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In May 2018, my book, Turning, is published by Virago. It traces a year I spent swimming in 52 lakes in Berlin and the surrounding countryside, trying to feel at home in a new country and hoping to recover from a rough patch in my life.

This collection features some of my favourite lakes from the book, as well as a few other gems I've since visited.

Jessica J. Lee


Swims in this collection

  1. Hellsee

    This quiet, winding, turquoise lake was the last lake I swam in my year of swimming 52 lakes. It's popular with anglers and weekend hikers....

  2. Mechesee

    A very small lake in the village of Lobetal. There is a small sand bank in the middle of the lake.

  3. Liepnitzsee

    This is one of the region's most popular lakes, and on a summer weekend is heaving with swimmers and locals. On weekday or in winter,...

  4. Kiessee

    On the west side of the lake there's a waterski line, but on the east side, screened by vegetation, it can be beautifully quiet. Very...

  5. Mühlenbeckersee

    A very 'wild', quiet forest lake - warm in summer as it's quite shallow. Toffee coloured water.

  6. Großer Lankesee

    A secluded and clear lake, popular with anglers. There is access from the south and west sides, via the forest trail.

  7. Stechlinsee

    A spectacularly clear lake with a complex history - formerly received cooling waters from the nuclear power plant at Rheinsberg (but it's safe! limnologists told...

  8. Roofensee

    Beautifully clear, still lake with access from the forest or the lovely Naturcampingplatz Roofensee.

  9. Bötzsee

    A glorious turquoise forest lake at the end of a long hike through the woods from Strausberg. Take the ferry across Straussee and then walk...

  10. Orankesee - WINTER SWIM

    The Berliner Seehunde meet at Oranksee every Sunday in winter at 10 am sharp - there's a membership fee but it's free for first-timers. It's...

  11. Weißer See

    A fairly run-of-the-mill city lake, but good for a quick dip.

  12. Helenesee

    Brilliantly clear, reclaimed lignite mine. There is a campsite on the north shore and it's fenced off. Access off the restricted trail on the west...

  13. Springsee

    A very quiet lake on a campsite. There's a military training base on the west side, just FYI.

  14. Zeesener See

    A long lake with a small Strandbad and dock on the west side (by Schulstraße, Zeesen). Marshy on the northeast side.

  15. Tornower See

    A deep, dark lake in a quiet village. Quiet in the off-season.

  16. Großer Däbersee

    A tree-lined, winding lake, this one reminds me of Canada. There's a Volksbad on the north shore with a friendly cafe, and there's a trail...

  17. Güterfelder Haussee

    A quiet lake in a suburban forest on the edge of the village of Güterfelde. Fairly easy to access, with a beach on the east...

  18. Schwielowsee

    A clear, sun-swept lake - perfect for a dip on a long bike ride around the lake (from Caputh, Einstein's summer village, you can go...

  19. Sacrower See

    One of the best "wild" lakes close to the city. Surrounded by forest, with turquoise water. Gorgeous swimming.

  20. Groß Glienicker See

    A historically-significant lake - the border between East and West used to run through the centre of the lake. There's a beach on the east...

  21. Schlachtensee

  22. Krumme Lanke

    A family-friendly, easily-accessible lake with very clean water and small terraced "beaches" for kids. Usually a rope-swing in summer too...

  23. Teufelsee

    A good stop off if you visit Teufelsberg. Very small but popular FKK/nudist lake.

  24. Seddiner See

    A wonderfully reed-lined big lake, superb in summer. A short bike ride from Bahnhof Seddin.

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