The Lake District – Part I
Windermere YHA to Coniston YHA and then Goat Tarn, Levers Water and Loughrigg Tarn.


Route — windermere to Coniston

The route that first demonstrated the joy of Cross Country Swimming along with the need for the RuckRaft® (as we struggled with multiple tow floats and waterproof Rucksacks that didn’t really float).

This trip was written up in The Guardian

Getting ready.jpg

Day 1: Arriving at Windermere we had some sound advice from Colin Hill of Chillswim. We also experimented with a range of different waterproof rucksacks, tow floats and child inflatables to tow our gear across the lakes.

We launched at 7am across from Brockhole Jetty – now one of our favourite places ever to start a swim (thanks Colin) – you can see the finish beckoning and the peaks of the Langdales to your right. The swim is almost a perfect mile across to Wray castle and a natural place to stop for a coffee in the café.

From there we went to Three Dubs Tarn and Moss Eccles Tarn for lovely dips and skirted around Esthwaite Water via a brief stop at Sawry (the home of Beatrix Potter). An option here for a short day would be to head to YHA at Hawkshead YHA.

We continued on through Grizedale Forest sculpture park and down to the edge of Coniston. A short swim across (which could easily be made longer) and on to Coniston YHA.

This is a long day and could easily be broken up into a leisurely two days with a stop and camp at Hazelmere YHA.


Day 2: Up to Goat Tarn and the Old Man of Coniston. Swimming in Levers Water on the way down which is a great swim across. We wanted to try the walk from Coniston to Langdale YHA via Elterwater, Loughrigg Tarn but time got the better of us and we got a cheeky lift in the van from Paul Scully and Jenny Rice who had joined us. From Loughrigg tarn it’s a short walk back to windermere and we swam back to civilisation and Ambleside YHA for a cup of tea.