Cumbria Crack

Rowing tourism takes off on Derwentwater

A Liverpool university eight on Derwentwater. By David Thomas
A Liverpool university eight on Derwentwater. By David Thomas

[D]erwentwater is fast becoming the destination of choice for a new breed of sporting tourists, filling beds in hostels and bringing a revenue boost to the area.

Thanks to the marketing efforts of Portinscale-based Lakeland Rowing Club, top oarsmen and women from around the country are flocking to the lake to train.

David Thomas, the club’s development officer, said: “We’ve been working hard to attract more rowing tourism to the lake and are delighted with the results so far. Visiting clubs love Derwentwater because it’s a much longer, wider expanse of water than they usually have access to, the scenery is glorious and there’s an excellent choice of reasonably priced accommodation.

“They make a really impressive sight racing up and down in their eights, and visitors and locals enjoy watching them. We get lots of positive comments and photos from people who’ve been up on the fells and seen them.”

So far this year, Lakeland RC has hosted Oxford University colleges New and St Catherine’s, York City RC and, most recently, Liverpool University. Between them, the four clubs spent over 400 bed nights at the Hawse End Centre and Derwentwater Independent Hostel.

Lakeland puts visiting crews in touch with accommodation providers, briefs them on times and places to enjoy the best water and provides safety boat support.

Liverpool University BC stayed at the Derwentwater hostel for a week over Easter. Club president Nicolas Cerulus said: “Everyone really enjoyed it. We had excellent support from Lakeland, particularly their launch drivers, the lake was wonderful and the hostel and food were great.”

David Thomas added: “We’re looking forward to hosting many more training camps in the future. The proceeds from hiring out our launch make a welcome addition to our new club site fund.”

Anyone interested in learning or returning to row can visit or search for Lakeland Rowing Club on Facebook.

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