|Wray Castle: Site 2|
Getting Here (in detail)
For those of us in North Cumbria or further north than this: You should use the M6 heading for Penrith. off at Penrith J40 and pick up the A66 and follow this until you enter Keswick.
From the M6, take the Penrith J40 turn-off. Following the A66 Ullswater road. At the next roundabout follow the A66 Keswick sign, heading West. Stay on this road for some 18 miles.
After 18 miles, watch for the turn-off on your left that is marked Keswick. It's not the best marked road but having found yourself coming off the A66 you are heading down and forking onto another main road taking you to the left. Not much time to slow down here and watch for any traffic on what is your extreme right.
This road takes you into Keswick town - the 30 m.p.h. signs come up just as you enter into the built up area followed soon by a "T" junction - turn left and you are on the A591 road for Thirlmere and Grasmere. Take it. You are now bombing along the A591 passing Thirlmere on your right, then Grasmere, Rydal water and then entering into Ambleside.
Those coming from the SOUTH of England will have come off the M6 at J36 following the A590 then A591 for Windermere sign - continued through and followed the sign for Ambleside A591. Those from the south will note on the map that a road forks off to the left towards the lake - take this route please - towards Clappersgate / Hawkshead.
Everyone, coming north or south are now in Ambleside south. And you are now looking for a sign with a sharp turn to the left, sign marked "Hawkshead" B5286.
Finally: follow the Hawkshead B5286 road and keep a sharp eye out for the "Wray Castle" sign, head down this single track road for .7 miles. You will see a Wray Castle camp site sign on left - ignore this and just around the bend in the road is a small "Wray Castle" sign. In you go and to the back of the Castle where the parking is.
Parking is not usually a problem during winter, but can be arkward during summer. In summer-time arrive early or better still come for a night dive.in any event having got here - all you buds will declare that you have "Hawk heads" or "Hawk Eyes" !! :-)
The top left photo shows the main attraction and Mystic Meg (from the lottery) could not have hoped for a better setting to this dive. In the top header photograph you can just make out the rock face above the surface where she continues down under.
This site used to have fast boats roaring by, but is now more tranquil due to the speed limit imposed by the National Trust of 10 mph max. The lake may have miles of unparalleled shoreline but it is literally all owned by individuals with no access to the lake side. There are some exceptions such as this National Trust property but give the Property manager a call first please. Permission must be sought from the National Trust as this property and land belongs to them. You will be asked about your shore cover plan and your SMB usage. They will be listening to what safety measures you are taking - strobes, torches, phones etc.
The Dive - Site a: Heading North
This is the most exciting of the two dives at this site.
There is an overhanging rock face dive with decent depth, so no need to inform you of the need for precision buoyancy control.
Max depth is at circa 40 metres with a rock face to traverse around, this being the main attraction for this site. The wall itself can be followed down to 25 metres where it ends.
You will find that as with all lake sites, it won't be long before you are into a silty bottom. For better viz try diving between October and May because in summer time the viz drops to circa 2 - 3 metres.
Down on the bottom watch for artifacts from by-gone days at this site and view the Furness Sub-Aqua website where you can read more about this on their website.
The fish life is varied with the chance of a trout, perch or pike passing by.
The Dive - Site b: Heading South
As can be seen from the photo of this bay, you can expect shallow waters for a short few minutes before descending down a relatively steep bank. There may be plenty of rocks on the shore and for a short while as you head out, but this turns into, disappointingly, a silt bed as with almost all the lakes.
The bay takes you down to 40 metres too, although this is a much more gradual descent over a stony bed, but not for long. Just a case of selecting where you want to be on depth and following that contour around.
Looking for fishing tackle in ten metres could prove fruitful if you are also an angler.
Barrow-In-Furness club are the experts on this dive, so do give them a call - see our "Air and Clubs" or "Scuba Directory" page for contact details.
Hazards to Divers
The regular ferry service is not a problem here, but be aware there are plenty of windsurfers and yachts flying around due to the Water Sports Centre/Marina operating on the opposite shore.
No SMB = No dive. Every dive leader must carry an SMB here.
Diving at Wray Castle, by Freshwaterdiver
Observed from Watbarrow Point - i.e. Wray Castle wood.
Video Credits to CFZ documentory by CFZ
While you are diving, the family may wish to visit this magnificent building - if dive permission is granted.