The Rules

How to get on ‘The List’

My list of lakes and tarns currently stands at about 160.

My criteria were that any lake or tarn shown on the  OS maps OL4, OL5, OL6 & OL7, within the National Park boundary and named on those maps would go onto the list.


What does ‘across’ mean?

The challenge is to swim ‘across’ all the lakes and tarns. Where possible this means swimming from one side to the other. However, in some cases this is not practical, so swimming a circuit beginning and ending at the same place still counts provided the distance is at least equivalent to swimming across.


The underwater selfie

One little extra to the challenge is that I must take an underwater selfie in every lake or tarn. If anyone swimming with me wants to get in too that’s great, but I’m not going to try to persuade people to dunk their heads into freezing cold water if they don’t want to!



I gave myself certain rules for my own safety.

  • To never swim across any of the larger lakes without support boats.
  • In lakes and tarns not big enough to need support boats but still of a considerable size to use my ChillSwim inflatable tow float which can support my weight if necessary and makes me far more visible.

5 thoughts on “The Rules

  1. I can’t believe it! I have set 2016’s challenge as doing nearly EXACTLY this! I stumbled upon this page when researching the legalities of a few unknown tarns and here you are, 8 months ahead of the game. Totally envious of you getting there first but good on you… At least I’ll know who churned up the mud before I got in 🙂

    Do you have a projected date for completing the whole thing?


    1. Hi James. That’s amazing! I’m really enjoying the swimming, although I’ve paused for the winter at the moment. When and where are you planning to start? I don’t have a date I want to finish by, just taking it as it goes at the moment.


  2. Have you considered that some of the places you have been swimming in or are planning to swim in are protected? By putting your adventures on here it will I’m sure encourage others to do the same. As much as i think what you’re doing is a great it should be done responsibly so as to preserve the area. Should areas which are protected not be struck off the list?I think this is a great blog, and a really good idea but would not encourage the disturbance of areas which are protected, like priest pot near Hawkshead for example.


    1. Hi Gordon. I’m sorry it has taken me so long to reply to this, it seems to have got lost somewhere along the way and I’ve just seen it. You make a very interesting point. Part of of the interesting thing about this challenge is how my view of it is changing as I go. When I started all the tarns in my head were high in the mountains, easily accessible and great to swim in. Of course the reality is not like that at all (some tarns are privately owned) and I have to confess that protected areas didn’t even enter my mind. But you’re right – I do need to be more aware of where it is and isn’t ok to swim. I do, of course, try to leave as little mark on the landscape as possible but I’m fully aware that this isn’t always enough. Thanks for your support and it is definitely something I will bear in mind in the future.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s