Imagine plunging head first into the freezing cold Lake Windermere – refreshing, exhilarating and a totally unforgettable Best Western experience.
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Picture this, a hot beach covered in glorious sunshine and that feeling of diving into the sea for the first time on your summer holiday. Bliss right. Now imagine this plunging head first into the freezing cold Lake Windermere; not so bliss I hear you say!

Well there are many people who would disagree with you. Wild water swimming has seen a meteoric rise in popularity and you are now just as likely to see people swimming in tarns as you are walking on fells. Here at Best Western we have are very own resident wild water swimmer, Mike Durkin.

He’s the Head Chef at Ambleside Salutation Hotel & Spa, WorldHotels Distinctive. Mike is more than happy to pass on his wealth of local knowledge around local wild swimming spots to all guests and if you catch him on a good day he might even come out with you. If you fancy following his lead check him out in action below. 

Although Mike is out wild swimming every day, we don’t expect you to be as committed. But if you fancy having a go at swimming in azure tarns and mythical pools, or the slate-grey challenge of an angry sea we’ve picked 3 of the best of Britain’s natural places to plunge. So grab those goggles and, if you can brave the cold, trunks and go....

Loughrigg Tarn
Where: Ambleside, Lake District
Wildness rating: 3/10
Description: When no less a Lake District authority than William Wordsworth describes a tarn as one of the region’s ‘most beautiful examples’, you know you’re in for one hell of a picturesque dip. The bank is almost circular with striking views. ‘it’s a perfect, small, natural swimming pool, surrounded by fells’, says Kate Rew, head of the Outdoor Swimming Society, who ranks it as her very favourite UK swim.

Durdle Door to Lulworth Cove
Wildness rating: 3/10 – 5/10
Description: Durdle Door is one of England’s natural wonders and swimming through the arch into wide open sea should help to explain what all the wild-swimming fuss is about. The only downside is its sheer popularity; drawing 200,000 visitors a year. ‘Extending the mission to Lulworth Cove will see you swim past a few miles of stunning coastline’.

Nearest hotel: Best Western Weymouth Hotel Rembrandt

Lundy to Woolacombe
 North Devon Coast
Wilderness rating: 10/10
Description: To date, only a hardy few have accomplished this mammoth swim, with Woolacombe local Nick Thorn covering the 20-mile distance solo in an astonishing six and a half hours in September 2010. The currents and swells, and changing weather, make this even trickier than swimming the Channel. Experts only.

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