Wild Swims - English Lakes

Wild Swims Lake District

Relaxed and friendly open water swimming trips in 

the English Lakes

We offer swims and walks that are specially designed for you or your small group of friends and family, from beginner to more experienced. All of our swims are led by a qualified Open Water Swim Coach and Lifeguard, and our walks are guided by a Mountain Leader. 

In 2024, we are placing more of a focus on relaxed swimming in nature, among the Lake District's finest fells and waters. We will be encouraging swimmers to slow their pace, put their head up and enjoy the wonderful experience of seeing Lakeland from the water. Our swims are particularly suitable for wild swimming beginners and those who want to swim and take in the scenery. Our walk-swims are set at a pace that suits the group. 

We will be running a weekly small group social swim in the South Lakes, with the aim of swimming breaststroke together and enjoying a chat - details will be posted in the Spring. 

See our Trips page for details of our regular events.

Wild Swims Lake District

Wild Swims Lake District is a small adventure business run by Diane Mangan and Jim Croft. We have years of experience swimming, walking and climbing in the English Lakes, and between us our qualifications include:

  • STA Level 2 Open Water Swim Coach
  • STA Award in Teaching Swimming
  • STA Open Water Safety Qualification
  • Royal Life Saving Society Open Water Lifeguard
  • Summer Mountain Leader
  • Rock-climbing Instructor
  • Outdoor First Aid (16 hours)

We offer one-to-one and small group experiences in the Lake District, with a focus on relaxed and interesting wild swimming and fell-walking that allows you to enjoy the wonderful Lakeland landscape. We design each trip with your preferences, comfort and interests in mind. 

While our focus is on gentle adventures with time to enjoy the Lakeland lakes, fells and tarns, we can also organise more exhilarating excursions in the mountains.

If you are planning on participating in an open water swim event and need some coaching, particularly if you are just starting out, we can support you in achieving your goals, whichever swimming stroke you choose. Having participated in many open water swim events, we are happy to pass on our knowledge and know-how to you. 

Swimming with a qualified coach and open water lifeguard means that you have the support and supervision of an experienced open water swimmer, where safety is a priority. If you wish, you can receive guidance on your open water swim technique, and you can take away from the session some things to review and practice in your own time or in further sessions with Wild Swims Lake District.

All of our trips are covered by the appropriate insurance and risk assessment.

Your safety in mind

All of our swims and walks are carefully organised and assessed for your safety. We monitor chosen swimming and walking routes on an ongoing basis and will discuss any safety concerns with you. A full safety briefing is provided prior to entering the water. You also have the assurance of swimming with a qualified open water swim coach and open water lifeguard.

What you can expect

When you book a trip with Wild Swims Lake District we will tailor the activity to your needs and will work to your schedule. We will then confirm the details and the meeting point, and what to bring. You can do as much or as little swimming as you like, depending on your ability. If you need additional swim kit we will discuss this with you at the time of booking. Our focus is on relaxed swimming, with time to enjoy the water and natural surroundings.

Good kit for enjoying your experience

If you are swimming, bring your kit with you, including your costume, towel and/or change robe and lots of warm clothing. We swim mainly in open water wetsuits and use swim socks. If you wish to swim ‘skins’ (without a wetsuit) please discuss this with us on booking. For safety we use tow-floats and brightly coloured swim caps. 

In your kit bag:

We recommend the following kit, but let us know if you are missing anything as we may be able to help. We usually require swimmers to wear a swimming wetsuit, use a tow-float and wear a brightly coloured swim cap (we can provide a swim cap). 

Our recommended kit is::

  • Swimming costume
  • A wetsuit is required - if you wish to swim without a wetsuit (skins), please discuss this with us first
  • Swim socks
  • Swim gloves - cold water/winter swimming
  • Goggles
  • Swim tow-float/drybag
  • Towel
  • Change robe
  • Warm clothes and waterproofs, trousers and jacket, particularly if walking on the high fells
  • Sunscreen in the summer and insect repellent if needed (please consider products that have green credentials to preserve our lakes)
  • Personal water bottle and any personal snacks/lunch
  • A warm hat and/or sun hat
  • Walking poles if you need them for fell-walking
  • A good backpack for walking trips

Please ensure your kit is clean and dry, to avoid the spread of invasive species. 

For more information see:

Wild Swimming in Grasmere. An evening dip.

Our prices for guided wild swimming in the Lake District

We arrange each trip individually and prices depend on the duration, number of participants and the number of guides required.

As an example, a half day swimming with one participant and one guide starts at £60. Prices reduce according to the number of participants.

Fees for private coaching sessions and wild swims, small groups and guided fell-walking days, on request.


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Dip into nature.

Contact us now for more details