Early in 2015 I decided to set myself the challenge of swimming across every lake and tarn in the English Lake District. I spent some time thinking about exactly what the nature of my challenge would be and eventually, one day I took out my 4 OS maps of the Lake District and spread them across my bedroom floor. I then scoured the maps looking for lakes and tarns and writing out a list. I came up with 133 names. Since then, of course, further hours spent pouring over those same maps has lead to further discoveries. My current total stands at 137, although I am well aware that I may well find new names to add on as I go through this challenge.
This challenge is not about speed or endurance or pushing my physical limits. It is about discovering new places within the Lake District and returning to old, beloved ones. It is about enjoyment of the landscape, seeing the fells from new angles and literally immersing myself in the beauty of the Lake District. It is about exploring, having adventures and seeing where a list of names in a notebook can take me. It is about spending time alone in the tranquillity of the mountains and about spending time with friends old and new and sharing experiences with them. Overall, it is about having fun.
On 21st April 2015 I swam across Grasmere, my first swim in the Swimming the Lakes challenge. This is the story of how I am completing my challenge, the places I visit, the waters I swim and the people who are sharing in this amazing adventure.