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Our flexible booking conditions include a 14-day refund guarantee and free trip changes.
Terms and Conditions apply.


3 days
Short Escape

Trip Dates


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Tour Highlights

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

  • 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, as well as enjoy some fantastic swimming opportunities. With the tranquillity of such remote locations, combined with adventurous 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. The Buttermere Valley is dep and mobile signals limited at best so this holiday is for those who wish to unplug, swim, read, relax and talk to each other.

Swimmers should also have a basic understanding of open water swimming and be capable of completing the average swim distance of 1½ km prior to the start of the trip. The average daily swim distance is around 3½ km (split over a minimum of two swims).

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 in the Western Lakes of the Lake District
  • Two nights' accommodation at Buttermere Court Hotel, between Crummock Water and Buttermere
  • Two breakfasts, two lunches and one dinner at the Buttermere Court Hotel
  • Swim guides and full safety escort on every swim

What's not included?

  • Dinner on Day 2
  • Travel to and from the start of the tour
  • Wetsuit hire (if required)

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 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.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Buttermere Court Hotel, Buttermere

Start Time: 16:00 on Day 1

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, 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 swim towards the imposing Low Ling Crag which sits directly below the high peak of Melbreak. On our swimming journey we pass Scale island and the Woodhouse Islands, before arriving at the sandy peninsula of Low Ling Crag.

From Low Ling, we hike up to the striking Scale Force waterfalls, which are the highest in the Lake District. On this section of hike, we have stunning views over both Crummock Water and the following day’s swims on Buttermere. From here we hike back to Low Ling Crag where we have time for lunch before hiking around Crummock Water’s remote western edge until we reach Lanthwaite Wood at the far north end. Here we put our swimwear back on and traverse the middle of the lake in the direction of the peak of Great Gable. On reaching the promontory at Rannerdale Knott we get out and change before continuing the final section on foot along Squat Beck at the back of Low Bank.

After time to relax back at the hotel, there is the opportunity to all go out for dinner and reflect on the day’s activities.

Day 3

Today we base ourselves around Buttermere. Our first swim is from Pike Rigg and is an excellent introduction to Buttermere. It offers you a chance to pick up some coaching tips from your guides prior to the afternoon’s swim. Between swims, we take a walk along the western shore of Buttermere, giving us a chance to savour the dramatic views, ancient woodlands and spectacular backdrop which surround this most tranquil of lakes.

After our packed lunch we swim the full length of the idyllic waters of Buttermere. We start off at the northern end of the lake and head to its far end at Gatesgarth Farm. 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 comes to an end.

Location Summary

Western Lakes

The most remote of all the Lake District regions, the Western Lakes is full contrasts. The precipitous and rocky nature of the terrain plus little agriculture 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 (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 highs in the vicinity. Just up from Crummock Water is the imposing waterfall of Scale Force, the highest in the Lake District.


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

Swimming Distances

Swim Distance
Crummock (Lanthwaite - Low Ling Crag) 2½ km
Crummock (Low Ling - Nether How) 1½ km
Buttermere (Pike Rigg) 1 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 1 km
Low Ling Crag - Scale Force 2 km (Uphill)
Nether How - Buttermere Village 2½ km
Gatesgarth Farm - Buttermere Village 3 km

Walking Conditions

We always walk on recognised tracks or paths, which can sometimes be challenging and tricky underfoot.


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 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.

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 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**

For more information please visit:

*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.

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.

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. Please ensure these are clearly marked to help our coaches identify yours. If you would like to use a wetsuit, rash vest, snorkel, or fins during your swims, please ensure that you bring these with you.

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 or transport 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. There is parking available onsite. Take the A66 past Keswick then the B5289 or the B5292 from Cockermouth, forking right onto the B5289 at Lorton.

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 or catch a Stagecoach bus (No. X4 or X5) to Keswick. It takes approximately 45 - 50 minutes to get to Keswick. From Keswick, take a taxi for another 10 miles or another Stagecoach bus (No. 77 or 77A) 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 more information on bus times visit


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. 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.

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 (£).

In some countries tipping, gratuities, is not part of the culture in others it has become an expected norm. We believe that tipping is entirely at your discretion. If you have been provided with excellent 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:

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 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:

Health Information and Recommended Vaccinations

Here at SwimTrek we pride ourselves on our focus on safety and the well-being of all our guests. As we operate in some beautiful and remote locations medical facilities are not always easily accessible. SwimTrek Guides, and many staff working for our local partners, are first aid trained. However we ask that you read our travel health advice page to ensure that you are informed about general Travel and Swim Health precautions.

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

  • As a wild water 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. I would definitely consider booking another SwimTrek break.

    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
  • Just what I expected! Very personal, l regard Liam Walsh as an old friend now, he has guided me on numerous trips, a lovely guy!

    Roger, 2021
  • Excellent trip, can't wait to SwimTrek again. Thank you.

    Andrew, 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
  • The Western Lakes trip has been my first experience of SwimTrek and I've had a absolutely fantastic time. Heidi and all the safety crew were so friendly & knowledgeable, I really felt I was it great hands.

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

    Roger, 2021
  • If you enjoy swimming, this is an excellent way to experience safe, guided open water swimming with like minded people. Fantastic fun!

    Yvonne H. UK
  • Amazing weekend in the lakes! Loved it!

    Paulius S. UK
  • I want to go on SwimTrek holidays again and again. I wouldn't describe myself as a natural water baby, but I now count open fresh water swimming as one of my top hobbies. Can't recommend Lithuania and/or the Lake District trips more highly!

    Victoria W. UK
  • A beautiful, intrepid, swimming adventure.

    Alison R. UK

Book with Confidence
Our flexible booking conditions include a 14-day refund guarantee and free trip changes.
Terms and Conditions apply.

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