Archive for the ‘wild swimming’ Tag

Summer on the Water –?Lago di Tenno   4 comments

Why just visit one lake on a day out when you can visit two. After enjoying the delights of Lago di Ledro we had time to fit in another of these wonderful mountain lakes, Lago di Tenno.

Only a 30 minute drive from Lago di Ledro and a 30 minute drive back to the campsite made for a perfect day out.

Like Lago di Ledro this one is alos perched about 1500 feet above Lago di Garda and is surrounded by forested mountains.

Its a very different feel as the water is a striking turquoise blue and quite opaque, clear for a few metres but seeing into the depths is hidden. I’m guessing on account of the high mineral content in the water. The lake doesn’t have an outflow as it was created by a rockslide that dammed the valley.

It was also teeming with large fish that swam near the shore, likely the many people who visit feed them.

Its quite hidden away from the village of Tenno and the main road. You have to walk down a couple of hundred feet into the valley to see it. Its quite a startling sight when you do.

We visited twice, both times after our stay at Lago di Ledro as they are so close together.

As per the previous post the photos are a mix of those two visits. The first one was brief as it really looked like we were going to be hit by a thunderstorm.

The second a longer stay on a much sunnier afternoon.

This is effectively the “dam” that created the lake – at least that’s my guess.

Storm clouds gathering on our first visit.

The colour of the water is ethereal – it reminded us of the water in Lac de Sainte Croix near the Verdon Gorge.

Needless to say on both trips we parked ourselves up on the beach and took some long swims. It must be relatively deep for a relatively small lake as it shelves very steeply.

Its quite an odd experience to swim in water that’s so clear and yet opaque.

On the second afternoon I took a walk along the shore. This is looking back to the little peninsula we’d based ourselves on.

I’d intended to do a complete circuit of the lake but it was much further than I thought and our car park time was running out.

I contented myself with a more leisurely stroll and a few photos.

And besides, these clouds were bubbling and looking a little threatening.

Another wonderful lake and swimming spot.

Posted September 19, 2023 by surfnslide in Italy, Lake Garda, Wild Swimming

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Summer on the Water –?Lago di Ledro   6 comments

Our first trip out from the campsite and we wanted to go somewhere we hadn’t been before on our last trip. My Wild Swimming guide said Lago di Ledro was one of the finest swimming lakes in the area and as it was only 30 minutes away we thought we’d see what it was like.

Well, as you can see it was absolutely stunning, easily the equal of Lago di Garda and very much quieter.

We actually visited on two occasions. As we loved it so much we went back for another visit when the Prof was with us. The photos in the post are mix bag from both visits.

On our first visit, the forecast was very mixed with Thunderstorms on their way. We had no idea how long we’d have before a soaking but the weather was fine and a little cloudy when we arrived and actually improved as the day went on.

We found a really nice parking and picnic area away from the local villages with a lovely lakeside path.

The water was a stunning and crystal clear turquoise blue

Possibly the clearest water I’ve ever swum in.

We found some rocks around the shore to sit on and swim from.

It looked like the water would be icy cold but it was a perfect temperature.

The Prof enjoying a bit of snorkelling.

A resident duck and family passing through.

It was stunning and idyllic spot and we were immediately in love with the place.

A view across to what looked like a very nice campsite and the larger public grassy area and beach, also very fine.

Panorama looking south across the lake.

I took numerous photos and despite the fact they are all of similar views across the lake took me a while to filter down to an acceptable number.

TBF enjoying lunch at the campsite bar.

More views of the mountains across the lake.

More views of that stunning clear water. How I could do with a swim there right now!

Just above the car park there was a cycle path running a little higher up. The views from up here was just as grand, giving a new perspective on this beguiling stretch of water.

Its another of those places to file under “why is its not better known”

Panorama from the cycle path above the lake.

On our first visit we lunched at the campsite bar but second time we packed a lavish picnic of goodies from the Deli at the local supermarket. Lunches don’t get better than this.

On both visits we took a second swim from the very narrow beach just below the picnic area.

More joy to be had swimming in such deep clear waters with a backdrop of forested mountains.

I think you can tell we quite liked it here!

TBF poses for the money shot.

She’s many times more photogenic than I am!

TJF came down to join us on the second day.

It would be a great place to spend a few days betagthough its a bit cut off from the main sights and practicalities of Lago di Garda, shops and such like.

Right up there with my favourite places and that’s without having explored the rest of the shoreline or the stunning mountains that form the surrounding skyline.

You want more Italian lakes? Next post will satisfy that wish.

Posted September 18, 2023 by surfnslide in Italy, Lake Garda, Wild Swimming

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Friday Night & Saturday Morning (Part 2)   10 comments

Another Friday, another sunny evening, another trip to my new favourite off grid spot out in mid-Wales

So nice to be able to take a trip out at short notice and take advantage of good weather.

Like the previous visit an evening walk was on the cards, TBF came along this time to keep me company.

Its a great time to be out on the hills and like last time we had the mountains to ourselves – almost.

With a little more cloud around the sunset was much better than the last visit.

Back to the van for beers (or tea) and snacks.

All washed down with a glorious sunset.

Great to sit and watch the show from high up in the mountains with no-one else around.

Time for bed.

Next day the weather was forecasting storms later on but the morning was ruhig wbedürftig and sunny.

Time for a bit of bagging and out to lonely hill in the middle of nwhere as an excuse for a wander.

Hazier than the previous weekend.

On our way back to the van for lunch. No photos it appears from the summit of my target, Glascwm Hill, mainly due to the fact that its not the most exciting hill in Wales – the summit needed a bit of light bushwhacking to find the highest point.

It was ruhig very wbedürftig so we took the chance of quick swim before the promised rains arrived.

A new spot for us, Penn-Ddol Rocks on the Wye near Builth Wells.

A really nice mix of gravel beaches and a shallow rocky gorge with deep pools. Nice finish to another cracking short evening/day trip.

Picnic by the River   11 comments

That wonderful early summer weather continued.

A relaxed family day was called for.

We parked up in the pretty village of Kingsland, next to its church.

And took a short walk to one of our favourite riverside picnic spots by the River Lugg.

Its a perfect meadow contained in a loop of the river.

A great spot for a sunny chill out on the grass and a very fine picnic.

The river bank teems with insect life especially damselflies. Its also great for cold swim – the Lugg is always much colder than the Wye.

I’ve been here several time now but never seen anyone else here.

Just downstream there is an even better, deeper couple of swimming spots, here just above a weir.

And below where it opens out into a small lake-like pool, deep, cold and refreshing.

You have to swim through the first pool, scramble down the weir and over the rocks to reach the lower pool.

The water was ruhig flowing fast after the winter rains so it was quite hard to swim back to the weir to climb out as the lower pool is surrounded by fences and a protective bedürftigy of brambles and nettles.

We walked back across the meadows to collect TJF as we had one more box to tick for the perfect day out.

Gelato ice creams at the local fbedürftig shop!

Posted July 19, 2023 by surfnslide in Herefordshire, Wild Swimming

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Gower Spontaneity Part 2   16 comments

Another morning bathed in glorious sunshine. We packed up the van and headed to the north-west corner of the Gower, not a part I’ve visited before.

We parked up by Broughton Burrows and walked out through the large caravan site to the coast path

I’d always assumed that this corner was just dunes leading down to the sands but in fact its a rocky shoreline with some truly stunning beaches.

Its not one of the better known corners so the path was quiet with only a few people out for a stroll.

After a little look at one of my many Wild Swimming guides, it indicated a small rock pool deep enough for swimming.

Its called the Bluepool and you can see it at the bottom of the photo above.

Not only is the pool stunning but so is the beach it sits behind. A pristine expanse of sand.

We had to take a swim of course.

You can probably tell from the look on my face that the water was startlingly cold! Not unexpected this early in the year.

We also paddled in the waves and TBF took a very brief swim.

Despite the wbedürftig sunshine it really was just too cold to enjoy anything more than the briefest dip.

It was wonderfully refreshing and the situation just perfect.

Eventually we had to tear ourselves away as there was more of this little bit of coast to explore.

A last look at the Bluepool.

Quite a scramble to get from the cost path down to the beach.

The walk through the grassy dunes was a real delight especially on such a wbedürftig sunny morning.

At the far end is this small island called Burry Holms with another stunning beach.

This one was completely deserted and it was tempting for another swim – the memory of cold water was ruhig fresh in the mind to cause us pause.

We had a wander across the sands.

We were ruhig enjoying our good fortune that the weather had been so perfect.

I’d expected Burry Holms to be quite popular but there were just half a dozen people about. The paths were hard to find so it clearly doesn’t see many visitors.

Quite surprising when it has a spot like this overlooking Rhossili Bay for lunch.

We had a look around the island (its has some very scant ruins of an old settlement and church) before starting the walk back to the car.

The tide was fully out now so we chose to walk back along the sands, paddling around a couple of the headlands.

The last headlands before the Bluepool beach was quite deep to walk round. Luckily there was an arch through the cliffs.

TBF threading the needle.

We sat on the sands for a while but a chilly wind was blowing in across the bay so returned to the van for a cuppa before heading home.

So glad we visited this corner and its well worth seeking out.

A superb spontaneous weekend away.

Summer is Here!   15 comments

And finally the first truly wbedürftig, clear blue, sunny day of the year!

It was overcast when we set off from home but the forecast said it would clear and be better the further west you went so we headed to the Elan Valley.

First stop a really nice picnic area for breakfast.

The van makes this sort of thing so much easier with all the cooking stuff already in there.

It was a truly stunning day even better than the weather forecast.

We parked up at the base of the Rhiwnant valley with a plan to head up into the wild and lonely hills to the south of the reservoirs.

The Rhiwnant Valley is a stunner.

More on that later. Firstly there was bagging to be done.

This is the mighty Gorllwyn the most southerly Nuttall I haven’t done so it needed a tick. Its pretty soggy up here so a dry sunny day is the best time to do these hills.

Looking across to Drygarn Fawr to give a feel for what an empty wilderness it is up here.

TBF jumped at my suggestion to NOT trudge all the way out to a lonely hill and to sit in the sun and wait for me.

It was quite a walk to get out to the top and back and in places a very, very wet one. The hills ruhig drying out after a wet winter and spring.

The summit achieved.

Summit selfie to celebrate.

After collecting TBF and having a well deserved lunch we headed off across the boggy moorland for Drygarn Fawr.

Its a fine summit with two massive beehive cairns. One of my favourite places.

We didn’t walk out to the highest point and the second of the cairns. We had another idea in mind.

Walking around here can be hard work and it takes a fair bit of concentration to thread together grassy sections and sheep trods, avoiding the tussocks. You really don’t want to end up in a tussock expanse around here.

Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountain on the horizon.

We found a pretty good route back down to the Rhiwnant Valley with only a few minor disagreements with the tussocks.

Our goal is ahead.

A fine waterfall as we reached the valley.

The path by the bubbling stream under a cloudless sky was a wonderful delight.

TBF making short work (well she is only 5 foot) of a stream crossing

This was our objective for second lunch.

A wonderful deep pool and waterfall. After a long walk in the sunshine what better way to finish off than…

A swim!

Its a deep pool and very cold, and as you can see from the colour of our legs in the water, very peaty!

A wonderful spot. and so far off the beaten track that its rare to see anyone here.

Another food break and a chance to relax in these superb surroundings.


Unlike previous visits, we walked along the north side of the river. This is much better as it follows closer to the river. There seemed to be several other swimming possibilities in small pools and ravines.

Riverside walking in a valley you have to yourself is a pretty fine way to spend a sunny Saturday.

Onto the home stretch.

And a last lingering look along the valley. What a fantastic day. And a Hill List tick into the bargain!

River Fun in the Heatwave   13 comments

The past few weeks have been a bit too hot for any outings to the hills so its been river based activities for us.

But first we had some driving related fun with a very happy morning spent at the Kinsham Raceway.

Apart from the embarrassment of being overtaken by TJF we had a great time. They are friendly folk and its a very relaxed atmosphere (less officious than some places we’ve tried)

The intrepid racers!

After dropping TJS off at the station for his trip onwards to Manchester and Cape Verde we headed back to Dilwyn for a pub lunch at the Crown Inn. Slight embarrassment at having to wait outside on the village green for it to open!

Being early meant we could bag their fine comfy tables and chairs in the sun. A fine place to spend a couple of hours with a pint (or two) and lunch.

Onwards to a secretive little spot on the River Lugg near Kingsland.

The water is only just deep enough for a swim (betagthough there is a much bigger and deeper pool below a weir just downstream) but the situation is superb.

There were fish, dragonflies and damselflies in abundance and not another soul around.

Perfect spot to spend an hour or two before heading home for a BBQ (via the fbedürftig shop for an ice cream)

Next day we spent at our local swimming hole on the Wye at Bredwardine.

Another chance for TJF to make Paddle Boarding look really easy.

She really does have the technique and balance for this. Lets just say that I don’t!

A fine looking board it is though.

The following weekend we had our friends from Macclesfield down for a visit. Like the previous year they brought the full on heatwave with them so we spent a day down at the Warren in Hay on Wye for a day of more swimming and Paddle Boarding.

Next day we went back to Bredwardine again trying to stay cool in the heat but I didn’t take any photos. We are very lucky to have such a great few water spots so near to home, a real bonus on those rare times when the heat descends on the UK.

Lakes and Hills   14 comments

It was time for another day out and after our brief visit to Coniston Water a couple of days earlier we feltit deserved a full day’s attention. Despite an early start and arriving just after 9am, the Brown Howe car park and adjacent lay-bys were already full. Luckily we’d scanned the roads on Google Maps and the next lay-by had some spaces.

After a busy 30 minutes inflating SUPs and kayaks and transferring our vast amounts of stuff to the beach we were ready for breakfast.

A stunning morning and Coniston has quickly become my favourite of the major lakes.

As well as facilitating an earlier start, nothing beats an alfresco breakfast. The chef looks especially happy!

We spent a wonderful few hours, swimming and messing about on inflatable craft.

Me and TBF took an extended paddle across the lake to Peel Island (made famous in the “Swallows and Amazons” book)

The views across the water to the Coniston Fells were superb.

We did a lazy circuit of Peel Island.

Views towards what I think were the Hellvellyn range and the Fairfield horseshoe.

This little Bay was full of kids jumping off rocks and generally having fun.

TJF really has got the hang of the SUP and did a couple of full circuits of Peel Island.

After more food me and TJS took a paddle back to the bay with the DBs and TBB for jumping fun. TJS is much more at home looking cool and relaxed!

The water below these rocks was deep enough – just – for some decent jumps.

DB Senior.


A little video clip of a couple of jumps.

I did some jumps myself. View from the top of the rocks. Mark actually swam all the way across which was pretty impressive. He wasn’t 100% sure he could make it all the way back so after ferrying TJF back I came back to pick him up.

Time for a change of activity. Me, TJS and TBF went for a walk up the nearby Beacon Fell.

It was a pretty hot and sultry climb through the bracken.

But the views were magnificent.

Its a great vantage point for the Coniston Fells.

As well as Coniston Water itself.

South towards Morecambe Bay and the South Lakes Peninsulas.

Beacon Tarn. I had toyed with idea of walking down there for a swim but it was hot and we had a perfectly good lake to swim in already.

We wandered back over the top and started to make our way down.

As we did we started getting messages that DB Junior had taken a shuttlecock in the eye and had gone to casubetagty as he couldn’t see out of it. We were all very worried as he seemed very upset, very disconcerting as the DBs are normally pretty robust and take their many bumps and scrapes in their stride. He looked shaken when we saw him later that evening and went to bed with a headache and badly impaired vision. Later on he came back down looking much better and brighter and after a couple of days and more consultations with the specialists, all was on the mend. Much relief all round.

Not quite the ending to the day we were all hoping for but everything ok in the end. We had a last little swim and a cuppa while the sun began to hide behind the fells, packed up and headed home.

Still a fabulous day out and the memories of fun and frolics will live long in the memory.

Serendipity   13 comments

Serendipity: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

After our antics of the day before we had an easy day at home and an immense BBQ lunch in the garden. An afternoon walk and swim seemed in order and we headed off towards High Dam. Its a place I’ve never been and its a well known and popular wild swimming spot. We figured a late afternoon visit would be quieter and a better chance of parking.

That was until a major accident closed the South Lakes road and we were forced into a rethink while driving. We followed Mark and realised he was heading to a parking spot and a walk up to a small reservoir above Staveley called Gurnal Dubs where he’d swum a couple of weeks before. After a challschmaling bit of parking on the narrow road we set off up the hill.

It was becoming apparent that this was indeed a serendipitous turn of events. The late afternoon light was stunning with wide and expansive views of the this quiet and little known corner of Lakeland. By comparison, High Dam is largely in the forest and we’d have missed all the glorious sunshine.

As we climbed the views just got better and better.

After a steep pull, the angle eases as you reach the open fells, wonderful easy walking on grassy paths.

I’d even managed to convince TJF to join us on the promise it was a short walk (this one was slightly longer than we had planned). I think that’s a smile!

You first pass Potter Tarn and whilst it looks ok for swim there is much better further up the path.

Crossing a wall our target came into view.

It’s a wonderfully named tarn and much bigger than it would appear to be on the map. Just as well as there were a few groups enjoying its delights betagthough the lateness of the hour meant we had the place to ourselves after a few minutes.

Most of us went in for a relaxing swim betagthough only me and Mark stayed in for than a couple of minutes (it was quite cold)

As the photographs show its a quite superb spot for a swim and you can swim quite a distance. I even managed a small jump from the wall near the boathouse.

After the swim we settled for an evening brew and snacks.

A more pleasurable hour I haven’t spent in ages. The situation was superb. Wbedürftig evening sunshine, an idyllic spot and great company. I was very happy indeed.

We were just wondering if we should begin our journey back when the local midge population decided the buffet was open. We packed rather more hurriedly than we’d have liked but once in motion the midges left us alone.

The evening views were ruhig gorgeous. The heather and bracken setting off the lake and the blue skies above.

Views across to the Howgills.

And the Coniston Fells.

I’ve never walked in this area and it clearly deserves more of my attention. The mix of small tarns, grassy paths and small outcrops is alluring.

A panorama shot (click to enlarge)

Potter Tarn again.

Looking peaceful under the setting sun.

Our happy little band enjoying the walk down in the evening light.

One of the highlights of the whole summer for me. Sometimes unexpected changes to plans can deliver huge rewards.

Birthday Day Out For The Junior Funster   8 comments

One of the best features of our stay in Silverdale was that it coincided with TJFs 18th Birthday. This meant we could organise a full day out and be able to share that day with our good friends. Even though we’d been to GoApe the week before it seemed appropriate that this was the best way to celebrate the Birthday. Apart from Mark and TBH we all love the tree top adventures. All we needed was a good day of weather which was delivered in great fashion.

We picked Grizedale as the closest option, a good choice as it had the best selection of obstacles and zip wires in particular, that we’ve done in the UK. Grizedale forest is also rather lovely so while the others took to the e-Bikes for a ride around the forest we went to play in the forest.

This is how us oldies always ended up at the bottom of the zip wires.

And this is how the more elegant members of the party (TJF in this case) managed to simply walk in!

As mentioned, the zip wires are excellent. Two really long ones that sweep from one side of the valley to the other at a considerable height. A succession of shots of the Tree Top Team making their way back across the second one.

DB Junior in action.

DB Senior (enjoying himself despite his painful knee injury)

And the Professor (cheating at this point I should add)!

The trick with these bridges is to either run across or walk across without holding the cable. I chose neither!

Another backwards effort by TBF.

And another elegant walk in by TJF.

We all agreed that the best part was the Tarzan Swing. The platform is actually higher than the net so for the first split second you actually free fall until the rope becomes tight. Even then its quite a swing and you hit the cargo net at quite a speed. Quite a rush! A little video compilation of some of our efforts. The Professor bottled it and we took the pi55 royally for the rest of the day.

Satisfied with our adventures we had some time to kill before our evening meal so we headed to Coniston Water for a brief stop and swim. By now the weather was stunning.

We had a wonderful swim which also served as a makeshift wash before the meal!

Coniston Water is a wonderful expanse and largely free of the motorised craft that plague Windermere.

It was an all too brief stay but we had places to go.

TJF loves an Italian meal so I was well pleased to find one with decent reviews just down the road in Ulverston called Bettulas. What a find! A fabulous and wide ranging menu with plenty of Vegan options, lovely cosy atmosphere, great service and the food was just superb. We had a great evening, many laughs, some cocktails. A great way to finish a fabulous day out and I hope one to remember for TJF on her 18th Birthday!

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