Open Water Swimming

Welcome to your new Open Water swimming page.

We live in the most stunning place in Great Britain…The English Lake District. We have the greatest opportunities for experiencing open water swimming right on our door step. Our lakes include the longest lake in England, the deepest lake; nestled at the foot of the highest mountain in England, the setting for the famous Swallows and Amazons adventure story and of course the settings for Donald Cambell’s world water speed records during the 1950s and 1960s.

Despite living in such a magical place there are still relatively few club swimmers participating in the sport…..THIS IS ABOUT TO CHANGE

On this page you will find advice on open water swimming, links to Swim England and Swim Northwest openwater events and links to other events in and around our county.

Events Calendar

Swim Northwest

We are also currently in talks with event organisers to create the innaugral Cumbria Open Water League. This will be a series of races swam in a number of our lakes so please keep checking back for details and updates.

June 29th – Swim England North West/Swim England North East OW Festival (incorporating SENW, SENE, and county Championships Start 08.00 – 14.00 at Salford Quays

Potential dates - June 15th and 22nd – OW Taster & Training Sessions [1 hour] – Salford Quays

July 7th Openwater development day (14 & 15 yrs) – Salford Quays

July 14th – Openwater development day (16 - 18 yrs) – Salford Quays

Swim England North West Open Water Development day for swimmers have in previous years been by invitation only based on a set criteria which will be published shortly. Last year the invitations were based on the 800m and 1500m rankings following the Regional Championships.

The development day will include two open water sessions, land training and nutrition for distance athletes. Once swimmers have booked and registered onto the session, the full timetable together with any required documentation to be completed with be sent by email to the parent of the swimmer.

Epic Events
(500m, 1 mile, 3.8K)

Ullswater 16th June 2019

Derwent 7th July 2019

Coniston 18th Aug 2018

Windemere 15th Sept 2019

Great Swim Series (
250m 1/2M, 1M, 2M, 5K, 10K)

Windermere 7th to
9th June 2019


Openwater safety

Before everyone goes and jumps in the nearest puddle please follow the links and read up on openwater safety, impacts to the environment and potential hazards to health. It is important;

Biosecurity – Invasive non-native species

It is important to recognise the impact on the environment and local ecology that open water swimming can have. There is growing concern over the number, abundance and spread of freshwater invasive non-native species (FINNS), both plants and animals throughout the UK. FINNS are spread by people and equipment moving from one open water venue to another without proper care and cleaning of their equipment. Once transferred to another habitat the damage caused by a FINN can be devastating for the local ecology.

Follow this simple three step plan after every swim

  • Check and clean your wetsuit, clothing and equipment ON SITE of any animals and plant fragments.
  • Don’t take anything away with you!
  • Dry your clothing and equipment thoroughly before visiting your next venue. Some species can survive a long time in damp conditions.

Blue-Green Algae

Blue-Green Algae are a fresh water algae present in our lakes. During warm summer weather conditions these algae can bloom which then make them toxic and dangerous to pets, wild life and people.

Over the summer of 2018 there were four lakes affected by the Algae with public health warnings issued by the EA.

Before planning an open water please check the following websites for information



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