Boating Brothers in New Windermere Challenge?
At High Noon on 8th July 2017 the three Moscrop brothers Paul, Jonathan and Mark launched from the Ferry Nab slipway, Windermere on what we think is, remarkably, a voyage never before recorded. Their goal was to circumnavigate all 18 officially listed island on the lake whilst also landing at the Northern and Southern ends. They were well-equipped with an Excel SD330 boat, laminated maps and a gps recorder but the main concern was for the performance of the 43-year-old Tohatsu 16hp that was to power the attempt. Paul takes up the story:-
“Obviously, the prime consideration on any voyage like this is for the wellbeing of the crew, so we laded the vessel with ample supplies, probably enough for several days, to be honest. Weather conditions were benign, a westerly force 2-3 presenting little by way of chop. The faithful old Tohatsu started first pull as usual and the challenge was on.
“Keeping to the speed limits imposed on Windermere proved no problem, the substantial payload ensuring that only displacement speeds were possible. The GPS software that we used (Geo Tracker was one of the success stories providing evidence of our route and we backed this up with photos showing each island in the background. Striking North we conquered six of the islands or ‘holmes’ before making landfall at the Wateredge Inn ( A pint in the sunshine increased morale and steeled us for the challenging middle stages. It was not all plain sailing, we had a couple of propeller strikes and a grounding but in truth the main threats came from sunburn and indigestion. The list of Islands to circumnavigate were taken from the website and Wikipedia. There appears to be consensus that there are 18 official “holmes” but we pushed forward the boundaries of geography by discovering three unmentioned islands during the day. We rounded these too, just in case, and claimed them for Her Majesty, also just in case.
“After the final official circumnavigation of Blake Holme we headed to Lakeside. Our GPS even tracked us entering the bar and the facilities at the magnificent Lakeside Hotel and Spa.
Then it was the long journey for Ferry Nab and the end of the challenge. Remarkably, the supplies had only just held out..”
It would be interesting to know if any readers have previously attempted this modest but interesting challenge or whether, as they hope, the Moscrops and their indefatigable Tohatsu have established a new world record in 6hrs 35 minutes and 15 seconds (although this includes quite a long time sitting, drinking beer). For what it is worth, the rules appear to be:-

  • Start and End at Ferry Nab slipway
  • Obtain receipts for drinks at Wateredge Inn (or similar) at North end of lake
  • Obtain receipts for drinks at Waterside Hotel (or similar) at South end of lake
  • Maintain a GPS track of the circumnavigation of all 18 of the islands mentioned on the government website
  • It is permissible to manually carry the GPS around an island if water level is too low for the boat.
  • Don’t exceed the speed limit and respect other water users and wildlife.

Finally, the brothers add that they were made to feel very welcome by the Warden at the Ferry Nab slip who was extremely helpful to three Windermere newbies.

Background Information
Landfall at Northern End:- Ambleside.
Landfall at Southern End:- Lakeside.
The lake which is 12 miles in length contains 18(+) islands.
From North to South, roughly, they are: –

  1. Bee Holme (the insular status of which depends on the water level).
  2. Rough Holme.
  3. Lady Holme or Mary Holme.
  4. Hen Holme (also rocky and sometimes known as Chair and Table Island.
  5. Hawes Holme.
  6. Thompson Holme (the second largest).
  7. Birk or Birch or Fir Holme.
  8. Snake Holme.
  9. Belle Isle – b y far the largest is the privately-owned (16.18 hectares, 40.0 acres) opposite Bowness and around a kilometre in length.
  10. 10, 11. Lilies of the Valley (East, and West).
  1. Maiden Holme (the smallest island, with just one tree).
  2. Ling Holme (a rocky hump with a few trees and a growth of ling),
  3. Grass Holme.
  4. Silver Holme.
  5. Blake Holme.


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