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Best wild swimming spots in the Lake District

Updated: Mar 9

Your Ultimate Guide to exploring off-the-beaten track wild swimming spots scattered across the Lake District.


Wild swimming popularity has increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's no surprise why, the benefits of wild swimming are incredible! Luckily for Lake District residents as well as holiday tourists heading to the Lakes, there are plenty of wild swimming spots to go ahead!


So if you’re a keen wild swimming lover, then sit back and write down some of these amazing hidden swimming spots for your next adventure in the Lake District!





An amazing hidden waterfall tucked away at the North end of Wastwater. You'll be surrounded by lovely scenery and this place is an amazing photography opportunity for those that want to get some breath-taking photos. If the weather is warm, feel free to have a little dip!


Ritson's Force is a small but pleasant waterfall just a short walk from the Wasdale Head Inn. It can be a bit of a pain to get too, however the easiest route would be to follow the stream behind the Inn and go over the little arched stone bridge and follow the path. Sooner or later you'll be in this paradise!


The photos don't do this idyllic place any justice, it really is amazing and worth the trek. It's spectacular especially after heavy rainfall with the falls being in full force, and if you're brave enough why not have a wild swim?


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Ritson's Force

1) What is Ritson's Force?

Ritson's Force is a breathtaking waterfall nestled in the picturesque landscape of the Lake District National Park in Cumbria, England. This hidden gem offers an idyllic setting for wild swimming, with its crystal-clear pools and cascading waters surrounded by lush greenery.


Named after a local farmer, Ritson's Force is renowned for its natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere, attracting outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.


2) How do I access Ritson's Force?

Accessing Ritson's Force typically involves a scenic hike through the stunning Lake District countryside. The waterfall is located near the village of Wasdale Head, and visitors can reach it via a footpath that winds through scenic woodlands and meadows.


The trail may involve some uneven terrain and steep sections, so sturdy footwear and appropriate outdoor clothing are recommended. Upon reaching Ritson's Force, visitors are rewarded with the opportunity to cool off with a refreshing swim in the natural pools beneath the waterfall.


3) Is Ritson's Force suitable for wild swimming?

Yes, Ritson's Force is a popular spot for wild swimming, offering visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the invigorating waters of the Lake District. The waterfall's cascading pools provide a refreshing and scenic backdrop for a dip, particularly during the warmer months of the year.


However, it's essential to be cautious and assess the water conditions before swimming, as water levels and currents can vary depending on weather conditions and recent rainfall. Additionally, be mindful of any submerged hazards and always swim within your ability, especially in natural environments like Ritson's Force.


Places to stay near Ritson's Force





Standing at the head of Great Langdale; the Whorneyside Force is a stunning hidden gem of a waterfall which is waiting for you to jump and swim in! It's situated in a secluded and dramatic setting in the shadow of Crinkle Crag, and is every wild swimmers dream.


It really is amazing, and it's also the perfect spot for a wild swim if you're up for it in a natural waterfall.For those exploring with a little one, you can take them to Whorneyside Force since it's easy to reach as there isn't much elevation gain.


The last time we went the water looked so magical and green, and it's the perfect destination for a quick dip and a cool down after a busy day hiking around the Lakes.


Places to stay near Whorneyside Force






Enjoy one of the quietest and peaceful walks in the Lake District, with some amazing waterfalls and pools (the pools are shallow too so perfect for the younger ones!). The water is so clear, and you'll be awarded with some stunning views across the fields more notably Scafell Pike.


For the more adrenaline minded people, there are big jumps from the rocks above, or you can just stay in the rock pools that flow.


Not only is Black Moss Pot a great place for a cold wild swim, it's also great for those wanting an enjoyable hike! Why not enjoy a morning walk through the Langstrath Valley and then return to the Langstrath Inn for a well deserved beverage?


For those staying at the nearby campsite, it's only a short walk from it so it's the ideal spot to get there early before everybody else turns up! It's an amazing spot for everybody of all ages to enjoy.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Black Moss Pot


1) What makes Black Moss Pot a hidden gem in the Lake District?

Black Moss Pot is renowned as a hidden gem in the Lake District for its unique geological features and stunning natural beauty. Tucked away in the Langstrath Valley near Stonethwaite, this secluded pool offers a tranquil oasis amidst the rugged landscape of the Lake District.


Surrounded by moss-covered rocks and lush vegetation, Black Moss Pot provides a serene and picturesque setting for outdoor enthusiasts seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure.


2) How do I access Black Moss Pot?

Accessing Black Moss Pot requires a scenic hike through the breathtaking Langstrath Valley. Visitors can begin their journey from the village of Stonethwaite, following a picturesque footpath that meanders along the banks of the River Derwent.


The trail offers captivating views of the surrounding fells and woodlands, leading hikers to the secluded pool of Black Moss Pot. While the hike may involve some moderate challenges, the reward of discovering this hidden gem amidst the tranquility of nature makes it a memorable experience.


3) Is Black Moss Pot suitable for swimming?

Yes, Black Moss Pot is a popular spot for wild swimming, providing visitors with the opportunity to immerse themselves in its refreshing waters surrounded by natural beauty. The pool at Black Moss Pot is fed by a gentle waterfall, creating a tranquil and inviting atmosphere for swimmers to enjoy.


However, it's essential to be cautious and be aware of potential hazards, such as submerged rocks and changing water conditions. Additionally, swimmers should respect the environment and leave no trace to preserve the pristine beauty of Black Moss Pot for future generations to appreciate.


Places to stay near Black Moss Pot





Galleny Force is an amazing waterfall to visit, with pools deep enough to swim in. The water is crystal clear, and it is perfect swimming conditions for the young kids too. It may be a bit difficult to get too, but it is totally worth it!


Galleny Force are beautiful waterfalls and are a must-visit if you're around the area. However it's worth noting that the paths are very uneven and quite tricky in place, however it's very much worth the trek up the valley to see them!


Since the Galleny Force Waterfall is located right next to a large campsite, you may want to avoid visiting in school holidays if you want some peace and quiet at the falls. Also, if you find the main pool slightly busy, keep walking up the path and you'll find further pools with nobody in!


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Galleny Force Waterfall


1) What makes Galleny Force Waterfall a hidden gem in the Lake District?

Galleny Force Waterfall is celebrated as a hidden gem in the Lake District due to its secluded location and captivating natural beauty. Tucked away in the charming Borrowdale Valley near Seatoller, this stunning waterfall offers visitors a tranquil retreat amidst the rugged terrain of the Lake District.


With its picturesque setting, moss-covered rocks, and cascading waters, Galleny Force Waterfall provides an enchanting experience for nature enthusiasts seeking solace and serenity.


2) How do I find Galleny Force Waterfall?

Finding Galleny Force Waterfall involves a scenic hike through the breathtaking Borrowdale Valley. Visitors can start their journey from the village of Seatoller, following a well-marked footpath that winds its way through ancient woodlands and alongside babbling brooks.


Along the way, hikers will be treated to panoramic views of the surrounding fells and valleys before reaching the secluded beauty of Galleny Force Waterfall. While the trail may present some moderate challenges, the reward of discovering this hidden gem amidst nature's splendor makes it a truly memorable adventure.


3) Is Galleny Force Waterfall accessible for swimming?

Yes, Galleny Force Waterfall is suitable for swimming, providing visitors with the opportunity to take a refreshing dip in its pristine waters. The natural infinity pool offers a serene and inviting setting for swimmers to enjoy, surrounded by the majestic beauty of the Lake District landscape.


It's essential to be cautious and adhere to safety guidelines when exploring natural attractions like Galleny Force Waterfall to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.


Places to stay near Galleny Force Waterfall






The infinity pool at Buttermere is stunning. The water is glisteningly clear and took on a light green hue when exposed to the sun. Behind it is a decent-sized waterfall that would be a great place to take a dip even without the view.


It might have more visitors than last year, but if you go at the right time, you'll have it all to yourself (ideal for that iconic Instagram posing photo!). Since the COVID lockdowns, unique hidden gems such as the Buttermere Infinity Pool have been discovered and shared across social media, which isn't necessary a bad thing considering the grief it can sometimes bring!


This location's only drawback is its small pool and tendency to get crowded on sunny weekends and during school breaks. Having the pool to yourself is where the magic happens (similar to the below photo!).


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Buttermere Infinity Pool


1) What makes Buttermere Infinity Pool a hidden gem in the Lake District?

Buttermere Infinity Pool is revered as a hidden gem in the Lake District for its breathtaking panoramic views and tranquil setting. Nestled amidst the rugged beauty of Buttermere Valley, this natural infinity pool offers visitors a unique and unforgettable swimming experience.


Surrounded by towering mountains and lush greenery, Buttermere Infinity Pool provides a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, making it a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking solitude and natural beauty.


2) How do I access Buttermere Infinity Pool?

Accessing Buttermere Infinity Pool requires a scenic hike through the stunning Buttermere Valley. Visitors can embark on the trail from the village of Buttermere, following a well-marked footpath that winds its way along the shores of the picturesque lake.


The trail offers captivating views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, culminating in the awe-inspiring sight of Buttermere Infinity Pool. While the hike may involve some moderate challenges, the reward of reaching this hidden gem amidst the tranquility of nature makes it a truly memorable adventure.


3) Is Buttermere Infinity Pool suitable for swimming?

Yes, Buttermere Infinity Pool is a popular spot for wild swimming, providing visitors with the opportunity to take a refreshing dip in its crystal-clear waters. The natural infinity pool offers a tranquil and inviting setting for swimmers to enjoy, surrounded by the majestic beauty of the Lake District landscape.


However, it's essential to be cautious and be aware of potential hazards, such as submerged rocks and changing water conditions. Additionally, swimmers should respect the environment and leave no trace to preserve the pristine beauty of Buttermere Infinity Pool for future generations to appreciate.


Places to stay near Buttermere Infinity Pool





We definitely recommend a swim in this lovely waterfall pool. You'll be rewarded with divine views over the valley, in which you can even climb to to the top of this waterfall. Once you're done with Sour Milk Gyll, carry on walking a little further to the beautiful lake at Easdale Tarn.


If you're talking the popular walk from Grasmere to Easdale Tarn you'll be surprised to know theres a gorgeous hidden gem of a waterfall waiting for you only about a mile away. If there's been plenty of rain (which isn't surprising for the UK!) you'll see the amazing cascading waters long before you reach them.


It's a pleasant resting spot on the way to the Tarn offering visitors breath-taking views of Easdale as you look back towards Grasmere.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Sour Milk Ghyll


1) What makes Sour Milk Ghyll a hidden gem in the Lake District?

Sour Milk Ghyll, located near Grasmere in the Lake District, is celebrated as a hidden gem for its enchanting waterfalls and peaceful surroundings. Nestled amidst the verdant hillsides of the Lake District, this captivating waterfall offers visitors a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.


With its mossy rocks, lush foliage, and gentle cascades, Sour Milk Gill provides a serene backdrop for nature enthusiasts seeking solitude and natural beauty.


2) How do I access Sour Milk Ghyll?

Accessing Sour Milk Ghyll near Grasmere involves a scenic hike through the picturesque countryside of the Lake District. Visitors can start their journey from the village of Grasmere, following a well-marked footpath that winds its way through woodlands and alongside babbling streams.


The trail offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, leading hikers to the captivating sight of Sour Milk Ghyll. While the hike may present some moderate challenges, the reward of discovering this hidden gem amidst the tranquility of nature makes it a truly memorable adventure.


3) Is Sour Milk Ghyll suitable for swimming?

Sour Milk Ghyll is suitable for swimming, providing visitors with the opportunity to take a refreshing dip in its pristine waters. The natural infinity pool offers a serene and inviting setting for swimmers to enjoy, surrounded by the majestic beauty of the Lake District landscape.


It's essential to be cautious and adhere to safety guidelines when exploring natural attractions like Sour Milk Ghyll to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.


Places to stay near Sour Milk Ghyll




7) Buckstones Jump


A moderately steep 30-45 minute walk up through fields with sheep will take you to this stunning little wild swimming spot. It's deep enough to dive in and majority of the time you will be there by yourself! It's great for those wanting to try their first wild swim.


Places to stay near Buckstones Jump



Image of Buckstones Jump in the Lake District


8) Thirlmere Infinity Pool


The Thirlmere Infinity Pool is on par with the Buttermere Infinity Pool, but which one is better? Out of the two, Thirlmere is our favourite pool to wild swim, and it's no surprise why - have you seen those views?


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Thirlmere Infinity Pool


1) What makes Thirlmere Infinity Pool a hidden gem in the Lake District?

Thirlmere Infinity Pool is esteemed as a hidden gem in the Lake District for its stunning natural beauty and tranquil ambiance. Nestled amidst the serene surroundings of Thirlmere Reservoir, this secluded spot offers visitors a captivating infinity pool experience amidst the breathtaking landscape of the Lake District.


With its crystal-clear waters, panoramic views of the surrounding fells, and secluded location, Thirlmere Infinity Pool provides a serene escape for nature enthusiasts seeking solitude and relaxation.


2) How do I access Thirlmere Infinity Pool in the Lake District?

Accessing Thirlmere Infinity Pool in the Lake District involves a scenic hike through the picturesque countryside surrounding Thirlmere Reservoir. Visitors can embark on the journey from the designated parking area near Thirlmere Dam, following a well-marked footpath that meanders along the shoreline of the reservoir.


The trail offers captivating views of the shimmering waters and lush greenery, leading hikers to the hidden gem of Thirlmere Infinity Pool. While the hike may involve some moderate challenges, the reward of discovering this tranquil oasis amidst the natural beauty of the Lake District makes it a truly memorable adventure.


3) Is Thirlmere Infinity Pool suitable for swimming?

Yes, Thirlmere Infinity Pool is suitable for swimming, providing visitors with the opportunity to take a refreshing dip in its pristine waters. The natural infinity pool offers a serene and inviting setting for swimmers to enjoy, surrounded by the majestic beauty of the Lake District landscape.


However, it's essential to be cautious and be aware of potential hazards, such as submerged rocks and changing water conditions. Additionally, swimmers should respect the environment and adhere to safety guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience at Thirlmere Infinity Pool.


Places to stay near Thirlmere Infinity Pool



Image of Thirlmere Infinity Pool in the Lake District

We hoped you enjoyed discovering the less known wild swimming spots which are scattered around the Lake District. We are confident that visiting some of these hidden gems will make your Lake District trip even more memorable! All of these wild swimming spots and their exact Google Maps co-ordinates can be found on our Hidden Gem Finder here.


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