Chris Chapman Tour of Britain Competition winner
The following guest blog was written by Chris Chapman a competition winner who won a 2 night break a Low Wood Bay and the opportunity to follow the race in one of the official Tour of Britain Race cars as the race passed through Cumbria in September.
Monday morning early and I’m in the car travelling across the fells to Carlisle. The riders are signing on as I arrive. This is where my involvement with the race would normally end but today is different. Thanks to my competition prize I am a passenger in one of the official cars leading out the riders through the streets of Carlisle. Then we head out towards the west; police motorcyclists zooming ahead to control the traffic, team cars with racks of bikes on their roofs, cameramen on motorbikes, all part of the cavalcade.
Then the rain started; driving soaking rain with a whipping wind off the sea. Did it deter the spectators? No chance! Full marks to the people of Cumbria for turning out in their thousands to cheer on the cyclists. Such enthusiasm – even a passenger like me in the official car got the treatment, and my arms got tired with waving to cheering crowds as if I was royalty. The school children were out in force; from the tiny tots in their matching hi-viz vests, smiling and waving, right through to the senior pupils, enjoying the occasion and undaunted by the driving rain. Continue reading
The OnBoard scheme was originally set up by the RYA, with the official aim of introducing half a million children to sailing and windsurfing within a ten-year period. At Low Wood Bay Watersports we have been a part of the scheme and running our OnBoard sailing evenings for the last four years.
We started by offering six children from The Lakes School a ‘learn to sail’ course over six Wednesday evenings. On completion of the course the young people were then eligible to join the official OnBoard club on Friday evenings. Right from the start the scheme was a great success to the point where we have many more youths wanting to sail than boats to put them in!
Another successful OnBoard season draws to a close at Low Wood Watersports Centre
“I think sailing at Low Wood is fun – we really enjoy ourselves. Sometime we get the responsibility of handling the boat on our own which I really like”. Louis
Sailing and windsurfing provide a wide range of educational, personal and health benefits. Not only do the young people gain knowledge of fitness and health, but it develops their personal and social communications skills. They learn to apply specific skills and tactics and manage risk and have an adventure within a safe environment. All this, and barrels of fun that they enjoy individually and as a group!
Gary Lanigan who runs the Low Wood Watersports OnBoard scheme said, “It is priviledge to take the young people on the water and watch them develop new skills that will remain with them for the rest of their life.”
The OnBoard crew enjoying the freedom of Lake Windermere
“I really like sailing at the Low Wood – its fun and I have learnt how to sail a Pico on my own. It’s great because we get to capsize safely! We get to have fun with lots of new people”. Luca
1. What’s in a Name?
The name ‘Windermere’ is made up of two words, ‘mere’ the Old English word for a body of water and the old Norse name ‘Vinandr’. We do not know who this character Vinandr was, but presumably somebody with a rather large ego who looked out over the lake one day and decided it belonged to him. Guests at Low Wood Bay and Waterhead can readily enjoy Vinandr’s view in a more civilized way over a nice glass of Chardonnay!
Windermere, Lake District (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
2. Fluffy grey sheep
Another inheritance from our Viking forefathers are the grey sheep that you will see dotted around the fells. These are the now native Cumbrian Herdwick sheep prized for their robust health and their ability to live solely on forage. The wool quality has unique qualities relating to durability – thick bristle type fibres forming a protective barrier layer in blizzards. They have been known to survive under a blanket of snow for three days while eating their own wool! Continue reading