Wild Swimming in the Lake District – Part II

Now that we’re (finally) getting a taste of summer, its time to start looking forward to some refreshing summer swims. Part II of this guide to idyllic swimming spots in the Lakes continues with what Lonely Planet recently named one of the world’s top 10 skinny dipping spots; Blackmoss Pot in the Langstrath Valley. Its a bit further afield from Colwith, but still easy to reach and well-worth a trip. Located upstream from Galleny Force (a stretch of river which is worth exploring in itself for its series of sparkling river pools), Blackmoss Pot is a deep pool with an excellent cliff for jumping.

Blackmoss Pot, Nr. Langstrath

A bit closer to home, Lake Coniston is the perfect place for an idyllic family swim. As the setting for Arthur Ransome’s quintessential novel of childhood adventure, Swallows and Amazons, exploring the lake by boat or in the water, finding the secret harbour on Wildcat Island and having a picnic on the shore (including ginger beer, of course) is a wonderful journey back into childhood, to be enjoyed by children and adults alike. Wildcat Island (actually Peel Island, now owned by the National Trust) is no more than 100 meters from the shore at Low Peel Near, and the beautiful woodland beaches make for a lovely picnicking and changing spot.

Venturing further into the quieter western Lakes, Tongue Pot in Eskdale is another fantastic location for the wild swimming adventurer. The river Esk has a series of stunning pools to explore but Tongue Pot is the most dramatic, with a pebbly beach, knotty oak trees and high rocks for jumping. Reached from the road below Hardknott Pass, the river pools are a stiff uphill walk away, but cooling off in the emerald water is well-worth the effort of a sweaty climb.