Swallows and Amazons fantasy becomes reality for swimmers

Fans of Arthur Ransome’s classic Lakes’ story Swallows and Amazons will have a chance to live the adventure for themselves next summer.

Ambleside-based Swim the Lakes are hosting a weekend activity holiday which includes a sail on “Captain Flint’s houseboat” and a swim to Wild Cat Island.


The base for the weekend is Low Bank Ground on the shores of Coniston, next to the house, “Holly Howe” where Ransome’s family of “Swallows” spent their summers.

The itinerary combines fantasy with reality, exploring the “Amazon river” and “Octopus lagoon” on Coniston as well as a picnic of grog and pemmican on Wild Cat island itself.

There will also be a film night to set the scene, showing the original movie version of Swallows and Amazons.

“This is a venture we couldn’t resist, especially with the release of the new film this summer,” said organiser Andrea Kelly.


“There is still so much interest in these classic stories and their tales of real adventures, and we have been thrilled by the response from swimmers who are Ransome fans.”

Ransome published Swallows and Amazons in 1930 and followed it with a series of books also set in the Lake District, with a fictional geography based on a combination of Coniston and Windermere. Devotees make pilgrimages to the island – real name, Peel Island – on Coniston every summer, and the model for Holly Howe, High Bank Ground Farm, has a Swallows and Amazons tearoom.

“It’s a chance for the young at heart to lose themselves in a world of campfires, wooden boats, secret harbours and hidden lagoons, while having the experience of swimming in one of the loveliest of lakes,” said Andrea.

The holiday, next August, is suitable for those over 18 who are confident swimming in open water and can comfortably swim at least 2 km in open water  (such as open lakes and sea). A moderate fitness level is needed as there will be some walking and “boarding of boats” involved.

Meals and accommodation are included in the package.

For more information visit http://www.swimthelakes.co.uk/product/swallows-amazons-wild-swimming-adventure/or call 015394 33826


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