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With the UK currently basking in glorious sunshine, thoughts have inevitably turned to keeping cool in the heat, and what better way than taking a dip in sparkling wild waters? Boutique accommodation specialists i-escape.com have trawled through their vast collection of hip hideaways to reveal some of the best ‘Paddler Pads’ in the UK and further afield: waterside lodges, B&Bs and cottages offering the perfect place to cool down in a hot spell.
From a romantic Lake District boathouse to a rustic riverside B&B in the Italian Lakes, thatched casitas overlooking Mexican lagunas to UK island paradises, this collection offers the ideal tonic for the heady summer heat. Prices start from just £47 per room per night, with some highlights below.
Natural swimming pools near Lake Garda - La Finestra Sul Fiume, Italy
Between Lake Garda and Verona, this rustic yet charming B&B has an enchanting riverside setting with beautiful gardens, delicious breakfasts and welcoming hosts. Comfort is top of the agenda, and in summer a section of the river is closed off to create a natural pool –swim or simply laze in a hammock on the bank.
Prices start from £111 per room per night, based on 2 sharing an Iris room on a B&B basis.
Romantic boathouse - The Boathouse at Knotts End, northern England
The ultimate romantic escape, this little bolthole is tucked away on its own private lakeshore on Ullswater in the stunning Lake District. Sleeping just 2, the boathouse benefits from uninterrupted views over the water, which you can explore in your private rowing boat or jump in for a dip!
Prices start from £285 per night, based on 2 sharing the house on an accommodation-only basis.
Luxurious eco-lodge accessible only by water - Laguna Lodge, Guatemala
Hidden high in the Guatemalan forest and sacred to the local Maya, Lake Atitlán’s jade waters lap just steps from this stylish eco-lodge, which benefits from stunning views, an excellent spa and exemplary vegetarian food. It’s only accessible by boat (guests use water taxis to get around), and you can explore by wild swimming or by borrowing the hotel’s kayak and snorkelling equipment.
Prices start from £141 per room per night, based on 2 sharing a Deluxe Suite on a B&B basis.
Turquoise waters and deserted beaches - Sea Garden Cottages, Isles of Scilly
You’d be forgiven for mistaking the shimmering blue waters running alongside this cluster of comfy cottages for the Mediterranean, but they’re actually right here in the UK, on the idyllic car-free Scilly isle of Tresco. Off the Cornish coast, with sea views, a sailing school and a restaurant, this is a dream British escape - empty white-sand beaches are just steps from your door.
Prices start from £231 per cottage per night on an accommodation-only basis.
Wild swimming in a beautiful laguna - Rancho Encantado, Mexico
This budget eco-resort has spacious thatched casitas and is set in verdant gardens, overlooking the unfeasibly blue waters of Laguna Bacalar. Found in the southeast of Mexico’s Yucatán and surrounded by wild jungle, the romantic lakeside casitas have beautiful local crafts and sparkling vistas. Spend time wild swimming, kayaking and taking boat trips, or travel 30 minutes to swim in a 100m-deep natural well.
Prices start from £47 per room per night, based on 2 sharing a Garden Casita on a B&B basis.
Other properties in i-escape’s ‘Paddler Pads’ collection include waterfront Palazzo Radomiri in Montenegro (complete with private jetty and free kayaks), idyllic riverside Pacuare Lodge in Costa Rica (perfect for white-water rafting), and ultra-chic Cocoa Island in the Maldives (with stilted boat-rooms allowing you to swim straight from your private sundeck).