• Hatch Dscn1234

A relatively shallow, warm 300m’long lake in the nationally important wildlife area of Delamere Forest. A grassy area next to the B road leads to small reed-lined bays and shallows. The lake deepens to about 3m with plenty of room for a long swim. Be respectful to fishermen.

Place Categories: Lake Swims and Wild Swim.Place Tags: paddle, swim and wildswimming.

Myron says:

Absolutely awesome. Because of the short hike it does not seem to be overrun by humans. 🙂

About 3 meters from the north west wall the depth gets to about 4 meters. From the south of the dam to about half way across the depth is about 2 meters. I’m nearly 1.8 meters tall and from the south of Gaddings Dam I can walk out nearly half way before I have to swim or float.

Unless you’re cold acclimatised, a wetsuit is advised. During summer a 3mm flatlock stitched suit should do. If you might just be going to have a slow swim, maybe a 5mm suit boots and gloves would be an idea. Take a light weight rain proof jacket for when you get out of the water as even with a wetsuit on wind chill can be a major issue so a thin light-weight (like for cycling) rain proof jacket keeps the wind away and helps keep your body heat where you need it.

Please do respect the place and take your rubbish with you. Last time I went I ended up fishing a discarded bottle out of Gaddings.

(The web-site is not mine.)

Medusa says:

I used to swim across Hatchmere when I was a kid and it never did me any harm. Although I now have two heads and glow in the dark I am still extremely fit following my diet of walkers I find roaming in the Forest.

Jenny says:

I went to Hatchmere today and it is a beautiful small lake however no one else was swimming today. There was a tape across the entrance to the water and a sign saying there has been sightings of toxic blue green algae, so not to let your dogs in. We swam anyway as I know the appearance is that of a pea soup and we couldn’t see any. The water wasn’t that warm and not freezing, quite nice for a brief dip. And a lovely pub beside for after swimming snacks!

Gadget says:

Been to hatchmere a few times this year and love it, i only found this place earlier this year on a cycle ride with my cousins we had done 20 miles when we found hatchmere and it was a warmish april day. we ventured in and it was cool but nice. now we go almost every week at some point. my last visit was 1st aug 2013 and we found the water to be quite warm one other swimmer had measured the water temperature at 18c so just as warm as the UK sea waters at their warmest.

it does get quite busy at the weekend so if we go at the weekend we either go sunday morning or after 5pm, some of the crowds have gone home then.

josie says:

Went once after reading reviews, no where to sit ( a small patch of grass) Water freezing after 10 yards and not ‘clean’. It is on the side of an extremely fast road (very dangerous for kids) 80 pound fine if littering or caught with alcohol. (police do patrol this area constantly)

Over the past 15 years, 11 people have drowned in this lake. Living near to the area for 23 years I know exactly what has gone on! Loud, lairy people usually gather here leaving so much rubbish behind. How lovely for the house right next to lake…

Just to also let you know if you do go at any point, the whole lake is actually owned by a fishing company, so there is no way you are able to get onto to it to walk around, the bailiff will soon throw you off for trespassing. Rightly so!

Not a pleasurable experience what so ever.

Christopher says:

I go to Hatchmere lake with my family a lot and I think that people are mistaken about the water. The water may look unclean but I can tell you now it is very clean yes it has a small patch of grass but saying this the water is beautiful and can sometimes be cold but as I say the water is clean and is normally warm if you go in summer

April says:

I do not see how you could not enjoy this place, there is a place to sit as there is a huge log across specifically for seating. The water may be the bluest but it is clear enough to see through and when swimming the trees surrounding the lake are so beautiful and scenic you can forget where you are. I found the swim here so rejuvenating. Yes it is close to a ‘main’ road but this is due to the opening being next to a family pub (lovely place) which I personally think is good placement as it was lovely to visit after swimming.

The water can be cold but that is not down to the lake thats down to the time of year you go.

Wildswimmer Pete says:

The brown colour of the lake’s water is down to tannins leaching from the adjacent forest. Tannins are toxic to pathogens meaning the water is even more safe for swimming.

Yacov Lev says:

Sadly, there is no penalty for leaving rubbish on Internet Forums. Josie seems to have taken full advantage of this. Without going into details here are some facts:
Over the past 90 years there have been three drownings in the lake. What happened in the first, about 90 years ago, is not exactly known. However, Hatchmere veterans claim that it was due to a heart attack. The second, some years ago was a suicide. The most recent one, in July 2009 was caused by a heart failure. I attended the inquest and witnessed the pathologist tell the victim’s widow that ‘it could have happened anywhere. It had nothing to do with the fact that he was swimming at the time’.
Finally, the lake is owned by Cheshire Wildlife Trust (CWT) not a ‘fishing company’. A fishing club has the right to fish in it – nothing more. Furthermore, the lake was bought with public money – mainly granted by the Heritage Lottery Fund
The path round the lake is open to the public and swimming in the lake is allowed although CWT does not advise it.
Yacov Lev
Friends of Hathmere
A hairy loud man and a ‘tea totaller’ who regularly help keep the place tidy.

andrew says:

Loved ready your page and will be visiting the mere at some point to take in its waters

nice one!

Matt says:

I visited Hatchmere in early June. Just myself and my 4 year old son and a couple of nice families and cyclists where there. There was no litter, and the water was warm and clean. My 4 year old was swimming around in the water in his shorts and a wet suit top, whilst I was just in my shorts and it was fine once you were in.

I really do not imagine you would get groups of lads here drinking and jumping in, the small grassy area with the entrance to the lake is right next to a family pub and what is a relatively busy road.

I believe Josie is probably a local who wants the place to herself and is trying to put people off what is an idyllic beauty spot with great family friendly wild swimming.

greg says:

Very nice and quiet place for swimming and suntanning , water is wonderful and quite clean. But the place is very small , for around 20 – 30 people.

Profile pic Sky-Supertramp says:

First time I went wild swimming with my friend this weekend , the water was amazing a little murky but left us feeling rejuvenated. The floor of the lake was soft at the proposed swimming edge , then it lead on to small pebbles. We loved it , little fish were swimming around us for most of our swim. The only down fall is all around the rest of the lake was algae so we could only dive in and get out via the one designated part.

Candi BG says:

first wild swimming in the UK at Hatchmere this weekend, water warm and clean, but very peaty… what a treat!

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