Water works wonders

We all know blue spaces have an array of benefits for our mental and physical health, if you don’t know about these then head over and read my blog on how I discovered the benefits of blue spaces.

Recently I headed up to the Lake District to see family and took some time to relax in some stunning weather on the Lakes.

Our first trip took us out onto Crummock Water, a stunning body of water in the Northern Lakes surrounded by mountains and hills with crystal clear water.

For those of you wanting to paddle on Crummock yourselves then there are a couple of things to note. Firstly you need to purchase a permit from the National Trust (even if you have a British Canoeing or other licence) to take any craft onto the water. It costs £5 and a permit can be purchased from the near by National Trust car park at Buttermere (be aware you’ll need coins to buy a permit from the car parking machine it doesn’t take notes or cards). Secondly if paddling on the Lakes of Cumbria you MUST check, clean and dry your kit in between paddles to ensure you aren’t spreading bacteria and blue green algae between waters.

We had a glorious morning pootling about on our paddle boards, going from beach to beach and taking a dip in the refreshing water at each stop. During the week there was sad news of several deaths caused by cold water shock and drowning, this is a real danger for those of us enjoying the beautiful Lakes and something we should all take seriously. Make sure you acclimatise yourself to the water, especially when the air temperature is high, it may seem like a good idea to dive in and cool off but it can send your body into shock. Even though it may be a baking hot day the Lakes can still catch people unaware with strong currents below the surface and hidden obstructions it’s not always safe to dive straight in.

Later in the week we headed onto Bassenthwaite Lake for a sunset paddle. There are sixteen lakes in the Lake District, the largest being Windermere. Only one, Bassenthwaite Lake, is officially a lake by name, the others are meres or waters.

Water levels were low and there we plenty of people out enjoying the water from wild swimmers to kayakers all soaking up the last of the sun. For anyone wanting to paddle on Bass you must purchase a permit from the Lake District National Park Authority (even if you have a British Canoeing or other licence) this can be done via their website and is £7 for a day ticket. On Bassenthwaite there are 2 no boating zones marked by white topped posts on shoreline due to protect species in the nature reserves.

Bass is a beautiful place for a paddle being able to look up onto Skiddaw, Latrigg, Dodd, Whinlatter and Lord’s Seat and Barf it’s a truly lovely spot. Whilst we were paddling it was beautifully calm in the sheltered bays but the wind picked up as we crossed the centre of the Lake and the chop got up meaning we were more comfortable on our knees to paddle. It’s amazing how quickly the weather can change. We were well prepared and knew the wind was going to be no stronger than 8km before we set off, but it’s something many people can forget and get into difficult situations because of changing weather conditions.

Having had perfect weather for both of our paddles it meant we could really soak up the beauty of nature and the stunning landscapes we were surrounded by. It’s amazing the wonders water can work for you, I felt so tranquil being away from the hoards of people who we’d passed on the shores, to be immersed in nature just the two of us was spectacular. Leading quite a stressful working life it’s wonderful to be able to experience times like this on the water, to ground ourselves and press the reset button every so often.

Mental Health Awareness OS GetOutside Champion

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