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A man diving into the lake
Close up of water texture
Another Place, The Lake
Man swimming underwater

Wild swimming in the Lake District

Relatively sheltered and undiscovered, Ullswater is perfect for wild swimming. Nine miles in length and formed by glaciation, the lake offers excellent water quality, islands to explore, and shores for beach picnics. 

When you stay at The Lake you can book onto our wild swimming classes (18-20 August) or one of our two-day swim clinics (22-24 September, 20-22 October).

Summer wild swimming classes
18 – 20 August

Gain confidence to swim in open water and improve your technique. This summer Chillswim founder and recent inductee into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, Colin Hill, will lead a number of classes.

Course details

Beginners introduction to open water swimming
Cost: Adults £30 | Children under 18 £25 (must be accompanied by a parent/ guardian)
Duration: 45 minutes

All participants must be able to swim 200m confidently.

Cross lake swim
Cost: £40
Duration: 30 – 50 minutes

Must be aged 18 and over.

Triathlon swim coaching
Cost £35
Duration: 45 minutes

All swimming sessions will take place from our private jetty at Another Place, The Lake.

Call to book your lesson today:

01768 486442

Splashing around in Ullswater in the Lake District

Swim lessons are only available to guests.

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Here are the essential guidelines to follow to ensure you can swim freely and have fun safely.

The SwimSafe Code

Another Place supports the Lake District National Park’s SwimSafe campaign – a code to follow that aims to keep you safe while swimming in the Lakes:

Be Seen, have support

Be seen by boats.

  • Have a safety boat or canoe support displaying a white and blue Alpha flag
  • Wear a bright swim cap and tow a bright float
  • Never swim alone

Be Water wise

Exposure to cool water can rapidly lead to hypothermia

  • Wear a wetsuit to keep you warmer and more buoyant
  • Enter the water slowly to get used to it
  • Check the depth and the water bed by walking in carefully
  • Don’t jump in

Be Informed

Ullswater is busy with boats. People on boats may struggle to see swimmers. A collision with any boat can be fatal.

  • Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.

Be Mindful

  • Avoid mooring areas, marinas and jetties used by boats, ferry routes and boating channels.
  • Be aware boaters may be in any area of the lake at any time of the day or night.
  • Only swim when weather conditions are suitable – remember conditions can change quickly so do check the forecast.

Undiscovered corners – Kailpot Crag and Sandwick

Ullswater may be one of the most popular lakes in the Lake District due to its natural beauty, but away from the tourist hotspots there are many undiscovered hidden gems for a wild swim experience. Kailpot Crag, characterised by its ancient, gnarly foliage has all the makings of a fantastic swimming spot. The west-facing outcrop has a small cliff for diving into deep water below and there’s a small shingle beach that’s perfect for drying off. Kailpot Crag’s westerly aspect means you can enjoy the sunset while swimming.  The best way to find it is to take the ferry to Howtown pier and follow the lake path a mile south-west.

Sandwick is a good alternative. Swimming along the lake shore from Sandwick towards Howtown you will see woods, cliffs and rocky beaches.  About half a mile on, two buoys mark another beach where you can exit the water if you wish and return to the footpath.  To find your starting point, park in Sandwick hamlet and take the path to the right signposted towards Howtown. Along the path you will come across a couple of beaches that you can enter the water from.

Two friends high five after a wild swim in Ullswater
Cinemagraph of 2 men swimming in Ullswater
Woman wild swimming in a lake

Depth and water temperature

Summer: minimum of 11 degrees Celsius
Winter: can reach as low as three or four degrees above 0
Depth: maximum of 63 metres

For wild swimmers new to large expanses of water, it is recommended that you swim close to the shore so you are able to put your feet down.  For experienced open water swimmers, it is possible to swim from shore to shore of the 0.75m wide lake, but be aware the deeper waters inevitably lower the water temperature, even in the middle of summer.

Swim clinic

Perfect your front crawl and learn to swim smoother, further and faster in open water on our two-day swim clinic with fully qualified swim coach, Salim Ahmed from Swim Lab.

22 – 24 September 2017

Swim clinic graphic
Close up of a swimmer in Ullswater
Close up of a swimmer in Ullswater