at the lake’s edge, ideal for picnics and sunbathing. You can also find several walking trails around the lake, perfect for drying off after your swim and exploring the local area.

So, don’t overlook Elterwater on your wild swimming adventure. Its calm waters and breathtaking surroundings make it a must-visit spot. Remember to pack your swimwear, a towel, and your spirit of adventure – Elterwater is ready to mesmerise you.

Seek out Stickle Tarn

Stickle Tarn
Stickle Tarn

After experiencing the tranquility of Elterwater, it’s hard to resist the allure of Stickle Tarn, a secluded mountain lake nestled high in the Langdale Pikes. This wild swimming spot is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a good hour’s strenuous hike uphill from the valley floor, but believe me, it’s worth every step.

Here are three things that make Stickle Tarn a wild swimmer’s paradise:

  1. The chill of the water: This tarn is fed by the mountain streams, making the water fresh and invigorating. It’s a sure way to awaken your senses and remind you, you’re alive.
  2. The view from the water: As you float on your back, you’re presented with a panoramic view of the surrounding fells. It’s a sight to behold.
  3. The sense of achievement: After the challenging hike, plunging into the water feels like the ultimate reward.

Don’t think for a moment that Stickle Tarn is just another swimming spot. It’s a journey, an experience, and a testament to the raw beauty of the Lake District. Whether you’re a seasoned wild swimmer or a newbie, the memory of Stickle Tarn will stay with you long after you’ve dried off and descended the mountain.


A group of boats in the water.
Small boats at Lake Windermere in the Lake District in England

Shifting gears, let’s dive into the thrill of taking a dip in Windermere, the queen of all the English lakes. Being the largest lake in the Lake District and indeed in all of England, Windermere offers an unrivalled wild swimming experience. With crystal clear waters and an impressive 18 square kilometre surface area, you’re never short on space to take the plunge.

You can choose to swim near the bustling tourist towns of Bowness and Ambleside, or head towards the quieter northern end for a more serene experience. There’s plenty of secluded bays and islands to explore, and don’t forget to keep an eye out for the abundant local wildlife.

Remember to be mindful of boats, as Windermere is a popular spot for sailing and watersports. However, with a little caution and respect for the water, you’re set for an unforgettable swim. It’s a must-visit for any wild swimming enthusiast!

So, don’t miss the chance to experience the sheer exhilaration of swimming in the majestic Windermere. Its vastness, beauty, and natural charm are sure to leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated.

Galleny Force

Galleny Force
Galleny Force

If you’re up for a magical adventure, Galleny Force is your perfect match. This stunning wild swimming spot is located in the heart of Borrowdale Valley, a gem in the Lake District. It’s a bit of a trek to reach, but the beauty and serenity of Galleny Force make the journey absolutely worth it.

Here’s what to expect when you arrive at Galleny Force:

  1. Crystal clear pools: The water at Galleny Force is pristine and perfect for a refreshing plunge on a hot day.
  2. Waterfalls: The spot is renowned for its three waterfalls, adding to the magical atmosphere of the place.
  3. Secluded location: The location is quite remote, making it ideal for those seeking tranquillity.
  4. Stone bridge: A charming old stone bridge crosses the beck, providing a fantastic vantage point for photos.

The tranquillity and enchanting atmosphere of Galleny Force will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale. Remember to pack a picnic to enjoy by the falls, and don’t forget your camera to capture the stunning scenery. It’s a wild swimming experience you won’t forget.

Blea Tarn

Swimming in Blea Tarn
Blea Tarn

Nestled amidst the towering Langdale Pikes, Blea Tarn is a serene oasis for those seeking a tranquil dip. This secluded body of water is known for its crystal clear waters, surrounded by a lush landscape that provides a scenic backdrop for your wild swimming adventure.

The experience of swimming in Blea Tarn is akin to being in a different world. The water is cool and refreshing, and the surrounding scenery is simply breathtaking. The tarn is relatively shallow, making it a great spot for beginners or those who prefer a more relaxed swim.

You’ll find plenty of spots along the shore to lay your towel and soak up the sun after your swim. Remember to pack a picnic to enjoy amidst the peaceful surroundings. However, as with all wild swimming spots, be mindful of your surroundings, respect wildlife, and adhere to the leave-no-trace principles.

When you take a dip in Blea Tarn, you’re not just swimming, you’re immersing yourself in an enchanting environment. The combination of refreshing water, stunning views, and serene atmosphere makes it one of the best wild swimming spots in the Lake District.

Angle Tarn

Angle Tarn
Angle Tarn

After experiencing the tranquility of Blea Tarn, it’s time to immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of another gem in the Lake District – Angle Tarn.

Nestled between the peaks of Bowfell and Esk Pike, Angle Tarn awaits you as a pristine oasis. You’ll be captivated by its unique, heart-like shape, which is said to have inspired the author Beatrix Potter to create her famous character, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle. The tarn is easily accessible via a moderate hike from the village of Great Langdale, making it an ideal destination for those who enjoy combining outdoor activities.

waterfall at Angle Tarn
Waterfall at Angle Tarn

Once there, you’ll find the water inviting and the surroundings simply awe-inspiring. The tarn is known for its clear, clean water, making it one of the best wild swimming spots in the Lake District. Various grassy banks around the tarn provide perfect spots to lay down your towel, enjoy a picnic, and dry off after your swim.

So, if you’re seeking a swimming spot with a touch of literary history and a heartwarming view, make sure to add Angle Tarn to your Lake District itinerary. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss.

Black Moss Pot, Langstrath Valley

Black Moss Pot, Langstrath Valley
Black Moss Pot, Langstrath Valley

Don’t miss out on a visit to the Black Moss Pot in Langstrath Valley, a true hidden treasure that’s sure to captivate your senses and elevate your adventure in the stunning English countryside. This secluded wild swimming spot is nestled in the heart of the Lake District, oozing charm and tranquillity.

Black Moss Pot boasts a deep, clear pool that’s fed by a waterfall, making it an ideal spot for a refreshing plunge. You’ll find yourself surrounded by towering craggy cliffs, lush greenery, and the soothing sound of rushing water. The natural scenery is so breathtaking, it’s like stepping into a real-life painting.

Getting there is part of the adventure. It’s located at the head of the Langstrath Valley, which means a picturesque walk through beautiful terrain is in order. Don’t worry, the effort is more than worth it. And while it may be a bit secluded, it’s rarely crowded, giving you a sense of privacy and exclusivity.

The Black Moss Pot is more than just a swimming spot; it’s an experience. It’s where nature, adventure, and serenity come together to create a beautiful symphony. So, embrace the journey, take the plunge, and bask in the serene beauty of the wild Lake District.

Are there any wild swimming spots that are known for their underwater wildlife or unique geological features?

You’ll be amazed by the underwater wildlife and unique geological features at some wild swimming spots in the Lake District. Keep an eye out for vibrant fish and fascinating rock formations as you explore the crystal-clear waters.

Safety Tips for Wild Swimming

While wild swimming can be an exhilarating experience, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Always check the weather conditions and water temperature before swimming.
  • Swim with a buddy, especially in remote areas.
  • Be mindful of hidden currents and underwater obstacles.
  • Avoid swimming alone in unfamiliar places.
  • Respect the environment and leave no trace of your visit.

Equipment for Wild Swimming

To make the most of your wild swimming adventure, here are some essential equipment recommendations:

  • Wetsuit: Depending on the water temperature, a wetsuit can provide insulation and protection.
  • Swim Cap and Goggles: Protect your hair, keep your head warm, and improve visibility underwater.
  • Tow Float: A brightly colored tow float attached to your waist can increase visibility for other water users.
  • Dry Bag: Keep your belongings safe and dry by using a waterproof dry bag.
  • Footwear: Consider wearing water shoes or swim socks to protect your feet from sharp rocks or debris.

Etiquette for Wild Swimming

Respecting the environment and other users is crucial when enjoying wild swimming. Follow these etiquette guidelines:

  • Avoid disturbing wildlife or damaging vegetation.
  • Use designated entry and exit points to minimize erosion.
  • Keep noise levels to a minimum to preserve the tranquility of the surroundings.
  • Be mindful of other water users, such as kayakers and anglers.
  • Dispose of any waste responsibly and leave the area as you found it.

Local Regulations and Permissions

Before embarking on your wild swimming adventure, it’s essential to be aware of any local regulations or permissions required. Some areas may have restricted access or specific rules to protect the environment and ensure public safety. Check with local authorities or visit the Lake District National Park website for up-to-date information.

Frequently Asked Questions

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