There’s nothing quite like relaxing to the sound of water gently lapping outside your window. But you don’t always need to be right by the sea or travel far from London to experience it. In fact, thanks to Infinity London, you can enjoy a dip in a 360-degree pool above a 55 storey building right on your doorstep. But if death-defying pools aren’t really for you and you’d prefer a spot of wild swimming instead, there are many places you can go for an amazing lakeside getaway just a couple of hours from London. Offering marvellous views over some of the country’s most beautiful lakes, rivers and harbours, you can find an array of places to stay by the water when you need to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
There’s something wonderfully refreshing about being by the water on a lakeside break. Spending time outside can boost your energy levels, improve your mood, and give you countless opportunities to enjoy a spot of wild swimming. Over 7.5 million Brits enjoy taking a dip in outdoor pools and open water. But while swimming in open water has huge benefits, there is an increased risk of drowning in natural settings. So make sure you check out the area first to be sure it’s safe for swimming, and confirm that you have access before you strip off and dive in. It’s important, too, to be confident in your swimming abilities before taking part in open water swimming.
Less than an hour from the capital is Brighton, where you’ll find a lovely pebble beach, Riveria-style boutique shopping, independent art galleries, fantastic bars and restaurants and a buzzing LGBT+ scene. While it’s ideal for topping up your Vitamin Sea levels, you can also head to one of the nearby lakes, including Falmer Pond, Swanbourne Lake, and Arlington Reservoir. Here you can enjoy a lovely stroll, feed the ducks, or take a dip if you dare.
Just 45 minutes by train from London King’s Cross is Cambridge. Once you’ve taken the customary stroll around the colleges and King’s Chapel, head to one of the city’s lakes or rivers for a lovely walk or a spot of punting. Cherry Hinton Brook is a great place to spot fish and other wildlife, while Cawcutts Lake is popular for fishing, with its impressive crayfish and carp population. If it’s open-water swimming you enjoy, Todd’s Pit and Dickerson’s Pit at Milton Country Park are the places to go where you can also take part in paddleboarding, canoeing and fishing.
When you need to take a break from the hustle and bustle of London life, there’s nothing better than venturing off to one of the UK’s lovely lakeside destinations. Whether you enjoy cycling, walking, fishing or wild swimming, or you just want to enjoy the fresh air, there are plenty of places to head to that are just an hour away from the capital.