One of my favourite places to swim on a regular basis is Loughrigg Tarn, which is just a short journey from Ambleside. It's my go-to place in the summer months, when I want to swim surrounded by lovely mountains but with easy access. I'm not the only one. On any summer day, you will find swimmers of all abilities finding a spot for their towels and picnics on the water's edge. In the summer, the lily-pads carpet the edges of the water, and you are always likely to share a swim with a variety of birds. I like to go in the evening, just as the day is beginning to mellow and the light is not quite as strong.
I've noticed some people use the circular shape of the tarn as a training ground, normally doing a anti-clockwise circuit, while others kick off their walking boots after a day on the fells to cool off with a short dip. It's also a popular family spot. In all, it's great for people watching and relaxing.
While I take an unplanned break from swim guiding over the coming weeks (June-August) for some health treatment, I will still be visiting this place when I can. And it will most likely always be the water I return to first in the Lakes.
Wild swimming is as much a tonic for the mind, as it is a way of staying fit.