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Heading out across Thirlmere

Yodare Islands of the Week 22 – Thirlmere

Thirlmere sits in the heart of the Lake District Cumbria . Originally a natural lake which had a narrow fordable “waist” Thirlmere was transformed in the 1890s by the construction of a 104ft high dam wall at the northern end of the lake. This resulted in the settlements of Armboth and Wythburn being submerged along with the original lake. The reservoir was created to support the water needs of Manchester and eventually two aquaducts provided up to 20 million gallons a day from Thirlmere to support the growing needs of Manchester. The reservoir is currently undergoing works to enable it to provide a water supply for West Cumbria and is already supplying Keswick.

Thirlmere has two islands,  Deergarth How island and Hawes How Island. It remains one of the least sailed lakes due to the difficult access along the Western shore and its gusty winds funneled up the valley leading to Wythburn. The towering presence of Helvellyn gives it a moody wild feel, especially when the weather is grey. My first attempt to sail here was foiled by road closures, but when I eventually made it round the islands it was a magical experience.

Here’s a sort clip of sailing round Thirlmere’s two islands…