The Lake District's high tarns offer tranquil swimming when the sun is out and the wind is nowhere to be seen. But on so many days they can be blustery places, with small waves running across the surface of the water and the chill soon setting in. So when you find a day when there is low wind, reasonable air temperatures and still a little warmth in the water, it is idyllic. 

Early Autumn can be a great time to go, when the hills are starting to quieten down but there are still plenty of walkers and climbers about. You don't see many swimmers, but I enjoy taking in a full length and exploring the underwater world of these ancient places. 

I've been up to Goat's Water, in the shadow of Dow Crag, a few times this year and it's been an inhospitable place with the wind driving across it and I have been subject to wind, rain and hail. Even in these conditions, you can still hear the climbers calling to each other. 

But my perseverance paid off when I visited Goat's Water in September, taking in a scenic route over Dow Crag and descending for a leisurely swim and exploration of the massive boulders lying under the surface.  A couple of fell runners stopped by for a quick dip before continuing on their journey. It was so good we came back the next day for another swim, but this time the mountains had decided wrap themselves in clouds creating more atmospheric swimming.