Tag Archives: Lakes

Motivational running team head for awards night

A young business which has led more than 400 newcomers to take up running is in line for a sports award.

Jogging Pals has been shortlisted in the finals of the Cumbria Sports Awards, which will be celebrated on Friday night.

Founded three years ago by Glyn Rose and Wayne Singleton, both England Athletics coaches, the Jogging Pals programme has taken former non-runners from couch to 5k throughout Cumbria and North Lancashire.

glyn, wayne and helen - Copy

Glyn, Wayne and run leader Helen Pye

The scheme has  been so successful that the business now has six running leaders and is organising “improvers” programmes for runners who want to continue to 10k, 20k or even further. There are also guided runs in association with the National Trust and the Forestry Commission at Sizergh Castle and Grizedale Forest.

“It’s a great honour to be shortlisted for this award, and a tribute to our team,” said Wayne Singleton, a former smoker and drinker who now competes in triathlons, has run marathons, and is a keen open water swimmer. He works at the Alpkit store in Ambleside.

He started running again, after being a junior athlete, when he was breathless walking up the stairs. “It changed my life, and I wanted to do something to help others,” he said.

Those “others” include couch-potatoes who have lost weight, taken part in competitive races and even trained as coaches themselves. Some run for fun, or for the social side of running. “We wanted to prove that running is for anyone, even if they have never run before.”

He and Glyn Rose, another “convert”,  have since taken part in the Great Manchester 10k, Great North Run, London Marathon, New York Marathon, and Lakeland 50. Wayne has also competed in the Marathon des Sables in the Sahara desert.

Their aim was to encourage newcomers to achieve 5k with encouragement, with one training session a week and two other runs. “The plan was then to let them loose in the wild, as we put it, as there are so many running clubs in the region” said Glyn. “But we found that our members wanted motivation to do more, so that’s why we introduced programmes to extend their distances.”

Jogging Pals pay £45 for an eight-week programme, and members are encouraged to join up together to run at other times. “One of the keys to our success is enabling people to ‘pal up’ as the weeks go by, to train with other people who may live close by, and to make friends,” said Glyn. “The social aspect of jogging is massively important to us, and we make a lot of friends through this. But we also acknowledge that for some people, we are improving their health and fitness, and even saving their lives.”

Their website (https://www.joggingpals.co.uk/)  carries testimonials from newcomers, often seriously overweight, who have benefited from the programme, and have carried on running.

One wrote: “In the final night of the course I jogged without stopping once for the full 5k and I was elated. By the end I’d realised I’m a tortoise. I’m slow but steady and I get there in the end.” He now has an entry for the Great North Run.

The annual Cumbria Sports Awards will be held on Friday at The Low Wood Bay Hotel, Windermere. The event recognises the outstanding talents, commitment and successes of teams and individuals throughout Cumbria who are involved in sport.



pals jogging


New social networking nights for single people in the Lakes

A new series of social events for single people is being launched in the North West. A pilot scheme, Lakes Singles Nights (LSN), aims to attract members from throughout Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria.

The aim, says organiser Nina Scott, is to provide social networking in the real world for single people, with events at cocktail bars, outdoor activities, music venues, art galleries and theatres,  and lake cruises. LSN hopes to provide a busy and exciting social life in a world often dominated by couples.

“We want to provide friendship and companionship for people of all ages. Singles often feel isolated and are spending time trying to make friends, or find dates, online. This is a return to the traditional face-to-face way of meeting people.

“We want to make sure that everyone – single, divorced, widowed – can have a good night out without being part of a couple. And without necessarily going on a date.”

Miss Scott says similar schemes work well in London and take the pressure out of socialising. The Lake District was chosen for the northern launch because of the range of venues and activities available, including lake cruises and walking as well as bars and restaurants.

The first event is at the Country Hut cocktail bar in Bowness-on-Windermere on Thursday February 12, 7pm. Potential members can register on the night.  Further events will be announced. The entry fee for the first Singles Meet Up Night is £10, with a free drink on arrival. Email  lakes-singles-nights@outlook.com for further details.

The Great Lake District Swim Challenge

great lakes pic

17 Lakes, 4 Days, 2 New Challenges

A new challenge launched by Ambleside-based swim company Head to the Hills offers the chance for adventurers to swim in all of the English Lakes over two weekends.

The Great Lake District Swim Challenge is set to establish the Lake District as the UK adventure capital for outdoor swimmers.

The Challenge is split into two halves, east and west Lake District, and each is a non-stop action packed trip where the swimmers will have to cross a width, sometimes twice,  of each of the swim-able Lakes in the allotted time before moving onto the next venue by chartered mini-bus.

One of the organisers, Andrea Kelly, said: “The Lake District attracts thousands of swimmers each year to organised events, but this new challenge aims to capture the imagination and adventurous spirit of swimmers.

“The great Lake District swim challenge will allow us to really showcase the beauty – and the beast – of the Lake District with its clear waters and soaring mountains.”

The two weekends are 8th – 9th August and 5th – 6th September 2015 and accommodation is included in the challenge.

Groups are small as Head to the Hills are keen to protect the environment of the Lake District so they advise to book early by visiting www.headtothehills.co.uk or ringing 015394 33826. 

Great Lake District Swim Challenge Statistics 

  • Swim Total: 16.1km
  • Longest v Shortest Swim: 2000 metres v 500 metres
  • Lakes: 17
  • Journey Miles: 214

Link to GLDSC West:


Link to GLDSC East:


The art of climbing: new Lakes exhibition coming soon

An exhibition based around William Heaton Cooper’s exquisite drawings of Lakeland crags used in the definitive climbing guides to the area will open in Grasmere in November.

Lines of Ascent will feature the work William produced for the Fell and Rock Climbing Club guides for 50 years from 1930s onwards. The books were bibles for the climbing community, showing new routes as they developed, drawn on site and working closely with the climbers at the crag face.

Alongside these drawings, guides and journals will be climbing photographs from the 1930s and 1940s from Heaton Cooper’s private album, as well as some of his paintings that reference the mid-twentieth century climbing scene, including some not seen before.

There is also an Alpine sketch-book full of vivid drawings and  sketches of the Grandes Jorasses from above the original Couvercle Hut, and crowded interiors of the old hut in the 1950s.

The Alpine theme at the exhibition will be extended with Julian Cooper’s huge oil painting  Eiger Face, shown alongside images of the famous 1938 first ascent and subsequent routes up the North Face of the Eiger.

The exhibition will be curated by Julian Cooper, William’s son, and Becky Heaton Cooper, William’s grand-daughter and Julian’s niece.

Becky Heaton Cooper is a director and general manager of the business established by the landscape painter Alfred Heaton Cooper in 1905. His son William built the present gallery in Grasmere in 1938. For generations their paintings and books have influenced the way the landscape of the Lake District has been viewed.

Julian Cooper said:  “Lines of Ascent will explore the area between the dynamics of searching for and climbing new routes and the aesthetics of looking at, drawing, and painting mountains and rock, and finding common links.”

The exhibition will open on Wednesday November 19 in association with the 2014 Kendal Mountain Film Festival.


  • The Heaton Cooper Studio in Grasmere was opened by William Heaton Cooper in 1938.    It is a hugely popular tourist attraction, with more than 90,000 visitors last year. It features work by the Heaton Cooper family and guest artists, with the Lakeland landscape at the heart of the gallery’s displays.


  • The Heaton Cooper family tree is a pictorial essay on the development of art in the Lake District and beyond. There are 10 artists represented, including the sculptor Ophelia Gordon Bell, (herself the daughter of the animal painter Winifred Gordon Bell) and Julian Cooper, the internationally renowned painter whose recent work has been concerned with finding a relevant contemporary language for painting mountains and rock all over the world. The most well known works are by Alfred and William, each distinctively capturing the magnificence and beauty of rock and fell, stream and lake.


  • Julian Cooper, the son of William Heaton Cooper and the sculptor Ophelia Gordon Bell, is an internationally known painter, represented by Art Space Gallery, London. He is a member of the Alpine Club, and has climbed throughout Britain and the Alps.


Safety code launched for Lakes swimmers

A new safety code for swimmers in the Lake District is launched this week.

The “be keen to be seen” message follows negotiations between groups of lake users as open water swimming attracts a massive new following.

Thousands of people now take a plunge in the lakes, tarns and rivers every year.

The new swim-safe code spells out a hat, flag, float and boat message designed to make the Lakes a safer place for all users.

Working with event organisers, open water swim providers, commercial boat operators and Windermere Lake Users Forum, the Lake District National Park has produced 10,000 leaflets spelling out how swimmers can protect themselves from boat collisions and serious harm.

Lakes ranger Sara Spicer said the initiative followed concern that increasing numbers of swimmers in Windermere, Ullswater, Coniston Water and Derwentwater were at risk unless they followed some simple but effective guidelines.

She explained: “A bright hat is number one priority, followed by a tow float, and if a white and blue Alpha flag-flying support boat or kayak is available, particularly for groups of swimmers, so much the better.

“We are also encouraging people to swim in the quieter lakes and avoid the four main navigable lakes, which have many different users.

“Great North Swim, which sees 10,000 competitors in Windermere, the British Long Distance Swimming Association, boat companies, marinas, swimming providers and lake users from across the national park are all giving invaluable support.”

South Lakeland District Council lake wardens will be giving out tow floats to the swimmers they come across when they are out on patrol. These are also available to buy locally at Head to the Hills – Swim the Lake District in Ambleside..

Bright yellow and pink hats will also be given to difficult-to-see swimmers on navigable lakes. Swim event organisers will also be publicising the swim safe campaign.

“It is also important to remind boat users that there may be swimmers in the water who may be difficult to see,” added Sara. “Solo swimmers are particularly hard to see. It’s easy to forget that boats, particularly larger vessels, take time to change their course or stop if they need to avoid someone in the water.”

Head to the Hills – Swim the Lake District, who have provided open water swimming courses, events and guided swims across the Lake District since 2010, were involved in the development of the swim safe code.

Director Pete Kelly welcomed the swim safe code: “We have been providing safety advice for swimmers both formally through our courses and swims and informally through our swimming group.

“But as open water swimming in the Lake District becomes more popular it’s great to have the extra support this code will bring. It provides clear advice to both swimmers and boat users ensuring the risk of incidents are reduced and safety awareness is increased.”

Nigel Wilkinson, managing director of Windermere Lake Cruises, which carries in excess of 1.25 million passengers a year, said: “We are genuinely concerned about the consequences of a collision on Windermere and the swim safe code is an excellent initiative to help mitigate that risk”.

Further information on http://www.swimsafelakes.co.uk

For introduction to open water swimming in the Lake District see http://www.headtothehills.co.uk