I am currently into week three of my 30 Days Wild, an initiative by the Wildlife Trusts to get people connected to wildlife and nature.
On Friday, David had planned a day off work, so I coerced him into going back up to the Lake District. For a month now I have been eager to return, so I can plunge myself into the cool waters of a lake with mountains all around! Derwentwater sure whetted my appetite.
It was a cloud laden day, the heat of the past fortnight was just a memory, but that did not deter us. It was a chance for us to wear our new waterproof jackets!
We got up at the ungodly hour of 5am! I made breakfast to the song of Mr. Dunnock, then we hit the roads with backpacks packed at 6am. It took us three hours to get to the western lakes of Crummock Water and Buttermere!
We paid £6.50 for all day parking in one of the National Trust car parks, just outside the village of Buttermere. Then walked behind a cavalcade of cows towards The Fish Inn, where you’ll find the path towards the lake. It was relatively easy to get to Buttermere, down a path and through two gates and you were at the northern end of the lake. One path was closed as they have nesting sandpipers but that didn’t detract from the beauty and peace of the lake.
We headed towards Crummock Water. Though the pathway was relatively easy going it was full of lose stones, a temporary measure due to the flood damage of 2015!
It took us two hours to walk from Buttermere towards Crummock Water. Our destination was Low Ling Crag, a shingle spit that projects out to the heart of Crummock Water.
In places the path was boggy and along the way nesting birds (I couldn’t identify) were flying about the ancient ferns. I managed to stop and hug a tree and the wood was full of calls from redstarts and cuckoos. We even came across a dipper!
Low Ling Crag, didn’t look as appealing as Google search pictures depicted. When we visited, the island jutting out into the cool waters was littered with geese faeces and feathers!
I was thinking about taking a dip but the wind buffeted us and we sat shivering as we ate our packed lunch. Crummock Water will just have to be visited again!
We retraced our steps back to Buttermere. We found a suitable shingle beach in which to enter, though it was in close proximity to the path. The lake was much more sheltered than Crummock Water. Before I had time to think of any reservations, I quickly threw off my clothes, revealing my swimsuit and stumbled into the water. It was much cooler than my first swim in Derwentwater, but once I started swimming I grew acclimatised. It took some persuading for me to climb out of the water. I really enjoyed my swim. I didn’t want it to end! I looked at the clouds above and Fleetwith Pike before me and felt my soul being nourished.
Once out of the water, and a hot mug of coffee in hand (prepared by David), I found that I didn’t shiver as much as I did at Derwentwater, but perhaps the wind chill wasn’t such a factor?
We took the short walk back to the car park and prepared for our journey home. I felt the warm glow of being out in the country, of having a good walk and seeing some lovely sights. I hope soon that we can go on another adventure and perhaps take another dip in a lake?
The problem with wild swimming is that once you have entered the water, there is just no stopping you! You want to do it again and again!
Do you have any tips on where next I should swim/walk?