Planning to celebrate Christmas or the New Year with a dip in the Lake District, Cumbria? Enjoy the water in a safer way with an organised event or guided swim. There are plenty of organised events to choose from, with experienced guides on hand – and a hot brew and warm changing room too!

New Year's Day Dip | National Trust

Ring in the New Year with a New Year’s Day dip in Windermere at Fell Foot. Beginners and experienced wild swimmers are welcome, with wetsuit hire available for £5; and a hot shower after you’ve been in the water. There’s also a free hot drink, and the on-site café is open from 9:30am for some much-needed warm food. This event is free to attend, with donations to Fell Foot welcome.

Fell Foot Windermere

New Year’s Day Dip | The Calvert Trust

Organised by the Lake District Calvert Trust, this New Year’s Day Dip will take place in Derwentwater. Fancy dress is encouraged, and hot chocolate and cake is provided thanks to Alpkit of Keswick who are supporting the event. Instructors and staff from the Calvert Trust will be on hand to ensure everyone swims safely, and no trace is left after the event.

The event is free to attend but registration is required, with a maximum of 200 spaces available. Donations to the Lake District Calvert Trust are welcome, to help them continue their work to provide outdoor activities to guests with disabilities.


Guided Swims | Another Place

Located on the north-western shores of Ullswater, Another Place offers outdoor swim sessions throughout the year including full moon and stargazing swims. Led by experienced open water swimmer Colin Hill, and a team of expert guides, it’s a great way to try swimming in the outdoors. Beginners are welcome (you must be able to swim 100m); and there are warm changing rooms, dry robes and floats provided.

Make sure to check their website for available dates and book your space in advance.

Swimming in the Lake District

Adventure Smart Advice

No matter the season, when taking part in outdoor activities in the Lake District, Cumbria, ask yourself the three #AdventureSmart questions:

  1. Do I have the right gear?

For cold water swimming, this could include (but isn’t limited to) a wetsuit, a fully functioning buoyancy aid, a warm hat, gloves, a tow float, and a waterproof case for your phone.

  1. Do I know what the weather will be like?

Check the weather forecast and be prepared to change your plans if needed.  You should also be prepared for any unexpected changes in the weather – this is the UK after all!

  1. Am I confident I have the knowledge and skills for the day?

Being aware of your own ability and limitations is key when planning your outdoor adventures. Make sure you’re aware of any potential risks, like water temperature, and plan accordingly.

Open Water Swimming Safety

  • Always let someone know where you are going, what you’ll be doing, and what time you will be back.
  • Swim with a buddy or in a group; and with an experienced guide if possible
  • Know the risks, and know your limits. This time of year, the water is very cold – make sure to acclimatise yourself by getting in slowly; and get out before you’re too cold.
  • If you fall into water, fight the instinct to swim until cold water shock passes. Instead, relax and float on your back until you can control your breathing.
  • Remember: the colder the water and air temperature, the quicker you will cool down. The colder is it, the less time you should spend in the water.

For more safety tips and guidance, check out




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