Top 5 Easy Access Picnic & Swimming Spots in the Lake District

The Lake District is one of the most awe-inspiring locations in the UK, if not the world, boasting breathtaking views and spectacular scenery. Its glistening lakes, luscious land and magnificent mountains make it a sensational area to settle down with a picnic blanket and all your favourite food, or get the adrenaline pumping with a quick dip in the water! We know you might not want to trek for miles up hills carrying your picnic basket and swimming gear this summer, so we’ve put together a list of our top five easy access picnic and swimming spots in the region.


1) High Dam

A true hidden gem in the Lake District is High Dam tarn above Finsthwaite; a peaceful, family-friendly spot which is perfect for walking, swimming, and picnicking. There is a convenient car park just a short walk from this gorgeous location, making it ideal for taking plenty of swimming gear and yummy picnic food – you won’t have to carry it too far!

The sparkling body of water is surprisingly warm in the summer months when it’s been heated by the sun. The first dip of your toe might feel a bit chilly, but once you’re in, it’s a breeze. The blossoming trees and sprinkling of flowers in the grass make this a particularly charming spot to enjoy a tasty picnic, surrounded by the vibrant glory of nature. It’s the perfect way to refuel after an invigorating wild swim!


2) Beck Leven

Beck Leven is a beautiful meandering river situated a short distance east of Coniston Water. The river is 1.89 miles long and runs towards the lake, eventually meeting the larger body of water at Beck Leven Foot. There are plenty of picturesque areas to sit and enjoy a spot of lunch along the riverside, or if you’re feeling brave enough, you can take an invigorating dip in the water and feel truly rejuvenated.  Simply park up at Machells Coppice Car Park and find your spot!


3) Tongue Pot & Upper Pools of River Esk

Described by visitors as a wild swimming paradise, the Eskdale Valley boasts dozens of pools with crystal clear waters, many of which sit beneath mesmerising waterfalls. The legendary Tongue Pot is the most popular of these pools – it’s set beneath an ancient packhorse bridge with high jumps possible into deep water. Perfect for adrenaline seekers!

The grassy ground surrounding these incredible waterfalls make for the perfect picnic spot, as you soak up the sun, enjoy delicious food, and take in the enchanting surroundings. To access the parking area, follow road E from Boot past Woolpack Inn (CA19 1TH) to park by the telephone at the bottom of Hardknott Pass. The parking area is a short walk from the beginning of the pools.


4) Gurnal Dubs

An idyllic place to try your first wild swim is Gurnal Dubs, a beautiful blue body of water near Kendal which is perfect for taking a paddle and letting your four-legged furry friends cool off.

It’s relatively small compared to other lakes in the district, making it a great option for swimmers who want to avoid crowds or who aren’t particularly strong swimmers. The lake overlooks vast expanses of patchwork land, offering the perfect backdrop to your wild swim. The stunning grassy surroundings also mean that it’s an ideal place to relax and enjoy a tasty picnic following your invigorating swim.

A convenient parking spot is Potter Fell Road near Larchbank. From here you can follow the footpath towards Hollin Crag, across Birk Rigg (there’s a very gentle incline here) and you’ll soon stumble upon Gurnal Dubs tarn.


5) Bowness Bay at Bassenthwaite Lake

Another stunningly scenic location to enjoy a picnic and a wild swim is Bowness Bay at Bassenthwaite Lake. The lake is only 21 meters at its deepest point, making it one of the shallowest lakes in the district. It also has a reputation for being warmer than lakes in other parts of the region, so it’s a good open water swim location for all abilities.

Bowness Bay is one of the loveliest parts of Bassenthwaite Lake. You can either enter the water here or enter at another point and swim over to the bay. The bay is home to a marina that all kinds of boats and birds call home – we wouldn’t advise swimming too close to the boats! Of course, the buzzing bay is a great spot for the whole family to settle down and enjoy a tasty picnic.

There are plenty of convenient parking options close by, including Glebe Road Car Park, which is just a two-minute walk from the marina.



Discover the Lake District in All its Glory with Long Valley Yurts

After a thrilling day of wild swimming and picnicking out in the gorgeous scenery of the Lake District, Long Valley Yurts is the perfect place to return to. Fully equipped with everything you need for luxurious living whilst still having that back to nature vibe, our yurts are guaranteed to make you feel completely relaxed and at home.

Our yurts are situated in several different locations around the district, so you can choose which one suits you best depending on where you want to go swimming and picnicking! Our campsites are located in Coniston (Moss Side Farm), Windermere (Moss Howe Farm Campsite and Lakeside) and Keswick (Kestrel Lodge Campsite). Click here to book your Lake District escape today!