The Lake District, also commonly known as The Lakes in the Lake District National Park, is a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination and sites of open water swims for competition (Windermere), solo swims, relays and training swims.
The Lake District is famous not only for its lakes, forests, and mountains (or fells), but also for its associations with the early nineteenth century poetry and writings of William Wordsworth and the other Lake Poets.
The Lakes were designated a National Park on 9 May 1951, becoming the second National Park in the United Kingdom after the Peak District. It is the most visited national park in the United Kingdom with 15.8 million annual visitors and more than 23 million annual day visits. It is the largest of the thirteen National Parks in England and Wales, and the second largest in the UK after the Cairngorms.
Historically shared by the counties of Cumberland, Westmorland, and Lancashire, the Lake District now lies entirely within the modern county of Cumbria. All the land in England higher than three thousand feet above sea level lies within the National Park, including Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England. It also contains the deepest and longest lakes in England, Wastwater and Windermere, respectively.
Only one of the lakes in the Lake District is called by that name, Bassenthwaite Lake. All the others such as Windermere, Coniston Water, Ullswater and Buttermere are meres, tarns and waters, with mere being the least common and water being the most common. The major lakes and reservoirs in the National Park are given below.
- Bassenthwaite Lake
- Coniston Water
- Crummock Water
- Derwent Water
- Devoke Water
- Elter Water
- Ennerdale Water
- Esthwaite Water
- Haweswater Reservoir
- Rydal Water
- Wast Water
Open Water Swimming
The Lake District includes many different open water swimming events including the Great North Swim in Windermere, the Chillswim Coniston - 5.25 miles End to End in Coniston Water, the Big Chill Swim ice swimming event, and the Great Lake District Swim Challenge East and Great Lake District Swim Challenge West, and Swim The Lakes.
Big Chill Swim
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