|Site 2: Submerged Mardale Village|
How to get here
As per main page instructions. Only one road running along this reservoir.
For parking, you may wish to park not where the road ends in what is a large car park, but as you come down the final steep stretch of this road, towards the end, where cars will be seen parked up. You will notice several gates on your right, all leading to the lake shore. There is one distinctive gate on the right side which is offset from the road with a coarse makeshift rubble road about 30 metres long. Park alongside this gate. lift off the rope loop securing it and as you look over to the far shore, here is the beginnings of your village, at least part of it, in 3 metres. That's all it is at this point.
The gate prior to the one mentioned is also a public access point with a steep and difficult path leading to the lake. The advantage of using this entry / exit point is that you have much less fining to perform - just 10 minutes before you reach the submerged Mardale bridge. The down side is a sod of a climb to get back up! - The choice is down to your level of fitness.
This is where all the amazement is. A village evacuated in the 1930s to allow this area to be flooded and become what you see today. A vibrant haven for wildlife.
One quirky thing about depth with this reservoir - Depth can drop by as much as nearly twenty metres! This is due to the demand for water, evaporation and dry summer weather. During particularly dry summers the submerged village can be left high and dry and then falls prey to tourist invasions resulting in an overflowing car park.
The village of Mardale still makes it's guest appearance every now and then, although the summer conditions must be dry for many months for the water level to drop some 50 feet before she dry's out for all to see. Tourists then flock here to wander around the remains .
Head out and turn right (North) about halfway across. Heading up the lake into deeper water - well - 8 metres, if you are lucky will take about 30 minutes.
What to look for: Try to recognise the difference between the car road and the river bed that flowed through the village and your navigation around the village will be a very interesting one.
The river bed needs to be recognised because one of the key features of this dive, is to find and swim under the old Mardale bridge. The bridge has the road going over it (of course), so when you find the bridge you will have a chance at realising what a 1919 road looks like. It's not quite what you might expect - no Tarmac or cobbles, just true grit, rubble, and rumble, for the unfortunate drivers who must have faced some serious jolting on a road like this. Bear in mind that pneumatic tyres were not invented until circa 1922!
The depth you will achieve when searching in and out of this village depends entirely on the level of the lake which fluctuates dramatically by plus or minus 50 feet depending on the season.
The dive is strictly take only pictures and leave only bubbles. At times it is sad to see the general public who despite the quantity of signs and warnings still leave their garbage lying around. Thankfully divers are well trained in this area and thereby leaving the United utilities very happy.
Hazards to Divers
This is an altitude dive so plan for this: Alt is 900 feet (or 240 metres)