As temperatures have risen over the summer season, open water swimming in Britain’s beautiful lakes and waterfalls has grown in popularity for its huge number of physical and health benefits.
Aside from being a great way to exercise outdoors, taking a dip in open water has been suggested to improve circulation, boost the immune system and release endorphins that help to manage stress, anxiety and depression.
Why not take the plunge and reconnect with nature at these open water swimming hotspots – all within an hour’s drive from Stoke-on-Trent.
Three Shire Heads, River Dane – Peak District – 48 minute drive from Stoke
Accessible on foot through picturesque fields, this open water swimming spot located within the Peak District is only a short walk from a nearby free parking lay-by. While around only 1m deep, these crystal-clear, shallow pools situated under mesmerizing waterfalls flowing south of the River Dane are perfect for a plunge. Three Shires Head is the ideal location for those looking to dip their toe into open water swimming, without feeling out of their depth. Swimmers can head to the Cat and Fiddle, England’s (second) highest pub for a post-swim pint, only a 15 minute drive from this stunning spot.
Manley Mere – Cheshire – 59 minute drive from Stoke
Situated in Cheshire, Manley Mere offers bookable open water swimming sessions, as well as changing rooms, toilets and showers. For those looking to improve their confidence and build a sense of community through group swimming, Manley Mere is the ideal location. Aside from swimming, a wide range of water sports and land activities available for all ages makes this popular lake well worth the drive.
Blakemere Pond – Staffordshire – 41 minute drive from Stoke
Staffordshire’s Blakemere Pond, also known as Mermaid’s Lake, is a stunning site for open water swimming – despite its haunted history. Rumoured to be home to a ghostly mermaid who fell in love with a local sailor, legend claims that her spirit harms unsuspecting swimmers. However, the haunting tale clearly hasn’t deterred eager open water swimmers, as the spot remains popular than ever for those who dare venture into the lake.
Even if taking a dip isn’t for you, these beautiful locations are perfect for a scenic countryside walk. However, for those wanting to reconnect with nature and try something new, these were our top 3 open water swimming hot spots, all within an hour’s drive from Stoke-On-Trent!