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Walking in Cumbria and Beyond

Wild Swimming

Wild Swimming

What could be better than a swim in a cool waterfall pool on a rare hot summer’s evening?

Uldale Force has featured on TV as one of the best places for a wild swim in Britain – and it was not very far away.

Just one stop up the M6 and a short ride past Sedbergh.

Fairly confident that we had heeded the warning not to attempt the walk in wet weather we piled out  of the car sure that this would be a short, easy walk to an inviting pool.

Being good citizens we set off up the public footpath to the north of Rawthey Bridge, following the green dots and the sign marked Needle House away from the river.

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This was all a bit counter intuitive but the bridle way to the south of the river appeared to disappear before where we believed the pool to be.


So we set off up hill, through lush meadows,


past pretty farm houses


and carefully tended gardens.


Those brief miles encompassed cool woodland and


then bog!


Distant Howgill Hills

When a herd of cows appeared we opted out of ‘good citizenship’


and dived down the steep slope to the stream below.


Taking our chances on finding some kind of route.


We succeeded but could see no other way to get past the first waterfall than to scramble up the rocky side.


Grateful there was not a lot of water. all three of us made it over with out falling in.


Uldale Force

And there it was.  A beautiful cascade tumbling into a deep pool.  Perfect for swimming.

Surprisingly not too cold after the initial shock.


Harter Fell (I think)

And the way back?  Jo Public, or may be sheep,  has ‘trod’ a way out.  Up the hill, away from the pool until it joins the right of way back to the road.


Cautly Crag

Easy stroll to enjoy the ‘Howgills’.

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To swim, take the route to the south.  Much quicker.  The scenic route, our way in, is the one to the north of the valley.  Another Howgills walk here.


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One Comment

  1. I had a lovely swim in the pool at Uldale during a hot summers day in 2010. A red squirell even came cout and watched. My wife took some pictures of the event, but she would not take the plunge. Can’t think why, it’s a brilliant place for a wild swim.

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