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Af12d4db59d3a4e7eac375cc94022a9694656701 lakes and tarns weekender

Tour Highlights

  • Take in the breathtaking scenery in Britain's world-famous Lake District

  • Enjoy the shorter daily swim distances, which are perfect for both new and seasoned open water swimmers alike

  • Combine your swimming with some beautiful walks to and from your start and finish points

  • Relax and enjoy the tranquillity at Glenthorne Guest House, just outside the lovely village of Grasmere

Get back to nature with 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 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 gain confidence under the watchful eye of our experienced SwimTrek guides.

With a mix of lake and tarn swimming over the course of the trip, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy some of the region’s most breathtaking locations. All swims are of a manageable distance and are broken up with some spectacular fell walking between locations, making this the perfect chance to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and disconnect for a few days of beautiful 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 amongst some of the country’s most breathtaking scenery. Swimmers should have a basic understanding of open water swimming and be capable of completing the average daily swim distance of around 3 km (split over a minimum of two swims) prior to the start of the trip.

What's included?

  • Fully guided swimming holiday in the Lake District, U.K.
  • Swim guides and full safety escort on all swims
  • Two nights accommodation
  • All breakfast
  • All lunches
  • Dinner on Friday night at the Glenthorne Country Guest House

What's not included?

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


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 conditions. Your SwimTrek guides 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 Country Guest House on Friday afternoon, where we hold a welcome meeting and safety briefing to kick off our trip. We then take an easy walk through forest and fells, which takes us along the western shore of Grasmere Lake, to our acclimatisation swim. After the swim, we head back to the Glenthorne for our first dinner, which is included in your package.

Day 2

From the hotel, we walk via the Loughrigg terrace to Rydal Water. It’s the shallowest of the lakes, which keeps the temperature relatively warm. Heron Island, located in 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 walk up to Loughrigg Tarn. It is a relatively short walk over Loughrigg, a typically beautiful Lakeland fell, with the quiet lakeside walk beside Rydal Water leading to 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 refreshing swim, there’s time for a hot drink before we head back to our accommodation to bring to an end this day of swimming and trekking.

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, as we get here well before any other visitors. Whilst 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.

After getting out of the water and having a hot drink, it’s 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.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Glenthorne Country Guest House, Cumbria

Start Time: 14:00 on Day 1

Finish Point: Glenthorne Country Guest House, Cumbria

Finish Time: 14:00 on Day 3

Trip Information

Equipment Checklist

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 Googles* (x2) Aqua Shoes / Sandals
Towel Small Day Pack (Preferably Waterproof)
Wooly Hat and Gloves Sun Hat and Sun Cream
Walking Shoes / Boots Torch or Head Torch
Waterproof Trousers and Jacket Water Bottle
Sweater / Fleece Wetsuit**

*Try to bring one clear lens and one tinted lens 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.

Please note that SwimTrek will supply swim hats and provide water and electrolyte drinks in shared water bottles on your safety boat. If you prefer to use your own drink bottle, please feel free to bring one along. If you would like to use a wetsuit, rash vest or fins during your swims, please ensure that you bring these with you.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distances
Loughrigg Tarn 1½km
Grasmere 2km
Rydal Water 2km
Easedale Tarn 1km

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 Distances
Grasmere - Loughrigg Tarn 4km
Grasmere - Rydal Water 2km Uphill
River Rothay Walk 1km
Rydal Water - Grasmere 2½km
Grasmere - Easedale Tarn 3km Uphill

Walking Conditions

We always walk on recognised tracks or paths, which can be challenging and tricky underfoot. The walk to Loughrigg Tarn and Rydal Water is through nice scenery and of low difficulty. The walk to Easedale Tarn is uphill and of moderate difficulty.

Temperatures

Month Water Temperature* Air Temperature*
August 15-19˚C / 59-66˚F 20-22˚C / 68-72˚F
September 15-19˚C / 59-66˚F 19-21˚C / 66-70˚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.

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 their own safety vessel/escort. 

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.

Getting There

The easiest way to reach the Glenthorne Guesthouse is to drive, however, you can also reach the guesthouse via train and 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

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 Stage Coach which will take approximately 30 to 40 minutes. You can take any of the following Stage Coach services from Windermere: The 505 (Kendal – Coniston), the 555 (Kendal-Keswick) or the 599 (Kendal-Grasmere). The cost for this bus is approximately £6.50 for a single ticket. The Glenthorne Guest House is a 5–10 minute walk from Grasmere Centre along Easedale Road. For more information on bus times, fare options and prices please contact Traveline on 0870 608 2608 and ask for the region of ‘Cumbria’. 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 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 all single rooms share a bathroom between two rooms.

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

Meals

All breakfasts and lunches are included, as well as dinner at the Glenthorne Guest House on Friday night. Dinner on the Saturday 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.

Extra Expenses

You should bring extra money with you to cover items such as entertainment, dinner on Saturday night, snacks, souvenirs, etc. The local currency in the U.K. is British Pound Sterling (£).

Passports and Visas

The U.K. is part of the European Union. Non-residents of U.K. require a full passport to enter the country, which should be valid for six months beyond the expected length of stay. Citizens of most countries, including all E.U. member states, U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not require a visa to enter U.K. Please note that visa regulations are subject to change and we advise that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

Health Information

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 & Electricity

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

  • A whole new view of the Lake District (especially swimming out of the river into Rydal Water)

    James M, UK-2017
  • The Lakes and Tarns Weekender is inclusive and positively 'doable' for all abilities. I loved all aspects of the weekend, all the SwimTrek team worked hard to look after us and organisation was seamless.

    Penny E, UK - 2017
  • Lovely swimming in fresh water! Great scenery, wonderful, freeing and fun!

    Vivienne B, UK - 2017
  • I can't recommend SwimTrek enough - for someone with very limited previous experience of open water swimming, I felt safe and supported at all times and had an absolutely awesome trip!

    Anna, 2017 - UK
  • Great trip in a beautiful location. My first time with SwimTrek - hopefully not my last!

    Steph W. UK - 2016
  • A new and exhilarating experience! I must also add that we had a wonderful group: I met some really interesting people on the trip.

    Jana. UK - 2016
  • A wonderful trip with the right balance of swim, trek, free time and lots of fun. Very experienced team and organisation. Always felt safe

    Maria L. UK - 2016
  • A wonderful swim experience and unbelievably good fun.

    Tanya L. UK - 2016
  • As a slow swimmer I knew I would be slower than most people in the group but the guides were great, one of them was always close by in the canoe, and they never made me feel it mattered at all that I was slower. I had a great experience.

    Erika B. UK - 2016