Lady of the Lakes

Lancashire Life|July 2020

Lady of the Lakes
A love of open water swimming and a desire to help more people share its joys prompted Suzanna Cruickshank to write a wild swimming book
Emma Mayoh

Lockdown for Suzanna Cruickshank, like so many, has meant cutting back. Not only on spending because her business has been put on hold due to the global pandemic, but it has also meant a veto on one of the things she loves the most – wild swimming.

The waters at Buttermere, Crummock Water and Blea Tarn, among many others, are the places she goes to relax and take time out. Those are the places that have welcomed her after a challenging day or a much-needed release after a busy week have been off-limits.

‘I have missed being able to get out there a lot,’ says Suzanna. ‘Even now things are starting to ease a little, I’m still very mindful of how often I swim. The times I have managed a dip have been very special, there has been that extra appreciation of them, those small moments of swimming joy.’

Suzanna used to spend her working days in the hospitality industry at places like the award-winning Cottage in the Wood in Whinlatter with her spare time spent walking the fells. But when she had her first dip in Derwent Water, everything changed.

‘I came to the Lakes and fell in love with it,’ says Suzanna, who made the permanent move from Coventry to Keswick in 2009. ‘Growing up in a city I never had an outdoorsy childhood, I wanted to explore everything.

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July 2020