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" DW2 - Derwent Walk and a Canoe Challenge "

Date & start time: Tuesday 5th April 2016, 2.15pm.

Location of Start : Derwent Water Marine, Portinscale, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 253 232 )

Places visited : Derwent Water Lakeside Path towards Brandlehow and back.

Walk details :    4.2 mls, 275 feet of ascent,  3 hours 20 mins.

Highest point : Meeting up with the boys as planned.

Walked with : Catherine, Matt, Sam and Alexander, Ann

                            and our dogs, Boris, Bilbo, Harry and Dylan.

Weather : Overcast and dry, cool but not cold.

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It is the second week of Easter and some of our eldest daughter Cathy's family are up in the Lake District.

Alexander, Sam and Cathy are over for a few days during their half term holiday.

[ Matt joined us on the Monday evening after travelling over from Durham, where he is studying at university.]

Myself, Alexander, Sam and Cathy with Ann (the photographer) making a cameo appearance behind.

Along with them came Boris (the darker  English Springer spaniel) and Bilbo (the lighter brown Welsh Springer spaniel).

They are great company for each other, just like our two . . .
. . . and often entertain each other in a style that dogs do best.

Put all four dogs in the same room and add a bag of toys and there's never a dull moment.

A photo with four dogs all pulling on the same toy couldn't be staged . . . it just happened.

The battle now on between just two . . . Harry standing back as referee.

" The Victor " celebrated by carrying away the prize.

- - - o o o - - -

After the Monday which was peppered by April showers, the weather on Tuesday seemed settled enough

for the two older boys to hire a Canadian canoe for a trip on Derwent Water.

We went over in the afternoon in an attempt to find them and also to watch their progress round the lake.

Derwent Water Marina offers boat hire, including canoes.

Both Matt and Sam are competent canoeists, having done quite a lot at school in recent years.  Last year Matt tried and completed the Devises to

Westminster (DW) Challenge with his year group.  This year it was Sam's turn and all went well till Storm Katie curtailed their paddle on the final day. 

The detail of his challenge  . . .

The Devizes to Westminster Canoe Marathon is an endurance race that starts in Devizes in Wiltshire and finishes just downstream of Westminster Bridge, opposite the Houses of Parliament and it has been held annually over the Easter Weekend since 1948. The 125 mile-long route is peppered with 77 portages when paddlers lift their boats (and themselves) out of the water, run around the obstruction such as weir, dam or lock, and promptly get back into their craft and the river to continue on their way.

The first 52 miles are along the Kennet and Avon Canal to Reading, the next 55 miles are on the River Thames to Teddington and the final 17 mile section is on the tidal portion of the Thames. According to the official DW website “The race is a severe test of skill, physical and mental stamina and planning which produces a memorable sense of achievement for those successfully completing it”.

Things didn’t go entirely to plan this year and many will be aware that the four-stage race was stopped at the end of day three, 17 miles short of Westminster, due to the ravages of Storm Katie. Conditions on Sunday were hugely challenging and the decision was made to curtail the race due to safety concerns.

A start in sunnier weather . . .
. . . Sam and Tom on their way.

Photos courtesy of the Royal Hospital School website where you can find more pictures and full details about this year's event.

- - - o o o - - -

Sam wanted to "finish the course" by paddling the last 17 miles so Derwent Water (DW2) seemed like an obvious place to try for it.


With  brother Matt helping out today

instead of Sam's school buddy Tom,

the two set out onto the lake.


Hold your cursor over the left hand picture

to see them warming up !

( Photos by Sam and Matt.)

- - - o o o - - -

Meanwhile back at home we had a leisurely lunch and drove over an hour or so later to check their progress.

We start our search . . . and our walk . . . at the Derwent Marina too.

No sign of the boys but a mobile phone call establishes that they are doing well

and have completed one and a bit circuits of Derwent Water. 

It is about six or seven miles round depending how close you keep to the shoreline.

Their progress is being monitored by my Gps watch which I have rashly lent them for the afternoon !

We were hoping for a lakeside path but had to set off up the road to Nichol End Marina as the shoreline is inaccessible at this point.

Leaving the road, we headed up into Overside Wood.
A colourful family group of cyclists continue on the road below.

Ours is the Cumbrian Way path that will follow the shoreline all the way to Grange in Borrowdale.

A muddy path takes us on through the woods.

The track follows around the back of the Lingholm Estate.

Soon Lingholm will be opening a new tearoom and visitor attraction . . . the date hopefully will be in June this year (2016).

Over the bank is the rooftop of Lingholm . . . soon to be a visitor destination in itself.

It will be an interesting attraction as the estate provided the inspiration of Mr McGregor's Garden for Beatrix Potter's books.

In the ground of the estate there is work being done.

Alexander stands by the silent machine . . . but I have to move him away from the big JCB badge before the shutter is pressed.

Got to keep up the photographic standards !

Hope for an early view of the lake is still denied as the path continues around the back of the estate.

An open field allows us a view of Catbells . . . but there are trees ahead once again.

Finally after crossing the Derwent Bay driveway we follow the path down to the lake.

Ahead is the Hawse End jetty.

There we find two sisters enjoying a dip in the water.

It must be said that they were wearing wet suits and canoe gear in order to keep warm.

The swans were not impressed and move away down the lake.

No sign of the boys yet so we continue on around the lakeside.

There's an amazing fallen tree on the water's edge . . . still thriving despite its horizontal aspect.

The roots have been exposed by the waves of the lake

but survive to form a roof that Alexander can clamber underneath.

Chance to stop and enjoy the location.

The next jetty is Low Brandelhow but it is out of action due to flood damage.

At last our heroes come into view . . . paddling well on the start of their third round of the lake.

Zooming in on the canoe as it passes in front of Derwent Island.

We catch their attention and they paddle closer to the pier.

Head down . . . going well.

Hold your cursor over the picture to see the smile !

The final leg need not be a cpmplete round . . . so the end is in sight.

They'll turn round and head back up to Derwent Marina once around the corner.

On the headland is the National Trust sculpture . . . so we walk the short distance to see it.

The cupped hands, made from a huge tree trunk, are a symbol of care and protection.

Okay . . . you want a photo to remember the occasion.

With alittle help from the side of my shoe

I managed to scrape away the mud

to reveal the inscription . . .


" For Ever for Everyone "

Brandelhow Bay.

This is where we turn around . . . but we have a look around before we leave.

Brandelhow House and distant Glaramara.

Castle Crag is just overtopping the trees in the middle distance.

Lodore Hotel and the ravine that holds the Lodore Falls.

Lord's Island in the sunshine.

The grand lawn on Derwent Island also catching the sunshine.

With the ferry fast approaching

we have the opportunity to catch the boat

back to Derwent Marina

to avoid the long woodland walk.


- - - o o o - - -


Back past the Low Brandelhow jetty


No chance of that being a stopping point

so back to Hawse End.

We get back in time but sadly they are not stopping at Nichol End today either.

The boat is returning direct to Keswick so we have to pass on an easy return boat ride.

- - - o o o - - -

A brief glimpse of Lingholm over the wall on the return walk.


Meanwhile the boys have returned to the marina

and have handed back the boat.

They had their photo kindly taken by the staff there.


The Gps has clocked the 17 miles Sam needed

to 'complete' the D W course.


We christened it the 'DW2'  today.

" Devises to Westminster and Derwen t'Water "

. . . an excellent result.

- - - o o o - - -

Dear Roger,

We saw the hands being carved on October 16th 2002 by a man called John Merrill he had also carved some beautiful Acorns to be held in them but as far as we know they were never put in them

We saw the tree planting and all the people were in period dress to commemorate the 100 years since Brandelhow Bay being bought by the National Trust

Our house is called Brandelhow as it is a favourite spot of ours.we love your web site.  We met you last June in Fishers.

Best Wishes, Delia

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, or my Canon 1100D Digital SLR.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . enough water to fill the lakes.

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Previous walk - 2nd/3rd April 2016 - Stanbrook and a local Dog Walk

A previous time up here - 4th March 2013 - Keswick Canoe and Bushcraft

Next walk - 10th April 2016 - Whin Ben with Harry