Sun 8th Aug, 2021

Wild Swimming Weekender: Eskdale

Virginia Castick

Members Virginia Castick  John Castick  Michelle Harvie  Mark Garrod  Kate Harvey  Joanne Heslop  OI Ding Koi  Mark Ashley  Linda Batey  Christine Beeston  Dave Shotton  Al Metelko Trish Cranston

Guests  Clive  Mark Heslop  Rosie Heslop  Hannah Heslop  Neil Boynton

Considering the weather forecast and the slashing and persistent rain in Manchester on Sunday morning, I was amazed and delighted at the turnout of18 people in Staveley Mill yard by 10.30. The sun was shining a bit and a light breeze blowing. What a lot of chatter and excitement as we met each other for the first time in 17 months. Coffee consumed, sandwiches bought and new boots purchased by Mark A, off we set . There was a major pause after the first 200m as someone took a wrong turning before we had even left the Mill yard. Order Restored, the chatter continued apace as we ascended to the first Potter Tarn . Rosie, with her new map and compass did a great job with the complex valley navigation and we were soon at the tarn . Ding and Kate took a shorter route but met us at the tarn. It was lovely to see Ding able to get out despite still being restricted in what she can do. It was a bit breezy and some light drizzle but the KMC swimmers are never put off and much to the bemusement of some nearby ramblers we stripped off and swam across this quite small tarn. The temperature had dropped from about 24 degrees when I reccied the route 2 weeks before to about 17 degrees. As it was a short distance to the next tarn it hardly seemed worth changing so in various states of undress and odd combinations of clothes we walked the 10 minutes to the next tarn, Gurnal Dubs. No one (other than me and John) had been here before and were delighted to find a partly man made largeish tarn with a boathouse to shelter behind in a wonderful setting. More swimming about followed by lunch took place.

Needing to warm up a bit we set off for the obscure but cairned summit of Allgrave. There were views down Longsledale, across to Morecambe Bay and the clouds over the Langdale pikes. It’s amazing how much time swimming and chatting takes so the next planned summit was missed out and we retraced our steps back to Staveley in order to get there before Wilf’s Cafe shut. We got there in good time for tea and cakes to round off a lovely day with very little rain and wonderful company. We only walked 6 miles but who cares, after what we have all been through, just being out without restriction with our friends was what we all we needed. Thank you those who came for giving me the best day out for ages.

Midge Castick

Virginia Castick

Meet Promo:

Wild Swimming Meet Sunday 8th Aug

Due to the meet being moved to the weekend of the 6th Aug [school holidays] it will have to be a day meet as there will be no campsites available. Instead we will start at Wilf’s Cafe, Staveley Mill Yard, Staveley just off the A591 between Kendal and Windermere. The 2 targeted swims are Potter Tarn and Gurnal Dubs less than 3km as the crow flies ENE of Staveley. They are lovely quiet tarns, no weeds, mud or other horrors at least there weren’t last time I was there. After that we may walk across wild CROW land to Skeggleswater where the swimming may not be possible as, although it is very attractive to look at, there were reeds all the way round. Back at Staveley Wilf’s Café has to be visited, the best café in the Lake District.

Start time 10.30, park in the Mill yard itself [can be busy] or find a roadside alternative nearby. It will take you about an hour and half depending on which side of Manchester you are coming from.

Cossies, towel and swimming footwear needed. Hot drink and a warm jacket are advised as well as your usual walking stuff. Non swimming hangers on are, of course, welcome. No need to book, just turn up if the weather looks good although a phone call/message to say you might attend would be helpful.

Virginia Castick

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