The Black Moss Potter wild swim is the kind of swimming we do on our days off. In our opinion this is real wild swimming at its best; the kind that we did without thinking when we were kids. It rekindles the love of playing in the water and the exhilaration of a grand day out on the fells.
We visit a number of perfect pools overshadowed by majestic crags and ridges in this often overlooked valley. When we stop to swim we will dip, swim, scramble and explore… we might even jump in a few times! Then, depending on the weather, we will either sunbathe ourselves dry or get our cosy clothes back on and enjoy a hot brew next to the beck. We will then continue on to do it all again in an equally beautiful spot, but with a completely different character.
The Black Moss Potter is a great day out for nature lovers
Throughout the day we will stop for tea and cake and lunch and perhaps talk swimming with our friendly and knowledgeable swimming guides
As we walk, don’t ignore the ancient woodlands that cling to the dramatic fellside. These are the Atlantic Oakwoods, the temperate rain forests that once cloaked much of the Western Seaboard of Europe, along with its secretive and often unobserved wildlife. Borrowdale is the ‘front line’ of defence for red squirrels in Cumbria, so you get top marks for a sighting.
Listen out for buzzards and peregrine falcons soaring overhead. The raven is relatively common throughout the valley and during the summer months the striking pied flycatcher takes up residence in the forest. Roe Deer are often seen in the woodlands and the larger Red Deer can be found on the high fells above the tree line.
On the ground, these ancient pastures reveal an incredible diversity of plants. The Borrowdale valley has a nationally significant collection of outstanding rare lichens and a rich variety of fungi in the autumn. We hope you come to love it all as much as we do.
The Black Moss Potter Itinerary
As always in mountainous areas, our itinerary is dependent on the weather but we hope to enjoy all that Borrowdale has to offer. We will meet in Rosthwaite with the meeting place, venue and itinerary to be confirmed upon booking. We can provide a wetsuit for this swim with our low-cost hire if needed, Swimming and dipping in just your costume is encouraged if the forecast is fine. Wetsuit hire here.
Please see the FAQ and Essential Info tab on the left for more information on what to expect and what to bring etc.
How fit do I need to be for the Black Moss Potter?
For this adventure swim a good level of hiking fitness is recommended, please ensure that you are able to walk comfortably over rough ground for at least 8km (5 miles). Confidence in the water and the ability to swim is essential, although beginners to wild swimming are welcome. There will be approximately 3.5 hours (group dependent) of moderate walking on uneven tracks and trails to get to our swimming locations.
The swims require agility with clambering down river banks and over boulders.
The swims and walking will be easy-moderate paced with an emphasis on enjoying the journey and surroundings. We aim to satisfy the swimming aspirations of all of our guests without any compromise in your safety.
How far will we swim and hike?
Dip/Swimming: negligible distance, maximum fun.
Hiking distance: approx 8km
Can I hire a wetsuit?
Yes, Please book your wetsuit hire as soon as possible and at least 24hrs before your trip. Hire costs just £6 for a quality swimming wetsuit and wetsuits can be booked here. You can also ring 015394 33826.
What will the weather be like?
It could be sunny and still, it could be windy or rainy, but we do know you are going to have a great time. Please check the weather forecast before you travel and bring suitable clothing and footwear.
What shall I bring?
• Swimwear, cap and goggles (to watch the trout swim under you)
• Wetsuit if you really need one (we hire very good quality wetsuits at a cost of £6/person for this swim). We recommend just swimming costumes with perhaps a neoprene rash vest depending on the weather.
• Pack towel or lightweight changing robe.
• Waterproofs, outdoor clothing, a spare fleece, warm socks and boots.
• Warm hat and gloves and/or sunhat, shades and sunscreen.
• Insect repellent.
• A rucksack large enough to carry your kit in.
• Packed lunch, snacks and drink
• Flask of hot drink.
• Small waterproof drybag for phone and keys.
• Big smiles and an Open Mind.
How cold will the water be and do I need a wetsuit?
The rivers and beck of Borrowdale vary in temperature between 10-15 degrees for this time of year depending on the local weather conditions.
If you would like to swim without a wetsuit and are conditioned to swimming in cool water, then just bring what you usually swim in. If you think you’ll get cold or you want to optimise your time in the water, bring a wetsuit or a thermal neoprene rash vest.
What do I do with my phone and keys?
Keys and phone should be kept in a separate waterproof drybag or plastic bag and taken with you.
Where do we park?
Details of car parks will be emailed to you upon booking.
Wetsuits: Wear swimwear or if you want to stay in longer we advise neoprene rash-vest or shortie / full wetsuit. Please arrange wetsuit hire in advance from the link below.
Wetsuit Hire: Please book your wetsuit hire as soon as possible. Hire costs just £6 for a quality swimming wetsuit and can be booked here.
Group Size: min – max: 5 – 16
Confirmation Email: We will send a confirmation after booking, please check your ‘spam folder’ etc.
Trip Caution: Open water swimming by its very nature involves a natural outdoor environment. Although unlikely, there is always a possibility that we may need to make changes to the itinerary due to, for example, weather conditions, water conditions or other issues that may affect safe operation or organisation.
Please read our Swim Trip FAQ’s to ensure you are well prepared and get the most Please read our Swim Trip FAQ’s to ensure you are well prepared and get the most from your swimming adventure.
All participants must be 16 years or over, and those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
By booking you are agreeing to our booking terms and conditions here
Swim Trips FAQ’s
For more information such as kit suggestions, fitness levels please read our Swim Trips FAQ’S here.
Pete & Andrea