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TRIP OVERVIEW

3 days
Short Escape
3km/day
Leisurely

Trip Dates

2024
17 Jun - 19 Jun
3 Spaces
20 Jun - 22 Jun
3 Spaces
26 Jul - 28 Jul
1 Space
16 Sep - 18 Sep
Available
2025
17 Jun - 19 Jun
Available
23 Jun - 25 Jun
Available
22 Jul - 24 Jul
Available
28 Jul - 30 Jul
Available
2026

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Tour Highlights

  • Swim the iconic Lake District among stunning valleys, lakes, tarns and waterfalls.

  • Combine safely escorted open water swims with spectacular fell and forest walks.

  • Relax in secluded tranquillity at one of our fantastic accommodations. Either the Glenthorne Guest House (offering a traditional Quaker aesthetic and home-cooked food) or The Inn at Grasmere (with sauna, heated pool and restaurant serving seasonal and local produce).

Get back to nature for a Short Escape swimming holiday in the UK’s picturesque Lake District. With freshwater swims in some of the region’s most iconic lakes, this weekend getaway is the perfect way to spend some time in the great outdoors and discover this beautiful part of the British countryside from a unique and unforgettable perspective.

The Lake District National Park sprawls across the county of Cumbria and covers around 700 square miles of England’s best-loved scenery. It’s a region of high mountains, deep valleys, large lakes, remote tarns, and spectacular waterfalls.

We stay in two types of accommodation throughout the season - Glenthorne Guest House (a traditional Quaker house), or The Inn at Grasmere (an inclusive, relaxed hotel in the centre of the village). There will only be one accommodation on offer for each departure, so please refer to the dates to find the accommodation you are after.

Either way, your trip offers an exciting mix of lake and tarn swimming and you’ll have plenty of chances to enjoy some of the region’s most breathtaking locations. All swims are of a manageable distance and are broken up with some challenging, but spectacular, fell walking between locations. This is the perfect opportunity to leave the bustle of everyday life behind - simply disconnect for a few days of unforgettable lake swimming in the British countryside!


Who is trip for?

With shorter daily swim distances, this trip is perfect for those who enjoy freshwater swimming and are looking for a weekend break among some of the country’s most awe-inspiring scenery. The trip explores the surroundings of the Lake District, so swimmers should also be comfortable walking at various gradients for at least 45 minutes to reach remote swimming spots.

Swimmers should have a basic understanding of open water swimming and be capable of completing the average swim distance and average daily swim distance (over the course of two swims) prior to the start of the trip.

The average swim distance is around 1.5km. The average daily swim distance is around 3km.

We have given this trip a ‘Leisurely’ grading designed for people who want to swim at a more relaxed pace and enjoy the scenery.

This grading is for the swim only and does not take into account the challenging walks to each remote location.


What's included?

  • Fully guided swimming holiday (swimmers only)
  • Professional swim guides and full safety escort on all swims (swimmers only)
  • All breakfasts
  • All lunches (swimmers only)
  • Full ABTOT Financial Protection
  • Dinner on first night
  • Two nights' accommodation

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the trip
  • Evening meals
  • Drinks and additional activities
  • Wetsuit hire


Sample Trip Itinerary

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

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Glenthorne Guest House or The Inn at Grasmere

Start Time: 14:00 on Day 1 (check in is after welcome meeting at Glenthorne)

Finish Point: Glenthorne Guest House or The Inn at Grasmere

Finish Time: 14:00 on Day 3

Day 1

We meet at your accommodation where we hold a welcome meeting and safety briefing to kick off our trip. We then take a walk through the forest and fells, which leads us along the western shore of Grasmere Lake, to our acclimatisation swim. After the swim, we head back to our hotel for our first dinner, which is included in your package.

Day 2

From the guest house we head to Rydal Water, which is the shallowest of the lakes, keeping the temperature relatively warm. Heron Island, located in the middle of the lake, is an ideal resting point during our swim. You can clearly see High and Low Pike as well as Great Rigg as we take in the region’s beautiful scenery from the water. After our swim, we enjoy a packed lunch at Rydal Water.

After lunch and some time to rest, we head back to Grasmere for our final swim of the day. After our refreshing swim, there’s time for a hot drink before we head back to our accommodation to end this day of swimming and trekking. In the evening, you are free to explore Grasmere and select somewhere to have dinner.

Day 3

After a hearty breakfast, the first trek of the day is 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 - of course, we get here well before any other visitors! While swimming, you will notice the steep hillsides surrounding the tarn, which rise on the right to Tarn Crag, and, on the left, they form Castle How and Blea Rigg.

After getting out of the water and having another hot drink, we take a walk back down to Grasmere where we have a picnic lunch before this weekend of idyllic lake swimming and walking comes to an end.

Accommodation

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Glenthorne Guest House

Glenthorne is a long established guest house and meeting place in Grasmere, located within 5 minutes walk of the centre of Grasmere village. It offers a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere, comfortable accommodation, and delicious home-cooked meals in stunning surroundings. The spacious gardens are ideal for relaxing while enjoying stunning views towards Helm Crag and Silver How.

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The Inn at Grasmere

Our new accommodation - The Inn at Grasmere offers that extra level of comfort for your SwimTrek experience with breathtaking views. The Inn offers high end, spacious rooms, with an indoor heated pool and sauna to relax after a day of exploring the Lake District by land and water and a traditional, seasonal menu to help you refuel at the end of the day.

Location Summary

Central Tarns

The tarn of Easedale is one of the finest bodies of water within the Lake District National Park. These tarns are relatively remote and afford magnificent views of the Southern Fells. The precipitous and rocky nature of the terrain, combined with a lack of 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 and Rydal Water are situated to the north of Windermere. They are as picturesque as any spot that you are likely to find in the Lakes. Unique to these lakes, each of these bodies of water contain an island located centrally, so there’s always an opportunity to have a rest on your crossing.

Trip Grading

We have given this trip a ‘Leisurely’ grading designed for people who want to swim at a more relaxed pace and enjoy the scenery.

This grading is for the swim only and does not take into account the challenging walks to each remote location.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distances
Rydal Water 1½ km
Grasmere Lake 1½ km
Easedale Tarn 1 km

*Please note that these swims are an example of what may take place during your trip and should be used as a guide only. Actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather and swim conditions.

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 and inform them that you have been lake swimming.

Walking Distances

Walk Distances
Grasmere - Rydal Water 4 km (Uphill)
Rydal Water - Grasmere 3½ km
Grasmere - Easedale Tarn 3 km (uphill)
Grasmere - Easedale Tarn 3 km

Walking Conditions

While we have given this trip a grading of Leisurely for the swimming conditions, we want you to enjoy exploring the scenery the Lake District has to offer. The walks to our swimming locations will vary in gradient and intensity. We always walk on recognised tracks or paths, which can be challenging and tricky underfoot. Some of the walks are uphill and of moderate difficulty.

Temperatures

Month Water Temperature* Air Temperature*
June 14-17˚C / 57-63˚F 18-20˚C / 64-68˚F
July 16-19˚C / 61-66˚F 20-22˚C / 68-72˚F
August 15-19˚C / 59-66˚F 19-21˚C / 66-70˚F
September 15-18˚C / 59-64˚F 18-21˚C / 65-70˚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 Information

Group Size

This trip has a maximum group size of 16. The group will be split into a maximum of three groups, based on speed, with each group being accompanied by your SwimTrek guide and Safety Support Crew.

Boat Support

Boat support on this trip includes a combination of canoes and kayaks. Please note that this boat support is subject to change without notice and cannot be guaranteed.

Extra Activities

Our fantastic water safety partners, Into the Outside, also deliver a number of Lake District activities. If you would like to add additional excursions either side of your trip, you can find out more at Into The Outside or contact them directly at info@intotheoutside.co.uk

Equipment Checklist

For your basic, essential packing list, please visit our Packing List page on the website. For additional, location specific items, please see the information below.

SwimTrek will provide water and electrolytes at every location and refill your bottles.

Item Item
Personal Hot Drink Flask Warm Clothes
Walking Shoes / Boots Woolly Hat & Gloves
Wetsuit

Please ensure you bring a suitable backpack so you can comfortably carry all the essentials you need.

Whilst we want you to remain warm, we advise against bringing large drying robes as they are very bulky to carry between swims.

You will be required to carry your kit at the start and end of your day, but your belongings will be portaged between swims if appropriate. For this reason, we recommend your bag is waterproof. We also ask that you bring a personal drinks flask that you can fill from the hotel on the morning of each day. We will supply plenty of top up opportunities throughout the day. Finally, due to the variable nature of conditions on these swims, wetsuits are strongly recommended.

If you would like to use a wetsuit, rash vest, snorkel, or fins during your swims, please ensure that you bring these with you.

Tri Wetsuit Hire & Wetsuit Hiring Option

For all UK residence we have partnered with Tri Wetsuit Hire who offer different hiring options for our SwimTrekkers from 2 weeks or 4 weeks, to a whole season - Use 'SWIMTREK5' for a special discount on their website.

Getting There

The easiest way to get to your accommodation 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 to avoid price rises and availability issues.

Getting to Grasmere via Public Transport

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. There are several buses from Windermere to Grasmere centre. Both Glenthorne Guest house and The Inn at Grasmere are close to central Grasmere just 5-10 minute walk. To book a ticket or find bus timetables, please visit: www.stagecoachbus.com.

Driving to Grasmere

Grasmere is right at the heart of the Lake District National Park. The Glenthorne Guest House is located 500-metres 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.

The Inn at Grasmere is along Broadgate, postcode LA22 9SS. Free on-site parking is available for guests.

Accommodation

We are excited to work closely with two brilliant partners in Grasmere who welcome you to either accommodation, depending on which departure date suits you best. Three of our 2024 trips will be based in The Inn at Grasmere, and the remaining will be based in the Glenthorne Guest House.

The Glenthorne Guest House is a traditional lodge located right in the heart of Grasmere and within five minutes of the village. It offers a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere where its Quaker values and ethos sit alongside comfortable accommodation and delicious home-cooked meals in stunning surroundings. Our accommodation has a mixture of 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.

The Inn at Grasmere is part and parcel of the historic village. With breathtaking views in a central location, the Inn provides visitors with easy access to the Lakes District in a luxurious setting. The Inn offers that extra level of comfort for your SwimTrek experience with spacious en suite rooms, an indoor heated pool, and a sauna to relax after a day of exploring the Lake District by land and water. It also boasts a traditional, seasonal menu to help you refuel at the end of the day's activities.

Pre/Post Trip Accommodation and Trip Extensions

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, or The Inn at Grasmere via reservations@theinnatgrasmere.co.uk.

Food and Drink

Dinner is included on the first night. Dinner on the second night is at your own expense. This gives you the opportunity to either dine in, or to explore and experience a local restaurant of your choice. For dinners we will generally dine together, but you are free to choose where and with whom you would like to dine. Restaurants get busy so advance booking is recommended. Breakfast and lunch on the following two days are included in your package price.

For more information, please visit: www.swimtrek.com/food-and-drink.

Travel Advice

For more information on any of the following sections please visit the Travel Advice page of our website.

Money, Extra Expenses and Tipping

The local currency in the UK is British Pound Sterling (£).

You should bring extra money with you to cover items such as meals not already included in your package, drinks, entertainment, souvenirs, etc.

In some countries, tipping (gratuities) is not part of the culture - in others it has become an expected norm. We believe that tipping is done entirely at your own 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.

Responsible Travel

SwimTrek is conscious of the importance of protecting the world’s natural wonders. We are acutely aware of our responsibility to not only take care of the natural environments which we are lucky enough to explore, but also to educate our guests about the importance of conservation efforts and responsible tourism. It’s for this reason that we have worked so closely with our partners to ensure that our trips are conducted in the most responsible and sustainable way possible, working tirelessly to minimise the impact of our presence on local marine life and the natural habitat.

For more information, please visit our Responsible Travel page on the website.

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.

Please note that visa regulations are subject to change and it is important 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, please visit our Travel Insurance page on the website.

Health Information

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

Travel Plugs & Electricity

At the Glenthorne Guest House, most rooms and communal areas have access to free Wi-Fi.

At The Inn at Grasmere, all rooms have free Wi-Fi and a flat screen TV

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


Related Trips

  • The Lakes and Tarns holiday was everything I had hoped for and more.

    Susie W, UK - 2023
  • AMAZING trip! Experienced, professional and fun guides. Great mix of swimming and walking in beautiful surroundings. I loved it and can't wait for my next Swim Trek adventure.

    Jo C, UK - 2023
  • I can’t recommend SwimTrek highly enough. I’ve been on trips as an individual traveller, with my partner and with a group of friends and have enjoyed all equally. Such a wonderful way to explore a new location.

    Esther C, UK - 2023
  • It's hard to believe that there can be better places to swim than the Lake District in fine weather. But I'd be very happy to go on some more swimtrek holidays and check!

    Jo B, UK - 2022
  • The staff on this trip (Sarian, Tash, Liam, Barry) were fabulous and I felt so looked after. The lakes were beautiful to look at and swim in and my fellow trekkers were great company. 10/10

    Amanda H, UK - 2022
  • An amazing experience, fabulous swims in beautiful locations with experienced, super helpful crew, I can’t recommend it enough!

    Sam H, UK - 2022