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Discover Open Water in the Lake District

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Our new flexible booking conditions include a 7-day refund guarantee and free trip changes.

TRIP OVERVIEW

3 days
Coaching Trip
2km/day
Beginner

Trip Dates

09 Jul - 11 Jul, 2021
Available

Download trip notes

Tour Highlights

  • Take the plunge from pool to open water under the expert care of highly experienced SwimTrek guides

  • Experience unique freshwater swims in the heart of the Lake District

  • Stay among the forest, fells and lakes at the relaxed Glenthorne Guest House

  • Soak up expert advice and build your confidence in open water alongside like-minded swimmers

Still waiting to escape your warm, chlorinated pool? Looking to open water, but lacking the confidence to explore it alone? Here’s a trip to help build up your confidence - a unique adventure holiday that delivers a strong sense of achievement.

Get ready to discover open water swimming in the Lake District. Join us as we guide you to the wonders of lake swimming and the picturesque sights and walks of north-west England. Without noticing it, your confidence and knowledge of open water swimming will grow and you’ll be having loads of fun in the process.

Get back to nature with freshwater swims in some of the region’s wild lakes and hilltop tarns. The Lake District National Park lies in the county of Cumbria and covers around 700 square miles of England’s most beautiful scenery. It’s a region of high mountains, deep valleys, large lakes, remote tarns and spectacular waterfalls. It is an excellent location to develop your open water swimming skills and help you gain confidence under the watchful eye of our experienced SwimTrek guides.

All swims are of a manageable distance and are broken up with some spectacular fell walking between locations, making this the ideal way to escape the stresses of everyday life and disconnect for a few days of beautiful lake swimming with newfound friends.

Who is this trip for?

SwimTrek’s Discover Open Water in the Lake District is designed for anyone looking to get a taste of open water swimming. It’s suited for capable pool swimmers looking to experience open water swimming, or for anyone who has tried open water swimming already but would like to build their confidence. Our highly qualified swim guides will be there at all times to lead and support you in making the most of your open water swimming experience.

Swimmers do not require open water experience but should be capable of completing the average swim distance of 1-1½ km prior to the start of the trip. The average daily swim distance is around 2½ km (split over a minimum of two swims).

We have given this trip a ‘Beginner’ grading designed for people new to open water swimming. It aims to build your confidence and develop open water swimming skills. There is no formal coaching.

What's included?

  • Fully guided swimming holiday in the Lake District
  • Swim guides and full safety escort on all swims
  • Two nights accommodation at Glenthorne Guest House
  • Two breakfasts
  • Two lunches
  • Dinner at the Glenthorne on the first night.

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the tour
  • Dinner on your second night

Tailor-made SwimTrek Trips

This trip can also be offered as a tailor-made experience. The date of travel and itinerary can be adjusted to suit you. For more information contact us with the dates you'd like and number of people taking part. We'll be in touch to chat about putting together your dream swimming experience.


Related Trips

Daily Itineraries

Please note that the below daily itineraries are an example of the swims that may take place during the course of your trip, however, actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather and sea conditions. Your SwimTrek guides and local boat pilot will determine the most suitable swim locations each day and will communicate the plan with all guests as soon as possible.

Day 1

We meet at the Glenthorne Guest House - our accommodation for the next two nights. Your guides hold a welcome meeting and safety briefing introducing themselves and giving you a chance to meet the other members of your group. We then take an easy walk through the forest and fells, which takes us along the western shore of Grasmere Lake, to our acclimatisation swim. To keep things nice and simple, this evening’s meal is at the Glenthorne and the cost of this is included in your package.

Day 2

After breakfast we walk up to Loughrigg Tarn, via the Loughrigg terrace - a typically beautiful Lakeland fell, with some superb views. Loughrigg Tarn is a small, secluded natural lake. It’s a lovely place for a short swim, with the Langdale Pikes offering a beautiful backdrop. After our swim we’ll enjoy lunch and have time to rest.

On leaving Loughrigg, we hike along the River Brathay towards Elterwater. The waters flowing from Elterwater are one of the main sources of the Lake District's biggest lakes: Windermere. We carry out a circular swim of this striking tarn with views of the Langdale Pikes clearly visible.

After our refreshing swim, there’s time for a hot drink before we head back to our accommodation to freshen up and head out for dinner, bringing an end to this day of swimming and trekking.

Day 3

After a hearty breakfast, we’ll walk up Sour Milk Ghyll to Easedale Tarn, referred to by the poet Thomas de Quincey as “a chapel within a cathedral.” It’s one of the most picturesque spots in the Lakes and feels like it’s your own private pool, as we’ll get here well before any other visitors. While swimming, you will notice the steep hillsides surrounding the tarn that rise on the right to Tarn Crag and on the left, Castle How and Blea Rigg.

We take a hot drink sat on the edge of the tarn, before setting off on the downhill walk to Grasmere where we have a picnic lunch bringing our discovery of open water swimming in the Lake District to a close.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Glenthorne Guest House, Grasmere, Cumbria

Start Time: 14:00 on Day 1

Finish Point: Glenthorne Guest House, Grasmere, Cumbria

Finish Time: 14:00 on Day 3

Location Summary

Central Tarns

The tarns of Easedale and Loughrigg are some of the finest bodies of water within the Lake District National Park. They are relatively remote and afford magnificent views of the Southern Fells. The precipitous and rocky nature of the terrain (plus little agriculture) give all these tarns their unique purity. They are all ideal locations for open water swimming due to their shallow depth, seclusion and easy entry and exit points for swimmers.

Central Lakes

Grasmere is situated to the north of Windermere. It is as picturesque as any spot that you are likely to find in the Lakes. Grasmere contains an island located centrally and has lots of places to exit the water, so there’s always an opportunity to have a needed rest during your swim. Elterwater is the smallest of the 16 lakes in the Lake District and is a refreshing swim after our uphill walk to reach it.

Trip Information

Equipment to bring along with you

In addition to your daily non-swimming clothes, we also recommend that you bring the following items:

Item Item
Swimming Costumes (x2) Thermal Long-Sleeve Top
Swimming Goggles (x2)* Aqua Shoes / Sandals
Towel Small Day Pack (Preferably Waterproof)
Woolly Hat and Gloves Sun Hat and Sun Cream
Walking Shoes / Boots Torch or Head Torch
Waterproof Trousers and Jacket Sweater / Fleece
Personal Drink Bottle (x2) Wetsuit**

*Try to bring one pair of clear lens goggles and one pair of tinted lenses for different light conditions.

**Due to the variable nature of conditions on these swims, it is advisable to bring a wetsuit along with you to use if required.

SwimTrek will supply swim hats, water and electrolyte drinks. The guides will no longer distribute shared drinks bottles but will fill your personal drink bottles for you. Please ensure these are clearly marked to help our guides identify yours. If you would like to use a wetsuit, rash vest or fins during your swims, please ensure that you bring these with you. For more information please check out our Covid-19 guidance.

Group Size and Boat Support

This trip has a maximum group size of 14. The group will be split into a maximum of three groups, based on speed, with each group being accompanied by their own safety vessel/escort. 

Boat support on this trip includes one main boat and two support boats to be piloted by local boat pilots. Please note that this boat support is subject to change without notice and cannot be guaranteed.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distance
Grasmere Lake 1 km
Loughrigg Tarn 1½ km
Elterwater 1 km
Easedale Tarn 1 km

Swimming Conditions

Swimming in lakes is a fantastic experience, however water quality can, at times, be affected by water runoff from local fields. Blue Green Algae and Weil’s Disease are possible contaminants, so if you do feel unwell at any stage during or after the trip, you should visit a GP immediately, telling them you have been lake swimming.

Walking Distances

Walk Distance
Grasmere - Loughrigg Tarn 2 km (uphill)
Loughrigg Tarn - Elterwater 1½ km
Elterwater - Grasmere 2 km
Grasmere - Easedale Tarn 3 km (Uphill)
Easedale Tarn - Grasmere 3 km

Walking Conditions

We always walk on recognised tracks or paths, which can be challenging and tricky underfoot. The walk to Easedale Tarn is uphill and of moderate difficulty.

Temperatures

Month Water Temperature* Air Temperature*
July 16-19°C / 61-66°F 20-22°C / 68-72°F
  • Please note that these temperatures are indicative and should be used as a guide only.

Weather Caveat

For safety reasons, we rely on decent weather conditions when carrying out our swims. As a consequence, open water swimming holidays require a certain degree of on-trip flexibility which can result in changes to the planned itinerary. These changes often add a touch of uniqueness to your trip and will be communicated to you by your SwimTrek guides as quickly as possible.

Trip Grading

We have given this trip a ‘Beginner’ grading designed for people who are new to open water swimming. It aims to build your confidence and develop open water swimming skills. There is no formal coaching.

Getting There

The easiest way to reach the Glenthorne Guest House is to drive, however, you can also reach the guesthouse via train, taxi or bus. While we have outlined various travel options below, they are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. Whichever route you choose to take, we recommend confirming your travel arrangements as early as possible in order to avoid price rises and availability issues.

Getting to Grasmere via Train and Bus/Taxi

From London or Glasgow, the journey will take approximately three hours, while from Manchester journey time is approximately two hours. The nearest train station to Grasmere is Windermere which is approximately 9 miles away. For detailed train timetables and prices visit: www.nationalrail.co.uk.

From Windermere train station, you can choose to take a taxi or a bus operated by Stagecoach which will take approximately 30 to 40 minutes. You can take any of the following Stagecoach services from Windermere: The 505 (Kendal–Coniston), the 555 (Kendal-Keswick) or the 599 (Kendal-Grasmere). The cost for this bus is approximately £7.40 for a single ticket. The Glenthorne Guest House is a 5–10 minute walk from Grasmere Centre along Easedale Road. To book a ticket or find bus timetables, please visit: www.stagecoachbus.com.

Driving to Grasmere

Grasmere is located in the centre of Lake District National Park. The Glenthorne Guest House is located 500m north of the centre of Grasmere on Easedale Road. The postcode is LA22 9QH. When you turn into Easedale Road, the guest house is located 200m along on the left-hand side. On-site parking is available for all guests.

Practical Information

Accommodation

The Glenthorne is located right in the heart of Grasmere and within five minutes of the village. It offers a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere with comfortable accommodation and delicious home-cooked meals in stunning surroundings. Our accommodation is based on twin-share rooms with either shared or en-suite facilities.

There are a limited number of single supplement rooms which can be reserved during the booking process, subject to availability. Please note that unless you select an en-suite room you will share a bathroom between two rooms.

Pre/Post Trip Accommodation and Trip Extension Options

If you require additional nights’ accommodation before or after the SwimTrek tour, this can be arranged directly through the Glenthorne via email at info@glenthorne.org.

Food and Drink

Dinner at the Glenthorne Guest House is included on the first night. Then breakfast and lunch on the following two days. Dinner on the second night is at your own expense. This gives you the opportunity to either dine at the Glenthorne Guest House again or to explore and experience a local restaurant of your choice.

Money, Extra Expenses and Tipping

You should bring extra money with you to cover items such as entertainment, a dinner, snacks, and souvenirs. The local currency in the UK is British Pound Sterling (£).

In some countries tipping is not part of the culture, whereas in others it has become an expected norm. We believe that tipping is entirely done at your discretion. If you have been provided with excellent service it may be something you wish to do. Your SwimTrek guides can advise on local norms for service providers like boat crew, waiters or taxis. Nothing is expected for your SwimTrek guides but many groups like to present something to the guides at the end of the trip.

Passports and Visas

Non-residents of UK require a full passport to enter the country, which should be valid for six months beyond the expected length of stay. Citizens of all EU member states, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not require a visa to enter UK. Please note that visa regulations are subject to change and we advise that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

Travel Insurance

We consider comprehensive travel insurance to be essential, and we strongly recommend that you purchase insurance which includes, but is not limited to, cover for illness, accident, emergency repatriation, ambulance, air ambulance, helicopter rescue services, cancellation, lost luggage and delays.

Your travel insurance should also cover you for open water swimming and any other activity listed in your trip itinerary (including races and competitions, where applicable). Please read your policy details carefully and remember to take them with you on your trip for your own reference. For further information about travel insurance, please visit: www.swimtrek.com/travel-insurance.

Health Information and Recommended Vaccinations

For comprehensive health information for people travelling to the UK, including all recommended and required vaccinations, please visit Travel Health Pro. Please note that this information is subject to change and you should re-check this site regularly prior to your trip.

Travel Plugs and Electricity

For a useful source of information on the different electrical outlets, electrical plugs, and electric sockets, please visit worldstandards.eu.

Book with Confidence

Our new flexible booking conditions include a 7-day refund guarantee and free trip changes.