Derwentwater Regatta

Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th July 2016  10am – 4pm Crow Park, Derwentwater, Keswick

The first Derwentwater Regatta for 200 years was held on the lake last year and was such a success that the National Trust has organised another weekend of stone-skimming, boating and bathtub racing.

There’s a huge range of outdoor activities on offer, so there’s bound to be something you’ll want to try. Whether it’s family taster sessions in kayaks, a chance to build your own coracle or a motorised trip in a group around the lake, there are lots of ways to dip your toes into having fun on the lake. If you fancy a little more adventure you could have a go sailing a catamaran, a Viking Long Boat or sailing dingy.

The BBC’s forthcoming adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons, to be released on August 19 was filmed on Derwentwater. The book first published in 1930, tells the nautical adventures of the Walker children, John, Susan, Titty and Roger, their chums, Nancy and Peggy Blackett, and the Blacketts’ Uncle Jim, known as Captain Flint.

The sailing boats ‘Swallow’ and ‘Amazon’ that are featured in the film will be coming to the regatta on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 July, promoting the new film which is coming to cinemas across the UK from 19 August.

Ending the weekend on a thrilling high, adventurers can cheer on their favourite team, including one featuring the film’s producer Nick Barton, in the Swallows and Amazons Boat Race – a race using the real boats.

The regatta takes place at Crow Park, just beside Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake, and there are spectator sports for those who’d rather keep their feet dry. There’s a free family activity zone with miniature raft-making, stone skimming, catch a water minibeast, wild art and Jemima Puddleduck’s water play to mark Beatrix Potter’s 150th birthday. There are free sports and games to play including badminton, volleyball, frisbee golf and strider-bike races.

There’s also a traditional fairground, live music and drama from local community choirs and youth groups, a craft fair and living history demonstrations where children can become a ‘powder monkey’ in King George III’s navy, and have a go at loading and firing a mock ship’s gun.

The event is supported by many local businesses who are offering fabulous free and low cost watersport activities over the weekend. Some of the activities on offer are rowing, catamaran sailing and kayaking offered by the following businesses. www.keswickcanoeandbushcraft.co.uk , www.derwentwatermarina.co.uk and www.plattyplus.co.uk

Derwent Water Regatta was created by the eccentric landowner Joseph Pocklington (alias King Pocky) in the 1790s after he bought Derwent Island in 1778, and built a grand mansion and several follies.

He devised a series of madcap regatta activities on Derwent Water, with a fair on Crow Park for spectators to watch teams of people rowing, sailing and swimming around the island. The festivities would reach their climax with a mock attack of the island, when Pocklington fired a cannon towards the local invaders.

Over 200 years later, the National Trust revived this regatta last year, for locals and visitors alike to enjoy, by recreating the spirit of King Pocky’s vision for the lake.