Rothay Manor Blog

5 of the Best Wild Swimming Spots

I’m not a natural swimmer, but I do like a little bit of natural swimming! The Lake District has the most amazing swimming spots to take a quick dip, from small pools high in the fells to the larger meres right on our doorstep.
If you haven’t tried wild swimming I urge you to give it a go, there’s nothing quite like it: surrounded by water, and looking up at the fells and mountains around you, it really is quite life-affirming and humbling.
Here are my top places for a quick dip or a leisurely afternoon:

1. Rydal Water – during the summer months Rydal is a popular spot, but this doesn’t take away from its serenity. I love to see the children playing, the dogs bounding in and out of the water, and hear the screeches and laughter! Pelter Bridge car park is free after 6pm, so the perfect opportunity for an evening dip.

2. River Rothay & Windermere – A favourite place among our team when the sun is shining. It is just a few minutes walk from the hotel, with lots of easy access points. You can spend time exploring the River Rothay and River Brathay and onwards to the head of Lake Windermere.

3. Elterwater Tarn – I love Elterwater Tarn for the views, with the majestic Langdale Pikes in the distance. There’s a small beach mid-way between Elterwater and Skelwith Bridge, where the tarn joins the river. It can be a little thick with reeds at this point, but fine once you are in the tarn.

4. Beacon Tarn – I came across this beautiful tarn on a run adventure with a friend. It looked so welcoming we had to take the plunge! Set amid the fells at the far end of Coniston Water it feels wild and remote, yet is very easy to get to. At around 500m in length it’s perfect for an out and back swim!

5. Moss Eccles Tarn – Just a short stroll from Far Sawrey this delightful tarn just calls to be swum in, with grassy banks and clear water. It’s also the perfect place to spend a summers afternoon, so take a picnic and enjoy!

This is just skimming the surface of the wild swimming that can be enjoyed in the Lake District.  If you don’t fancy braving it alone there are plenty of companies who will guide you for your first swimming adventure including and

Happy Swimming!


Rothay Manor Hotel
Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0EH

Telephone: 01539 433605
Email: [email protected]

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