Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more


3 days
Short Escape

Trip Dates

09 Aug - 11 Aug
12 Aug - 14 Aug
09 Sep - 11 Sep

Join the mailing list to be informed when trips go live

Download trip notes

Tour Highlights

  • Experience an unforgettable swimming holiday among the rolling green fells of the Lake District

  • Experience the fells in full bloom as the bluebells brighten up the rolling fells of Rannerdale (May trips only)

  • Stay close to stunning Crummock Water and Buttermere and discover the area's lesser-known waters

  • Reap the benefits of fully escorted outdoor swims with expert guides and share adventures with like-minded swimmers

  • Dine at the stunning Buttermere Court Hotel and take iconic hikes in the Lake Poets' footsteps

The Western Lakes and fells are undoubtedly some of the most striking in the UK’s famous Lake District. A world away from the bustle of the northern and southern Lakes, this area offers you the chance to truly relax and take some time out – disconnect from your busy everyday and reconnect with nature as you leap into our selected array of fantastic swimming opportunities. With the tranquillity of such remote locations, combined with decent daily swim distances, this trip is a fantastic Short Escape in one of the UK's most picturesque regions.

Who is this trip for?

This trip offers the classic SwimTrek lake crossings and is perfect for those looking for an adventure in a less visited part of the UK, whether you are new to open water swimming or an accomplished swimmer already.

The trip explores the stunning surroundings of the Lake District as well, which means swimmers should be comfortable walking at different gradients for at least 45 minutes to reach our swimming spots.

If you want to experience something extra special, why not join one of our trips in May to see the seasonal emergence of bluebells? While we cannot guarantee they will be out, they are reliable - we have a pretty good idea when they’ll show up as they have brightened the rolling countryside of Rannerdale for years!

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 1½km. The average daily swim distance is around 3½km.

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

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
  • Two nights' accommodation at Buttermere Court Hotel, between Crummock Water and Buttermere
  • Dinner on first night

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: Buttermere Court Hotel, Buttermere

Start Time: 14:00 on Day 1 (16:00 for 2023 trips)

Finish Point: Buttermere Court Hotel, Buttermere

Finish Time: 14:00 on Day 3

Day 1

We meet at the Buttermere Court Hotel in the late afternoon for a pre-trip briefing in which we discuss in detail the plans for the next few days.

We then head out for an acclimatisation swim, before returning to the hotel for dinner at approximately 7pm, which is included within your package, and a great opportunity to have a chat with your fellow guests.

Day 2

Following breakfast, we depart Buttermere Village and walk on a trail past both Nether How and Long How before arriving at Wood House on the far southeast corner of Crummock Water. From here, we complete a circuit swim below the high peak of Melbreak before returning to shore for a warm drink and snacks and then a relaxing lunch.

After lunch, we start our afternoon fell walk up and over Rannerdale knot to take in the views of the Lake below. If you are joining our May trips, you will have the best opportunity to see the wonderful bluebells Rannerdale has to offer.

Our final swim of the day starts from the bottom of Rannerdale Knot, and we head back toward Buttermere, where we exit at Crummock Water Beach. Together we walk back to the hotel where you will have time to relax before heading out for dinner and reflecting on the day’s activities.

Day 3

Today we base ourselves around Buttermere. Our short morning walk takes us to the northern entry point of Buttermere and gives us a chance to savour the dramatic views on our final day. Today offers a fantastic opportunity to swim the full-length of Buttermere, heading to Gatesgarth Farm – it's also a fantastic chance to pick up some coaching tips from your expert guides. The peaks of High Stile, Fleetwith Pike and Hay Stacks dominate the skyline. Keep an eye out for ospreys and otters, which are known to frequent this area!

Following hot drinks and snacks at the end of the swim we hike back along the lake to our accommodation and Buttermere Village, where the trip ends.


261b889285e1165d22f58298a696af8672cc736e buttermere court hotel front 1024x768 small
Buttermere Court Hotel

Buttermere Court Hotel is located right in the heart of Buttermere and ideally located in between Crummock Water and Buttermere.

Location Summary

Western Lakes

The most remote of all the Lake District regions, the Western Lakes are defined by contrasts. The precipitous and rocky nature of the terrain and limited agriculture combines to give all these lakes their unique purity. Splitting the Western Lakes of Buttermere, Crummock Water and Ennerdale is the Mosedale Horseshoe, consisting of the peak of Pillar Mountain. Both Crummock Water and Buttermere are ideal locations for lake swimming due to their relatively shallow depth (expect slightly warmer temperatures), lack of other visitors and accessible entry and exit points for swimmers.

Buttermere Valley

We are based in the Buttermere Valley, home to both Crummock Water and Buttermere itself. All three lakes in Buttermere Valley, and much of their surroundings, are cared for by the National Trust. No motor crafts are allowed on any of these lakes, so you can guarantee that the water quality here is simply superb. The fells and peaks that surround this valley offer some imposing sights and are some of the most spiritual and evocative within the Lake District National Park. The peak of Haystacks is the home to the ashes of the Lakes writer Alfred Wainwright. While Red Pike and High Stile are other notable highlights in the vicinity. Just up from Crummock Water is the impressive Rannerdale Knot, offering a spectacular view of the lake as well as a sea of purple and blue during the spring months from the resident bluebells.


The hamlet of Buttermere is our home for the duration of our Western Lakes trip. It is situated between Crummock Water and Buttermere. It features the Buttermere Court Hotel (one of only two inns here), which is our base for the trip.

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.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distance
Crummock Water circuit 2½ km
Rannerdale Beach – Crummock Water Beach 1½ km
Length Of Buttermere 2½ 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
Buttermere Village - Wood House 1½ km
Rannerdale Knot max 7 km (Uphill)
Crummock Beach - Buttermere Village 1½ km
Hotel – Buttermere Lake 1 km
South Buttermere - Hotel 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 and this will be dependent on the group’s aspirations. We always walk on recognised tracks or paths, which can sometimes be challenging and tricky underfoot.


Month Water Temperature* Air Temperature*
May 13-17˚C / 55-63˚F 17-20˚C / 64-68˚F
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 17-21°C / 62-68°F 20-22°C / 68-72°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.

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.

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 15 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

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 Waterproof Trousers and Jacket
Wetsuit Woolly Hat and Gloves

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 reach the Buttermere Court Hotel is to drive, however, you can also reach the hotel using public transport. While we have outlined various travel options below, they are subject to change and should be used as a guide only.

As SwimTrekkers come from all over the world, and join our swimming holidays in numerous destinations, we don't currently offer flights as part of our SwimTrek packages. We do however want to do as much as we can to ensure that our guests get the best deals when travelling to one of our trips so check out SwimTrek's tips to help you get the best deals for your flights page on the website.

Driving to Buttermere

If you are driving to the Buttermere Court Hotel, the postcode is CA13 9XA. Take the A66 past Keswick then the B5289 or the B5292 from Cockermouth, forking right onto the B5289 at Lorton.

Parking on site is available but limited and cars will be asked to be moved before we depart for our final swim on Day 3. However, there is a National Trust Car Park the other side where you will be able to move your car to, or you can park there from arrival. If you are a member, please bring your membership card to ensure discounted parking.

Getting to Buttermere via Public Transport

The nearest train stations to Buttermere are Workington station (20 miles to the west) or Penrith station (28 miles to the east). To use public transport from Workington or Penrith, you could take a taxi all the way to Buttermere or search for bus routes and change at Keswick. It takes approximately 45 - 50 minutes to get to Keswick. You can then catch the 77 / 77A for another 30 minutes from Keswick to Buttermere. Ask to be let off at the Buttermere Court Hotel, Buttermere. The hotel is a 2-minute walk from the bus stop and is located just off the B5289 road.


For this tour we are based at the Buttermere Court Hotel located right in the heart of Buttermere and ideally located in between Crummock Water and Buttermere. It offers a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere with comfortable accommodation and delicious home-cooked meals in stunning surroundings. Please note, on arrival, you may not be able to check in to your accommodation immediately before the welcome meeting, but we will ensure all belongings are kept safe.

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 Buttermere Court Hotel via email at

Food and Drink

Dinner is included on the first night at the Buttermere Court Hotel. Dinner on the second night is at your own expense. This gives you the opportunity to either dine at the Buttermere Court Hotel or the nearby Bridge Hotel. Or, if you have transport, 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:

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

You should bring extra money with you to cover items such as entertainment, dinner on day two, snacks, and souvenirs. 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 the 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 the UK.

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.

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

Internet Access, Travel Plugs and Electricity

Internet access and mobile signal is limited at best in Buttermere and the deep valley in which it sits.

For a useful source of information on the different electrical outlets, electrical plugs, and electric sockets, please visit Please be aware that Buttermere Valley is remote and mobile signal can be limited at best, so this holiday is for those who wish to unplug, swim, read, relax, and talk to each other.

Related Trips

  • Great couple of days thanks to a fun group, great guides and beautiful lakes!

    Rob G, Netherlands - 2023
  • This was easily one of the most fun, confidence-boosting and empowering things I’ve done. I had to stop on every swim just to look around and take in the mountains, the lake, the fact that I was tiny and swimming amongst it all, and it was a delight even in the pouring rain. I’d never have experienced these amazing swims without the guides and support crew, so a huge thank you and I am already excited to book my next swim trek holiday. Thank you!!

    Harriet W, UK - 2023
  • A magical introduction into swimming in a crystal clear mill pond of sweet lake district water, with a remarkable group of people and exceptional professional knowledgeable team full of life's joy, leading us.

    Hazel T, UK - 2023
  • As a wild swimmer who hadn't previously swum more than 1km, this trip challenged me. With the wonderful support of the leaders though I enjoyed the hiking and the swimming, finishing with a 2.5km swim, which was wonderful.

    Georgie O, UK - 2022
  • I didn’t think Swimtrek could get any better …it just did, Buttermere trip exceeded all my expectation, I’ll be back

    Brian McC, UK - 2022
  • A beautiful location with a perfect mix of swimming and hiking. The hotel was lovely and the Staff were amazing. Our guides were knowledgeable and fun. Everyone was able to swim to their own ability and the views were stunning. I will definitely book again.

    Tina L, UK - 2022
  • Great swimming, outstanding guide and crew, good food whilst staying in a friendly, comfortable hotel.

    David, 2021
  • I have absolutely loved the experience. This was my first trip and cannot believe how well organised it has been. I also loved that our guide Heidi gave us lots of options for the swims depending on how we felt.

    Louis, 2021
  • Excellent couple of days at Buttermere in July, Swimtrek team on the ball as always.

    Roger, 2021