The six best areas across Cumbria to go for an outdoor swim have been revealed.

The locations were named in a new report on bathing water sites which has been published today (May 13) by the Environment Agency.

It comes ahead of the start of bathing water season, which starts this weekend (Saturday, May 15), with the Environment Agency carrying out regular testing of water quality of designated bathing sites until the end of September.

Throughout the bathing season the Environment Agency will issue warnings of any forecasted pollution risk on its Swimfo website, covering over 170 sites. Signs are also put up at these swimming locations to inform bathers about any possible dips in quality as a result of factors like rainfall, wind and high tides.

In the autumn the Environment Agency will publish its classifications – Sufficient, Good, Excellent or Poor – for each designated bathing water site.

Environment Agency Chair Emma Howard Boyd said: “High quality bathing waters benefit health and wellbeing and boost local economies. There were 135 million day visits taken to the seaside in England in 2019, which combined with overnight stays were worth £8.1 billion to the economy, so following the winter lockdown we have every reason to look forward to a Great British Summer this year.

“The high standards in bathing waters on the coast have taken significant investment and decades of hard graft. Now we’ll coordinate similar effort following the ground-breaking decision to designate a stretch of the River Wharfe as a bathing river. This will require collaboration and innovation to reduce pollution and improve the local environment. It will be difficult but should be achievable and provide learning we can apply to other rivers in the future.”

The six best places rated as ‘excellent’ for an outdoor swim in Cumbria - as named in the report, are:

  • Windermere, Lakeside YMCA
  • Windermere, Millerground Landing
  • Windermere, Rayrigg Meadow
  • Windermere, Fellfoot
  • St Bees
  • Silecroft

All the places for an outdoor swim in Cumbria are:

  • Allerdale - rated good
  • Seascale - rated good
  • St Bees - rated excellent
  • Walney, Sandy Gap - rated good
  • Walney, West Shore - rated good
  • Windermere, Fellfoot - rated excellent
  • Windermere, Lakeside YMCA - rated excellent
  • Windermere, Millerground Landing - rated excellent
  • Windermere, Rayrigg Meadow - rated excellent
  • Haverigg - rated sufficient
  • Silecroft - rated excellent
  • Walney, Biggar Bank - rated good