Big Winter Windermere Swim with a local flavour

A local relay team swam the whole length of Windermere in just seven hours last Saturday (March 24).

Open water swimming fanatic Mike Hicks from Windermere had a dream to swim the length Windermere in winter with friends, training throughout the winter in temperatures down to 3 degrees C,  a relay team started to emerge with a real local flavour.












Delays unfortunately pushed the swim in to March and one of the warmest days of the year so far, last Saturday. Undeterred, the outdoor swimmers Mike Hicks (Windermere), Mike Durkin (Ambleside)  Lianne Brooke-Sanders (Grasmere) and Andrea Tucker and Peter Kelly (Ambleside) set out in a boat kindly provided by the Low Wood Hotel, at 7am from Fell foot.


The team had to negotiate early morning thick ‘peasoup’ fog on Windermere which tested their navigational skills, and boat traffic which tested their nerves. ‘Safety was really important to us’ said Mike Hicks, ‘we stayed towards the west shore and kept a close eye on our swimmers and other water traffic’. The team swam for a total of seven hours to reach Waterhead, often having two swimmers in the water at once.










‘We were almost fighting to get in the water at times’ Andrea comments. ‘It was hot and slow going on the boat and real treat to jump in lake, which was 7 – 9 degrees C.'

And did the thought of a Bownessie sighting not put them of their attempt? ‘We were really hoping to see Bownessie, said Andrea, ‘ Lianne even brought her Nessie cuddly toy along for the ride to meet him, but I am afraid we weren’t lucky this time, perhaps it was too warm’.










The team of five all swim regularly in Windermere, Rydal and other local Lakes and are just a few of a growing pod of Lake District open water swimmers. If you’d like to join them or find out more about open water swimming take a look at their club site .