top of page

Lake guides

See below for the What3Words locations for the entry and exit points for all 13 lakes, as well as a brief description of each lake and any other pertinent location and access info we have.  Below is a suggested order (used by Danny in 2021), but feel free to swim the lakes in any order you like (being sure to follow  the rules and guidelines set out in the Rules & Info page).


01: Wastwater

Distance: 5.5km

Entry/Exit Point 1: Unwound.Bandwagon.Inhabited

Entry/Exit Point 2: Superbly.Guises.Alien

Description: Simply stunning. Stone bottom and very deep so water quality is perfect. Can be don't get your direction wrong! Long drive from anywhere.

02: Windermere

Distance: 17.7km

Entry/Exit Point 1: Window.Cello.Pans

Entry/Exit Point 2: Conned.Inform.Beak

Description: Long ass body of water with everything from steam boats, chain ferries and hire boats trying to scupper your swim.  Lots of places to buy food...for your support crew!


03: Elterwater

Distance: 1.2km

Entry/Exit Point 1: Dictation.Rumbles.Wished

Entry/Exit Point 2: Commoners.Ironic.Gobbling

Description: Funny shape with a shallow bit in the middle where you may get mud in your nails.  Lots of dog walkers so expect to explain what you are doing again and again and again and again!

04: Grasmere

Distance: 2.3km

Entry/Exit Point 1: Taker.Flopping.Bundles

Entry/Exit Point 2: Fragments.Motive.Effort

Description: Belter of a swim with good access. Send the support crew to the world famous Grasmere gingerbread shop so you can all argue if it is nice or not. Personally we prefer a ginger-nut (other breads and biscuits are available).


05: RydaL Water

Distance: 1.5km

Entry/Exit Point 1: Lamplight.Hindering.File

Entry/Exit Point 2: Instilled.Deduct.Hiked

Description: Little gem with a lovely beach at the Southern end and short walk to the car. Couple of islands to navigate, we would suggest you walk between here and Grasmere...but what do we know about your plans? Maybe you have someone to carry you or a trained pack of mice pulling a carriage, thats just what we did!

06: Coniston

Distance: 9.2km

Entry/Exit Point 1: Ushering.Imply.Coolest

Entry/Exit Point 2: Cuddling.Arena.Forehand

Description: Long way down so make sure you put this in at the right time on your attempt.  Lovely car park at the Village end and a really straight lake (so good for efficiency).  At the South end the entry/exit point isn't quite at the end, so you'll need to swim a bit further to complete the full length...but you like swimming right so thats cool.


07: BrothersWater

Distance: 0.6km

Entry/Exit Point 1: Enhancement.Microchip.Hospitals

Entry Exit Point 2: Connected.Airfields.Descended

Description: Hardly worth getting in this one...but you have to, so crack on!  Good parking, nice path to the end with sharp stones to help keep you awake.  Look at this as the appetiser or desert pre / post Ullswater.

08: UllsWater

Distance: 12.9km

Entry/Exit Point 1: Peroxide.Welfare.Thread

Entry/Exit Point 2: Slider.Derailed.Stint

Description: Amazing scenery and great entry and exit points.  Shaped a bit like a banana and getting to that apex is a great feeling...unless its windy as the wind will then either help or hinder you as it channels down the lake.


09: Bassenthwaite

Distance: 6.7km

Entry/Exit Point 1: Pushy.Outwards.Salutes

Entry/Exit Point 2: Veal.Passively.Cucumber

Description: There is a yacht club on here so you may be viewed as a fun target by amateur racers or oblivious children.  Other than that a great lake, there is a definite 'direction flow' on this one - we will leave you to find that out through research or by being sad having done it the wrong way.

10: Loweswater

Distance: 2.0km

Entry/Exit Point 1: Copycat.Island.Unframed

Entry/Exit Point 2: Soups.Outboard.Raced

Description: This is the start (or end) of what is arguably the most fun section of The13.  The Lorton Valley is often quieter and while the roads are somewhat narrow getting around is a treat after the central lakes.  While there is a bit of a walk to the start/finish of this one whichever way you do it, it's a lovely distance and simple nav.

Crummock Water.jpeg

11: Crummock Water

Distance: 4.3km

Entry/Exit Point 1: Tumblers.Paused.Yesterday

Entry/Exit Point 2: Occur.Anchorman.Quite

Description: The biggest one in this valley and not one to be underestimated. By the time you make it here you'll have a few miles in your shoulders, so do pace it! There's a great path on foot between here and  Buttermere.

12: Buttermere

Distance: 2.3km

Entry/Exit Point 1: Commended.Loose.Script

Entry/Exit Point 2: Conveys.Total.Calculate

Description: A beautiful body of water, starts off very shallow if heading South to North but fear not it gets nice and deep.  Good access at both ends and a great amphitheatre for a spot of competitive adult PE style swimming.  Kirkstone pass is a fun journey as well if you exit or enter the valley this way.

Buttermere 3.jpg

13: Derwent Water


Distance: 4.8km

Entry/Exit Point 1: Adjust.Dried.Happening

Entry/Exit Point 2: Skim.Caves.Multiply

Description: Middle distance swimming has never been so fun, bit of everything here. Access can be tricky so plan ahead to avoid long walks or support crew lake entry problems etc.  Depending on time of day/year ( I hear it is quite quiet January to March!) there can be a lot of traffic on here so keep your eyes peeled.  Keswick has some great pubs if this is your last lake...if its your first...Keswick still has some great pubs.

bottom of page