Swimming lakes

Since I took up triathlon, I have swum in a range of lakes. I’ve tried to list them below with my favourite ones at the top and getting “less favourite” down towards the bottom. I haven’t included sea swims (but in summary Redcar and Sunderland were cold, Weymouth and St Ives were nice) but I have included rivers. Also, I haven’t included lake swims in Finland which are lovely but I’ve never done a “proper” swim there.

Roundhay Park

It’s lovely. Deep. Not too hot or too cold. The water is relatively clear. It is free of plant life. Just watch out for the swans.


The scenery is the most beautiful of any lake I’ve swum in. Great if you’re doing heads-up breaststroke. If you’re not, well, you’re just looking at the water. And that water gets distributed by other lake users, i.e. boats, otherwise, it would probably have the top spot.

Llyn Padarn

Another lake with beautiful scenery. Freezing cold though, even in a heatwave. And the slippery slate makes getting in and out difficult.

Blue Lagoon

You have to love the Blue Lagoon just for Bev & Morg alone. It is a bit murky, though, and sometimes difficult to see when you’re about to hit a shallow bit.

Leeds Dock

Despite what you might think, it is a lovely place to swim. The water feels fresh. It is cold, though.


So shallow you can walk half of the swim course. It is also too small when once you put several hundred triathletes in there. Warms up well, though, and lakes plant life.

Ripon race course

Clear water. So weedy, though. Unbelievably weedy. Some of the swim is literally grabbing handfuls of weeds and pulling yourself along.

Bowers Lake

Also known as Caroline’ Lake at RSPB St Aiden’s, it has a lot of reeds but once you get out into the centre it is not too bad.

River Ure

I did my first full-distance triathlon here which was traumatic but not because of the water quality. That said, there was a hidden concrete block or wooden post or something that I kicked and it really hurt my foot.

Thoresby Hall

Outlaw X said they had cut a path through the weeds. If they had, it was impossible to tell.

Holme Pierrepont rowing course

Weedy, but also just a rowing lake and therefore incredibly boring.

Castle Howard

Shallow, even after you have sunk through the half a metre of mud underfoot. This also makes the water super-muddy. And there is a lot of plant life floating around on the surface.

Manvers Lake

Shallow, weedy, muddy. It has everything you don’t want in a lake.

River Wharfe

After completing Wetherby Triathlon I was throwing my guts up and by all accounts, I wasn’t the only one. Which is a shame because it wasn’t too cold.



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This entry was posted on Saturday, December 31st, 2022 at 11:00 am and is filed under Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.