Thousands of outdoor swimmers are heading to Windermere to take part in the Great North Swim, Windermere.
One again being staged at Low Wood Bay Resort Hotel and Marina, Windermere, between 12-14 June, the largest outdoor swim in the UK regularly attracts over 10,000 swimmers who take part over 2 mile, one mile and half mile courses.
Windermere, which was colder than the English Channel when I took part in 2011, is England´s longest lake at 10.5 miles, and wetsuits are obligatory.
Participants can reach the site via Windermere Lake Cruises from Bowness Bay. Due to the crowds, dropping off by car at the site is not allowed.
The Great North Swim is the biggest outdoor swim event in the UK, and attracts professional and amateur swimmers. A wave of 300 people set off every 30 minutes, and whether you are planning to crawl your way into the record books or take your time and enjoy the stunning scenery, this is a perfect day out.
If you are planning to attend the Great North Swim, make a weekend of it and take your time to explore the land that has inspired world-renowned writers and poets, including Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth.
Windermere is a perfect base for exploring the Lakes, and you can choose a range of luxury spa hotels, boutique hotels and guest houses.
The stunning Lake District scenery attracts visitors from all over the world. Scafell Pike is England´s highest mountain, Wastwater is the deepest lake and Hardknott Pass is the steepest road. World class outdoor activities and stunning hotels combine to make this a perfect location for a long weekend.
The one mile swim is suitable for swimmers of all abilities. The half mile swim is suitable for under 16s and entrants must be 12 years and above.
A two mile swim and a 5K swim are suitable for more experienced open water swimmers who want a more testing challenge.
If you plan to spend a long weekend in the Lake District, recommended places to visit include:
Blackwell, the Arts and Crafts House is one of the major attractions near Windermere. Visitors can enjoy stunning views over the lake from the gardens, and soak up the peaceful atmosphere in the house itself, which was built between 1898 and 1900, and designed by M H Baillie Scott. Blackwell was originally built as a holiday home for Sir Edward Holt, owner of the Manchester Brewery. Original features ensure Blackwell retains much of its original charm. Several rooms are used as galleries, and the gardens offer a picturesque terrace bordered by flowers where visitors can enjoy a bite to eat and take in the incredible views.
Rydal Mount and Gardens, Ambleside. This was Wordsworth´s best loved home for 37 years, and where he wrote some of his most famous poems. This stunning house boasts large, terraced gardens landscaped by the poet, and magnificent views of Lake Windermere and Rydal Water.
Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre, offers a vast range of things to see and do for all ages, including beautiful gardens, a Treetop Trek, children´s attractions, water sports, mini golf and various exhibitions.
Whether you are visiting Windermere for a day to take part in the Great North Swim or if you plan to stay longer, you will find plenty of things to see and do in the surrounding area.