Dipping in the Lake District – 2018

While we are in the Lake District for races we like to make the most of our stay by taking dips in the local lakes, waters and tarns (we are never sure which one is which).  Here are the places we visited on our most recent trip.


On Friday afternoon we were no sooner off the train and picked up our hire car than we were on our way to Grasmere.  We have swum in Grasmere before but due to a combination of time spent trying to find a waterfall (epic fail) and needing to get back to small children we only managed a short dip to were keen to go back.

Grasmere is about a 25 minute drive from Kendal and you can park on a layby on the side of the road.  To access the water you walk through a mini forest and then over a bridge.  It really makes you feel like you are part of a famous five novel!

Grasmere is clearly a popular place to stop as there were loads of families playing on the bank.  After our keenness to get there we were less than speedy entering the water as it was a bit ‘chilly’.  Once we were in we had a lovely dip and obligatory photo shoot.

Grasmere is a decent sized water and you could easily get a proper swim in there.  It was cold though as after about a 15 minute swim we were still shivering an hour later with two coats on!  This made us a bit scared about what 2.5 hours and 5.5 hours in Coniston and Windermere was going to be like!

Us fannying about entering Grasmere

Yew Tree Tarn

On Friday evening we were driving from our hotel outside Ambleside (we treated ourselves to staying in Low Wood Bay and would thoroughly recommend it!) to Coniston to register Manda and David for their swim on Saturday.  Yew Tree Tarn is directly off the road between the two and so we through it would be rude not to stop!  You can see the tarn from the road and again there is a handy layby where you can park.

Yew Tree Tarn is probably about 250m long so more suited to dipping that a serious swim but we had a lovely time floating about.

Us fannying about entering Yew Tree Tarn

High Dam Tarn

While Katie was ploughing up Windermere, I (Manda) persuaded David to get in a quick dip at High Dam Tarn.  I am always keen to try new tarns when in the Lake District as there appears to be an endless source of them!  We had been recommended this one from some lake district residents, which is always a good sign.

There is a lack of phone signal around there which made finding it a challenge but once we found high dam tarn car park we followed the map from there.  A 15 minute walk up hill past Low Dam tarn and we arrived at the beautiful  tarn.  It was bigger than expecting.

We both got in and swam to an island in the tarn.  Had a little play there and then swam back.  Every water in the lake district is different.  This tarn’s water was dark but with an orange glow and the surrounding had a Scandinavian feel to it. Beautiful!

We then put our towels over ourselves and ran down back to the car as we needed to get the finish of the Windermere to see Katie and Brian.  One to visit again.

Manda fannying about entering High Dam Tarn

Until next year Lake District!

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