Wild Swimming in Wastwater

I’ve been to Wasdale a few times and walked the screes and Scafell Pike but had never been in the lake….the deepest lake in England…until this weekend. I’ve carried on swimming at least once a week through the winter, usually in Capernwray but other times in lakes. But had never been swimming in Wastwater. This weekend I wanted to brave my fears of going in the deep, dark, cold water of Wastwater.

The lake has easy access from laybys on the road. On the Friday the weather was windy and damp, very low cloud over the surrounding mountains, but we thought ‘its now or never’!

Zipping up wetsuits in anticipation we headed down the grassy slope to the water. The wind was blowing hard across the lake and there were sizeable waves! We took a rocky slope which shelved quite steeply into deep water….ooohhhh that cold feeling when the water runs inside your wetsuit… I love it! Swimming was a little difficult whilst being slapped in the face with waves but once we’d stopped yelping we swam towards the middle of the lake. It was amazing. The water felt clean (but looked really dark underneath). I had forgotten to put my goggles on so kept my face above the water (apart from the waves!)

After 15 minutes of swimming around, bobbing about and marvelling at the scenery I swam to shore and got warm. I’ve got that off to a tee now…quick speedy wetsuit removal, dry, dress, coffee, chocolate! 🙂

I loved the swim so much I decided on another one on the Sunday morning before heading home. The water was still this time, no waves, still dark and cold. I had goggles on this time and managed some front crawl and looking down into the dark below was beautiful. I am normally nervous about looking into the depths of a lake but because the water felt so clear it didn’t feel at all spooky. Being weightless, supported by the water, whether looking up at the beautiful mountains or down into the darkness below brings about such a huge feeling of being alive and safe. I absolutely love swimming in the outdoors.

For my experience of swimming in Ullswater click here.

For more information about wild swimming in the Lake District click here.

Wild Swimming in Ullswater

Last weekend we travelled to Patterdale in the Lake District to swim in Ullswater, a lake I’ve read about in my wild swimming book but never been in. I know the area really well as I have run/walked the full Ullswater way around 8 times. Its a beautiful area and I was keen to get an outdoors dip. That weekend we got, not one, but two Ullswater swims.

Parking at Patterdale we headed onto the trail towards Howtown, rucksacks packed with snacks, warm clothes and a jet-boil for a well needed post swim brew. After walking for a couple of miles we came to a tiny track through the ferns down towards a small shingle beach next to the lake.

I had a bad wrist (don’t ask…nasty cat bite!) so I braved it in a cossie. In we waded, the water was fresh and clear but felt really cold! Ullswater is known for being a deep, cold body of water. It certainly was. Deep breath and swim…it was fabulous. The scenery, the cold, the freshness of the water, the stillness. Beautiful. People were walking on the trail and waved to us. It was great seeing Ullswater from a different perspective. We got out, dried off in the sheltered cove and after re-fuelling, headed back to the van.

The following day we decided to try a different location so drove towards Aira Force on the other side of the lake. The car park was opposite the lake on the other side of a busy road. We changed and (again, me in my still damp cossie) entered the water. Not as clear over this side and still had the great cold feeling. We swam around a bit until…something touched my leg…cue inner panic

Anyone who swims with me knows I’m scared of jelly fish and generally anything else in the water. After remembering there are no jelly fish in the lakes, I calmed down a bit…just reeds…probably. We swam a bit longer but with the ‘leg touching’ incident and the busy main road very close by, this swim was not as perfect as the first one.

However, wild swimming in Ullswater twice in two days in a new lake was great and the sign of a good weekend!

Where to next?…need to get my book out again.

To read about wild swimming in Wastwater click here.

For more information about wild swimming in the Lake District click here.

An active holiday in Cornwall…….seals and surfers!

I recently spent an active holiday in Cornwall. Ten days of sea, sun and sand (the first week was sunny anyway). I’d never been down there before and found the coastal views really stunning. I had taken my bike, paddle board and of course wetsuit and swimming gear, ready for some outdoor activities.

The first few days were spent walking the coastal paths around the Lizard, Lands End and Penzance. Really stunning. We saw some seals and had some lovely swims and a paddle board. Unlike Morecambe bay, the sea was clear and the sand was soft and sand-like! Kynance Cove was just beautiful. Had a lovely swim there too.

On the second week we moved over towards Newquay and Padstow. The coastal walks were still great but I preferred the other area further down. The sea however was something else. Its surfers paradise. I’ve never been in such huge waves! Not much swimming went on, but lots of fun in the waves, whilst watching out for the surfers riding the waves!

The weather turned wet and windy so the walks were shorter and the ‘swims’ got even choppier. I’d come off my bike the previous week so my knee was recovering but I think the sea water helped with that.

With the weather turning we decided to return home a few days earlier. Time to wash the sand out of everything!! 🙂

Since getting home I’ve had a couple more swims at Capernwray. The water has definitely cooled down now but am hoping to keep swimming all winter like last year…watch this space!

To read about my swims in Ullswater and Wastwater click here and here.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is corn-2-1.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is corn-3-1.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is corn-5-1.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is corn-6-1.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is corn-8-1.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is corn9-1.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is corn-7-1.jpg