Black Moss Pot in the Lake District

Rory Calland
Life Hop, Black Moss Pot

You don’t have to walk uphill to get a view in the Lakes, it’s just a matter of perspective. Some like to delve into the landscape more than they like to summit it and deep between the fells and crags of Cumbria are multitudes of rich valleys. Pursuing becks through these low passages around Borrowdale offers incredible views and can be a very rewarding exercise for wild swimmers.

Here the water forms deep pools known as tubs, dubs or pots. Black Moss Pot in the Langstrath Valley is one such pool and the rocks tower above the surface. Its reputation as a wild swimming heaven (and frankly, a skinny dipping hotspot) is well-earned, because here brave souls can safely leap from the outcrops and splash down without fear of rocks below the surface.

There’s plenty of other places to get in the beck along the valley – the shallows allow for a more sedate entry if the jump doesn’t appeal. There’s also lots more going on in this cauldron to keep swimmers entertained. For one thing, the water is peculiarly clear here. Away from the frothing waterfall at the top of the pot, the whole thing looks like it’s been filled straight from the tap. I’ve seen snorkelers taking a gander at the jutting rocky chasms under the water, and the vision down there is so good that you’ll be eye to eye with a trout before long.

Although the depth and shape of the pot makes jumping in possible, cold water shock is still the biggest risk of misadventure when doing this in any wild water. Having a paddle and gradually acclimatising your whole body to the temperature in an earlier stretch of water is good preparation for the leap of faith.

Langstrath ValleyKeswickCA12 5XQ View map
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Where to go near Black Moss Pot in the Lake District

Allan Bank, Grasmere, image courtesy of Visit Cumbria
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Dove Cottage, Grasmere, image courtesy of venue
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From book launches to writing groups to poetry nights, there’s always something going on at Wordsworth Grasmere.

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Next door to Dove Cottage, Wordsworth’s first family home, is the Wordsworth Museum, which houses an unsurpassed collection of the Wordsworths’ letters, journals and poems.

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