Length of Ullswater Swims

Colin Hill Swims has successfully guided over 100 solo swimmers

Ullswater (7 miles)

Ullswater should be in every long distance swimmers 'must do' list, one of the lesser swum lakes in the Lake District, this really is classic swim for every serious long distance swimmer.

We offer swims suited around you, we pick the best start time and direction based on the weather, or guides live in the Lake District and know about long distance swimming. 

Our service includes:

  • Colin Hill Swims’ Rib Boat & experienced pilot
  • Commemorative trophy
  • Live GPS Tracking
  • Post onto Colin Hill Swims’s Facebook page
  • Certificate


An observer is essential for your swim, and you can either bring your own support crew (max 3 people for a solo swimmer) or we can provide you with an observer to monitor your stroke rate, manager your feeds etc for approx £80 (one way & £120 two-ways).

Swim dates and times

We operate guided swims between May and October when the water temperature is typically between 14 and 20 degrees. The warmest water in the last 2 years has been July, but this by no means is guaranteed! Our swims start at 6 or 7am when the lake is at its quietest enabling the swimmer to make good progress before the commercial ferries begin operating and other motorised vessels operate.

Assessment swims for channel swimming

There are strict criteria for these assessment swims by the CS & PF and CSA. Please check requirements with your channel swimming provider and we will operate the swim to your requirements.

Additional swimmers

It is possible to have more than one swimmer guided, and you can book this through the entry system. Swimmers should either be the same pace or form a relay team. For swimmers of different paces we recommend booking individual swims (you want to enjoy your swim).

Is there a time limit?

There is no time limit within which to complete your swim. Typically swimmers complete the one-way length of Ullswater in 3 to 7 hours . However, for safety reasons of the pilot and swimmer, if the swimmer is expected to take greater than 14 hours on a two way swim, an additional boat pilot will be required - details of this will be provided if required.

Contingency days

We book a maximum of 3 swims per week to allow for moving swims in case of adverse weather, and to balance with our other projects. In 2019, only one swim changed day due to adverse weather. If the forecast is looking bad we will contact you in the week prior to your swim to discuss options. Please train in all weathers, as it will only be if there are sustained high winds that we are unable to operate on your booked day. Rain doesn't stop a swim, the crew just get soggy too!


Please contact us for exact price based on your swim type (one-way solo £350, one-way two swimmers £400, two-way solo £470, two-way two swimmers + £520).  Support person (to provide feeds, take photos etc) - you can bring your own support person or we can provide one for £100 one-way  (there must be a support person on the boat).

How to book your swim

Contact Colin Hill Swims now to check what days we have left for the 2020 season!  Current planned swim dates June 1st, 22nd, 29th.  August 3rd, 17th.  Sept 7th, 14th.  More dates will become available.

Medical certification

A swim of this nature can place a great deal of stress on the body, and all swimmers are required to undergo a medical examination prior to their swim.