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
We’ve been hiring motor boats on Windermere since 1984 here at Low Wood Bay Watersports Centre. Our brand new Kruger beta two will be the best boats on the Lake and we enlisted the help of our Facebook and Twitter followers to help name the new fleet of six boats.
The new Kruger beta two motorboat in our workshop awaiting its new name
Now that the entries are in, the judges have had a hard decision sifting through all of the entries. One entry which the judges really liked came from Michelle Miles who submitted “Sam” because Sam the dog is our children’s mascot for Sam’s Club. Sam is also Michelle’s eldest son’s name. Continue reading
Opened in 1797 the Lune Aqueduct carries the Lancaster Canal over the river Lune
In the mid-18th century Lancaster was a prosperous port but this was threatened as ships grew in size making navigating up the River Lune difficult. Whilst the port at Liverpool in the south was flourishing, the future of the ports of Lancaster and Milnthorpe was in doubt. In an effort to re-invigorate trade, the merchants proposed building a canal which would start at Kendal and run almost due south through Lancaster, to Preston. Initially the scheme did not attract support in the town but eventually in 1770, a group determined to put Lancaster on the canal map won out and John Rennie was asked to survey the canal. Continue reading
Routemaster Bus at Low Wood Bay
One of the most iconic symbols of the City of London’s transport network, the ‘London Red Bus’ was originally launched in 1956 and became famous for its open rear platform, two man operation and distinctive bright red colour.
The majority of the Routemaster buses were in service for over 25 years, in what is classed by many as the heyday years of London Transport. This bus, the RML model, was originally built down the road in Leyland, Lancashire. It had been sat in a Stagecoach depot for many years once it had been retired from operation by London Transport. The team at Stagecoach lovingly restored the bus to bring it back to operation preserving many of its original features. Continue reading
From High Heels to High Hills: One Woman Walking the Lake District – in Her Own Style
It was the cover of this sassy book that first caught my attention and captured my imagination. I had toyed with the idea of packing a day sack and heading to the hills for some months but always stopped just short of planning a route. I’m not sure if that was because it was just easier to enjoy the view across Lake Windermere and the hills beyond on the drive to work but, more likely, a lack of confidence fuelled by the many thoughts that assailed my mind – ‘you are not outdoorsy enough’; ‘you will get lost and end up having to call out mountain rescue’; ‘people like you should stick to tea rooms and garden centres’.
Whatever the reason, my interest was piqued by the pair of spotty red, white and blue Dune stilettos (mud photo-shopped on!) pointing resolutely towards a magnificent Lakeland mountain scene and taking centre stage on the cover of From High Heels to High Hills. Tanya Oliver was obviously a lady after my own heart! Continue reading