Wild Swimming


Bassenthwaite Lake

Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

In the Lakes for a week so I decided I really wanted to try some wild swimming, inspired by Roger Deakin’s Waterlog. The question was – when and where. It was cold that week and the weather raining and grim. This was not conducive to swimming. I was staying in Braithwaite and I eyed up the local river where it is dammed just above the village forming a good pool that looked deep enough to swim in. But the water was freezing – it had been a cold summer. Even a dog dipped its paw in and turned away in disgust.
Then on the last day, early in the morning to Bassenthwaite lake to take some early morning photos. The clouds were down and the light not great for photography but suddenly the calm water drew me in. Fortunaly there is a little gravel beach so it is possible to walk into the water without getting muddy. It is shallow at first and then it shelves quickly so in no time at all I was swimming in the Lakes District’s one and only true Lake and it was glorious. The water not too cold and it was good to have a fresh perspective on the surrounding mountains.
No sign of the otters or osprey that are living nearby, in fact there seemed to be no birds or wildlife aound at this early hour. Just the faint swish of cars on the main road.

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