Lake District Sporting Events

Open water swimming in Lake Windermere and Lake District wide

Open water, or wild, swimming is becoming a highly popular pastime in the United Kingdom. With lakes, tarns and waters, the Lake District is naturally the ideal place for open water swimming. Choose to tackle the biggie of Lake Windermere or start out in Blea Tarn with stunning views of the Langdale Pikes.

Open water swimmers are taking to the bodies of water in the Lake District on a weekly basis and after work in the summer months. As well as simply leisure open swimming there are also organised races, the biggest of which are the Chill Swim series of events. Taking place either in Coniston Water or Lake Windermere, the 4 events during the year are highly regarded and always a sell out of entries. Choose between the Coniston End to End in September, the Windermere Cross Lake Swim, the Boxing Day Dip in Windermere or the largest event, the Big Chill Swim.

wild swim lake district brimstone
Whether it’s part of a triathlon or simply just to feel at one with the water, nature and the Lake District landscape, it’s most definitely tipped to be one the must try activities this year and beyond. See the Lake District from a different perspective whilst in the water at of course, at the same time, keeping fit. There’s nothing like cold water for muscle rejuvenation too, just remember the wet suit!

After the adventure in the water, head to some warm and luxurious surroundings such as the Brimstone Hotel on the Langdale Estate. There they love a bit of adventure and fully embrace what there is on the doorstep. But everyone loves a spot of luxury don’t they and at Brimstone it can be found in abundance. Their suites can only be booked direct and are well worth a treat. Visit for more information.

Ambleside Sports only a month away

We’re combining sports with travel in this post, quite apt for this blog really!

One of the biggest sporting days in Cumbria and which has been for years now is Ambleside Sports, “The Traditional Lakeland Sports” which has been held in its current location of Rydal Park since 1946. Its history and tradition cannot be disputed with both visitors and locals alike flocking on the last Thursday of July each year to witness or participate in the huge variety of events. This years event takes place on Thursday July 31st.

A total of 45 events make up Ambleside Sports so for spectators there is a huge amount to watch. The events fall into 5 categories, Fell, Track, Cycling, Hounds and Wrestling with youth to senior classes within each (even in the hounds!) and both male and female.

ambleside sports

4 of the many events at Ambleside Sports

Fell racing, hound trailing and of course Cumberland & Westmorland wrestling are events most traditional sports days will not include. Cumberland & Westmorland wrestling for example if thought to date back 1000 years introduced by the Vikings. Hound trails feature highly in nearly every Cumbrian show or sporting event and if you’ve never witnessed these amazing animals in full flight then it really is a must to watch. Fell racing, well Cumbria is home to some of the country’s best fell runners and the last Thursday in July brings most of them together. Fell running is not just about running up hill but also the nerve of the steep descents.

Along with the plethora of sports there are also trade stands including Made in Cumbria crafts, food stalls, a BBQ and a licensed marquee. The large tented area means whatever the weather, spectators are “covered”!

ambleside sports rydal park

Rydal Park, home of Ambleside Sports

With Rydal Park being just half a mile from Ambleside, it is such an ideal location for those visiting from out of the county. Ambleside is sure to be buzzing on sports day with the athletes as well as the extra visitors. Accommodation is booking up fast as it is also the school summer holidays but Rothay GarthAmbleside have a small amount of availability during that week and at a very affordable rate. Click here for more details.

For complete information on Ambleside Sports, visit their website here

Don’t be sheepish; sign up for the Herdwick 10k on Saturday 5th July!

Less than 3 weeks away is this new race organised by The Great Langdale Road Races which is in support of local Herdwick farmers. A few other organisations will be working in conjunction with The Great Langdale Road Races to organise this event, Herdwick Breeders Association, Princes Countryside Fund, Taste Cumbria, Herdy Company, Cumbria Life and the Langdale Gala. In a variety of ways, these businesses and organisations support Herdwick farmers knowing how tough it can be for them but what an amazing product it is and so important to Cumbria.

With up to 500 entrants, it should be a quite a spectacle especially as sheep themed fancy dress is welcomed! Each runner will receive free entry to the Langdale Gala the following day, a Herdy Company china mug and refreshments from More! the artisan bakery. At just £13 for runners attached to a club and £15 for non attached runners it is well worth donning the running shoes.

herdwick langdale 10k run

Herdwick 10k Run – Langdale Saturday 5th July 2014

Great gifts aside, what better place for a 10k run than the Langdale Valley? The races organised throughout the year by The Great Langdale Road Races are arguably some of the most scenic in the UK. This 10k being in (hopefully) sunny summer, in the Langdale Valley and supporting the local Herdwick farmers is sure to be a great race and even great for spectators.

If you’re feeling super fit then the Langdale Gala on the Sunday has fell races as well as Cumbrian wrestling and children’s races and activities. It is well worth going along to and again, this event raises money for a variety of local community projects and organisations.

There are self catering and hotel options at the nearby Langdale Hotel who are also supporters and friends of Great Langdale Road Races and the Langdale Gala.

More information on the Herdwick 10k click here and for the Langdale Gala, here.