|Beech Hill: Site 5|
Getting Here (in detail)
From the M6, come off at junction 36 and follow the A590 but watch where it actually peels off to the left - DO NOT follow the signposted "A591 Windermere" road. Watch for the A592 signposted "Bowness & Windermere" just before Newby Bridge and follow this for around 3 or 4 miles. The car park is on the left.
Parking is in the "Beech Hill" National Trust car park next to the Hotel. No problem parking during winter but summer time will see this fill quickly.
Check out the top right photo and decide if this is too tough for you after a good dive!
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 shoreline is literally all owned by individuals with little public 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 should 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.
To get to this dive site you have to pass the fitness test first! - One hundred and eleven steps down a steep bankside - try counting them - it seems to ease the pain!! Once you get down here, you have a shingle shore line and some large rocks underneath to negotiate (photo a), but watch for the drop-off around 3 metres off from the shore.
Heading out will take you down a very steep slope which bottoms out at 22.5 metres where you find it is relatively flat and level and only gradually lowering into a max of 30 metres, by which time it's time to returning for a ratch around the piers and shoreline if you wish.
dive site b North: If you decide to go for the wreck. Drop to around 18.3 metres where you should turn right and hold this depth. You should come up to an old wooden barge or what's left of it after about 200 hundred metres or 7 minutes finning approximately. How fast do you fin?
Ratching can be enjoyed along the yacht jetties (photo b) with the odd piece of fishing tackle being picked up as you cruise along. Other goodies await such as outboard motors - our group were unable to get one back but maybe you will succeed?. Carrying a lifting bag may be helpful at this site but remember that it will take a team effort to get an outboard up those 111 steps (photo c).
On visibility, you may find that from springtime onward this drops to around 2 or 3 metres.
Hazards to Divers
With such a steep slope, check your buoyancy is fine and watch out for the jet skies and motor launches if you need to surface. It can be a bit noisy down under at this site.
Needless to say with the above that you really need to have an SMB in tow.
Barrow-In-Furness are the experts on this dive, so do give them a call - check our "Air & Clubs" or "Scuba Directory" for contact details.
Beech Hill by Freshwaterdiver