For the next two Thursday's, we will be swimming in the River Nene at Wadenhoe (go past the pub to the Village Hall) at 6:30pm. Kayak cover provided. Depending on the water temperature, we will start the 30-mile Woodford to Castor Thursday night swims on either 24th or 31st May.
Wadenhoe Village Hall car park is in use tonight, so we will be parking in the Church car park instead. It's only a 200m walk away from the river. https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-0.5151349,753m/data=!3m1!1e3
From Stoke Doyle, drive past the 2 Wadenhoe turns, keeping straight on towards Aldwinkle and the Church car park will be on your left.
Hi Thursday Nene swimmers - So sorry I can't join you for the river swimming this year as it clashes with the Sketching classes I run at the Old Barn in Wadenhoe. Someone else will have to do the coffee this year. I think I will still be swimming the same stages as you all with others, but probably on Wednesdays instead, when I am free. Having been persuaded to swim right through the winter in 'skins' this year for the first time, the 17.1°C for todays swim was positively baking! A year ago I would have thought swimming in sub 15° was madness, but I can't tell you how addictive it is and how well you feel after swimming in such cold water. Hard to explain but once you have done you will know, and be hooked. Have a great swim for 2018, and I will miss seeing you. :)
Thanks for the heads up Shaun. What you mean is: you've taken enough ribbing about swimming with wet-suit swimmers and just can't take any more! You know where we are if you get a free Thursday evening. Always welcome. Now, where can I get a large coffee flask ...
We will be swimming in the River Nene at Wadenhoe at 6:30pm tomorrow night. Wadenhoe Village Hall car park is in use again, so we will be parking in the Church car park instead. It's only a 100m walk away from the river. https://www.google.co.uk/…/@52.4395502,-0.515…/data=!3m1!1e3
From Stoke Doyle, drive past the 2 Wadenhoe turns, keeping straight on towards Aldwinkle and the Church car park will be on your left.
Kayak cover provided. Looking to start the 30-mile Woodford to Castor Thursday night swims on 24th May, that's next w- eek!
24th May Leg 1.....Woodford - Denford...................1.73 miles.
31st May Leg 2.....Denford - Thrapston..................2.10 miles.
07th June Leg 3.....Thrapston - Thorpe Waterville.....2.40 miles.
14th June Leg 4.....Thorpe Waterville - Wadenhoe.....1.90 miles.
21st June Leg 5.....Wadenhoe - Lilford....................1.40 miles.
28th June Leg 6.....Lilford - Barnwell Mill.................2.02 miles.
05th July Leg 7.....Barnwell Mill - Ashton................2.13 miles.
12th July Leg 8.....Ashton - Cotterstock....................2.23 miles.
19th July ..........FREE.....
26th July Leg 9....Cotterstock - Bluebell Lakes........2.00 miles.
02nd Aug Leg 10....Bluebell Lakes - Warmington.......1.97 miles.
09th Aug Leg 11....Warmington - Elton Bridge...........2.04 miles.
16th Aug Leg 12....Elton Bridge - Nassington.............1.71 miles.
23rd Aug Leg 13....Nassington - Wansford................2.48 miles.
30th Aug Leg 14....Wansford - Nene Valley Railway...1.90 miles.
6th Sept Leg 15....Nene Valley Railway - Castor.......1.90 miles.
Total 30 miles.
Summer is here, and it's time to start the full Nene swim from Woodford to Castor this Thursday 24th May. This is a great adventure, and has become an annual Pactrac tradition. You don't have to be a top swimmer to come along - we usually have the full range, all the way from breaststrokers to accomplished Ironman swimmers. Everyone is welcome. The faster swimmers either wait every now and again, or swim back.
We need to make a start, in order to reach Castor by September. This is now the eighth year that we are doing a Pactrac Nene Swim Marathon. We start at Woodford and then make our way to Castor, 30-miles downstream, in fifteen bite-sized chunks, on Thursday evenings. If you are new to this and want to get an idea, have a look at previous years' Forums, e.g. http://pactrac.co.uk/forums/topic/490.
The first stage is this Thursday, 24th May, from Woodford to Denford. The route is on MapMyRun: http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/96296057
We will get in just upstream of the village of Woodford and swim down to Denford. MapMyRun says it's 1.73miles, so that's a good distance to start with. This is a really pleasant, open and rural stretch of the Nene. We will have our first lock to cross and will finish at the second lock. Denford is where the Nene Turtle was spotted seven years ago. Maybe he'll be waiting for us again.
The plan is to meet at the finish at Denford, and then share cars to the start. That makes it easier for most people to get home after the swim. So we will meet in Denford at 6.15pm, near Meadow Lane which leads to the lock where we will finish this leg. Meadow Lane is in the centre of the village, across the road from the petrol station / pub on the Denford High Street, you can't miss it.
We will then take a few cars (no big silver van this year, unfortunately), to drive to the start in Woodford. We will park at the end of Church Street; from Woodford's village green, take one of the narrow lanes to the bottom of the village and then turn right. Note there isn't much car parking space. From the end of Church Street there is a footpath; turn left just after the gate and you'll get to the river. We will start the swim at 6.30pm. If anyone is able to bring any designated drivers along, that would help a lot with the logistics.
If you are not confident to do the whole swim, you could come to the finish and swim upstream until you meet the others. Don't do this on your own (for safety), but there may be a few others interested - best to post on the Forum.
We will do a short briefing before the start and you will need to sign in and out. We will have kayak cover for most of the legs, but again, everyone still participates at their own risk. Their is a Safety Briefing attached, but please bring a brightly coloured hat, just in case we encounter any boats.
Can you also post on the Forum if you think that you might be late, or intend to do things slightly differently. The full 15 Stage swim is also on the Forum.
See you there.
We had 9 swimmers last Thursday, and the river was warm enough for us to be in for 72 minutes. We didn't spot the Nene Turtle, and encountered just the one swan and no boats. Thanks to Daniel and Catherine for taking their vehicles to the start; and to Heather, Graeme and Martin for the cakes :)
The second leg is this Thursday, 31st May, from Denford through to Thrapston. We'll get in where we got out last week, at Denford lock. We will swim through Thrapston, crossing under the A14 and the old Six Arches Bridge and get to Thrapston lock. We'll then do another kilometre or so along Thrapston marina to get to appr 2.1miles. The route of Thursday's leg is on http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/36511742.
As always we will meet for 6.15 at the finish at Thrapston Marina, and then take a few cars to drive to the start in Denford to start the swim at 6.30pm. Park in the car park, just before the Middle Nene Sailing Club.
If you are late and can't make it to Thrapston in time, you can always go to Denford directly and someone can drop you back there after the swim. Let us know on the Forum if you intend to do this, or are likely to be late.
To get to the finish location in Thrapston is a bit complicated. The address is Meadow Lane, which is near the town centre and starts at the Thrapston sports club (Chancery Lane / Green Lane). At the sports club playing fields, take a left into the wooded dirt road (this is Meadow Lane) and follow it until you get to a footbridge, where we will park at the end of the car park. The finish of this leg is quite a walk from here. Note: you can only get there by car from Thrapston town centre, not from Islip.
For those who go straight to Denford: you can get to the lock over the bridleway that runs from the village centre (petrol station, pub).
Please look out for boats, wear a bright coloured swim hat, and look out for one another.
Ru still planning on swimming tonight with the thunderstorms forecast?
Yes, but if their is thunder we will have to get out. The weather so far has been much better than forecast.
This Thursday's swim is from Thrapston Marina to Thorpe Waterville. This is one of the longest swims, at about 2.4-miles, so that's a bit longer than the previous swims - and the same as an Ironman swim! See http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/fullscreen/37200472/ for this week's route. We will swim for 50-100 metres before our first stop to regroup and adjust goggles.
The river snakes (eeek - not really) through the Thrapston lakes and Titchmarsh nature reserve on this leg, with a footpath on the bank for most of the way. We'll cross a few footbridges and then get to Titchmarsh lock and marina after about 1.8m. We'll cross the lock, and then it's just a few hundred meters to the finish.
As last week, the plan is to meet at the finish at Thorpe Waterville for 6.15pm and then drive to the start at Thrapston to get going around 6.30pm. The finish is the Nene bridge just West of Thorpe Waterville. Thorpe is on the A605. Coming from Peterborough, take a right at The Fox Inn, then follow the signs to Aldwincle, taking a left at the fork in the road. The finish is just a few hundred meters from Thorpe, at the second bridge. There are 1 or 2 spaces on the right and two more on the left. If this is full, there are further spaces beyond the bridge, or you could park on a verge in or near Thorpe.
We will require a couple of cars to transport us to the start. If you are late and go straight to the start, we should be able to get you back to your car afterwards. Please let us know on the Forum if you intend to go straight to the start or may be late.
The start is (as always) where we finished last week, at Thrapston Marina, so there'll be a bit of a walk to start with. Directions are on last weeks thread on the Forum.
Enjoy and stay safe.
This Thursday's swim will be from Thorpe Waterville to Wadenhoe. It's 1.9m (according to Mapmyrun), so that's quite a bit shorter than last week. The route is on http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/37200776.
This section is very rural and remote. It goes through fields and some woodland, past the old Church of Wadenhoe on the top of the hill (take a moment to stop and look - it's a great view from in the water), and then finishes in Wadenhoe, right next to the King's Head pub's beergarden.
The plan is once again to meet at the finish at 6.15pm.
Wadenhoe Village Hall car park is in use again, so we will be parking in the Church car park instead. It's only a 100m walk away from the river. https://email@example.com,-0.5151349,753m/data=!3m1!1e3
From Stoke Doyle, drive past the 2 Wadenhoe turns, keeping straight on towards Aldwinkle and the Church car park will be on your left. It's then a 100m walk to the Village Hall Car Park, (which will be in use). After the swim, we will walk straight up to the Church Car Park for refreshments.
We will drive to the start at Thorpe Waterville to get in at around 6:30pm - see last week's message for directions. Hopefully there will be one or two non-swimmers who can drop the swimmers off at the start.
Please post on the Forum if you intend to go straight to the start, or expect to be late.
We had 19 swimmers and a kayak last week on another balmy evening.
This week's Nene Swim is the 5th leg, from Wadenhoe to Lilford, and is the most suitable for novice river swimmers. It is only 1.4 miles long (according to Mapmyrun)! and it's easy to get out earlier as well. If anyone is not very confident about the long distances, then this is the week to give it your first try! The route is on http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/39035798
We start at the King's Head pub in Wadenhoe, and will have to get out again straight away to cross Wadenhoe lock. From there the river goes through the open fields, under a footbridge and then along a wooded hillside to the lock at Lilford. We then get back in to do the final 200 metres or so, to the day's finish, on the left bank, right across the river from Lilford Hall (great view!). There is no access to the river from here right down to Oundle Mill, about 2 miles further downstream (next week's finish). In order to limit next week's swim to a feasible distance, we want to get out at the far end of the field, just before the fence. Bring some shoes for the walk back to the cars.
We will meet at the finish near Lilford for 6.15pm and then drive to the start in a few cars. Directions to the finish: on the A605, drive to the roundabout halfway between Oundle and Thorpe Waterville. Take the narrow road to Lilford and Pilton (to the right when coming from Peterborough). Follow the road down the hill, through the new Traffic Lights and then over two humpback Nene bridges. We will meet at the car parking space 100m or so past the second humpback bridge on the right. There is parking space for 2 or 3 cars, with limited space on the verges nearby.
Please advise on the Forum if you intend to go straight to the finish, or expect to be late.
See you on Thursday.
We had a decent turnout again last week, but their's still room for more :) This week's Nene Swim is the 6th leg, from Lilford to Oundle Mill. Mapmyrun gives this as 2.02 miles. The route is on http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/39514478.
We start across the river from Lilford Hall, near the road to Pilton. We will get in where we got out last week (which wasn't really that muddy...). The river runs through quite a remote area here; not even the Nene Way footpath follows the river. The last half mile is closer to Barnwell Road, and then we get to Oundle Mill. The finish is at the lock.
As always, we will meet at the finish at 6.15pm and then aim to drive to the start in 1 or 2 cars, for a 6:30pm start. Oundle Mill is on the road from Barnwell to Oundle, see http://www.oundlemill.co.uk/find_us.aspx. There is a lot of car parking space on the road verge next to the lock; I guess you can also park in the restaurant car park across the river.
This is a tricky stage, as we always encounter rowing boats on this leg, practicing out of Oundle Town Rowing Club. It is essential that we keep together, and the lead swimmers don't get too far ahead, and keep stopping and either wait or swim back, at more frequent intervals. If you are likely to be too far behind, this is one to join in further downstream. Please be aware, and please keep to the RIGHT (as you swim toward Oundle), to minimise disturbance and risk.
Doing the whole length of this leg is less suitable for slower and less experienced swimmers, as it would spread out the swimmers too much - unless you make sure you have another swimmer with you and / or start a little earlier. But it is of course also an option to start at Oundle and swim toward the others - as long as you make sure you are not swimming alone.
Important note: the Oundle Town Rowing Club have their weekly training session on the same stretch and around the same time. They start from Oundle and go upstream and back. It will therefore be important that we are well-disciplined at Thursday's swim because the rowers won't be able to see us coming. Please wear a brightly coloured swim hat, look out for boats and bring your orange swim floats if you have one.
We need to stay on the right side of the river (we downstream, and the boats upstream).
We also need to make sure that we stay together in one bunch, to minimise mutual disturbance, at least until we've had our "encounter". All swimmers will really have to stay within sight of each other, certainly up to when we will have encountered the rowers. The faster swimmers can swim ahead for 10-mins or so, and then wait or swim back to pick up the others.
We will of course have to make sure to all be out before the rowers get back to Oundle, which is after 8pm. Which means we will do our best to start on time - leave Oundle Mill at 6.15 to be in the water in Lilford at 6.30. If you are late, please start from the Oundle end after the rowers have set off.
Please advise on the Forum if you are likely to be late, or intend to go straight to the finish.
See you on Thursday.
Leg 7 - Oundle Mill to Ashton.
We had another good swim last Thursday, and managed to dodge the rowing boats that were out. Thank you to them for their understanding. It was a warm evening and thanks to all those who offered transport, food and drink.
This Thursday we are swimming from Oundle Mill to Ashton. The distance is 2.13 miles, the route is on http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/39924614.
We start at Oundle Mill lock where we got out last week, swim past the entrance of Oundle Marina, cross one lock, then cross the A605 after just under 1 mile. We then start the wide loop on the east side of the A605, through fields and along wooded hills. We will get out at an old jetty just before the next lock.
The jetty where we get out is at the bottom of a grass path that runs down from the road between Ashton and Polebrook, 100 yards or so and on the opposite side from the Olive Grove nursery (Olive Grove Nurseries, Oundle Road, Polebrook, Northants, PE8 5LQ, http://www.olivegrovenurseries.co.uk/), towards Ashton. There is a gate about 100m from the nursery entrance, towards Oundle. We park on the verge of the road. We have to climb over the gate, and then it's about 100m down the track. It's not a right of way, but there are no signs saying private or no access... so please be careful not to leave any litter or damage things.
As always we will meet at the finish (near Ashton) at 6.15pm and then take a few cars to get to the start (Oundle/Barnwell Mill) for 6:30pm. Please confirm on the Forum if you expect to be late or will be going straight to the finish.
Looking forward to another good stretch of river and an enjoyable swim.
This Thursday's swim is from Ashton to Cotterstock. The distance is 2.23 miles, the route is on http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/41609712.
The route starts at the old jetty where we got out last week (see last week's email for directions). There is a lock to cross after just 100m or so. Then it's on toward the A605 bridge, past the Oundle boathouse, and then on through the open fields to Cotterstock Lock, where we get out.
Meet at Cotterstock at 6:15pm ready to be transported to Ashton for a 6:30pm start.
Access to Cotterstock lock is over the public footpath from Mill Lane in Cotterstock, which is about 100m. The path starts at the beginning of the village when coming from the A605. There are some (but not many) parking spaces around there on the verges near the old water mill - you may have to go further into the village.
Less confident swimmers could start from the Oundle boathouse - this is exactly halfway, so just over a mile to Cotterstock.
Last week we had 10 swimmers on a gorgeously warm evening. The remaining destinations are on the Forum if anybody wants to look ahead.
Please advise on the Forum if you expect to be late, or are going direct to the start.
See you on Thursday.
We had 7 swimmers and 1 Paddleboard in/on the river from Ashton to Cotterstock last night on a glorious evening. None of the 8 are about next week, so we have decided to postpone next week's swim by one week.
The next Woodford to Castor Nene Swim will be Cotterstock to Bluebell Lakes on Thursday 26th July. Their are 7 swims left and we will now finish on 6th September. See the remaining schedule here http://pactrac.co.uk/forums/topic/784/#new-posts
If anybody wants a swim next Thursday, please arrange amongst yourselves on Facebook or the Forum.
After last week's mid-summer break, we will be resuming the Nene Swim this Thursday, on another of Jaap's favourite stretches.
This week's swim is 2.0 miles from Cotterstock to Bluebell lakes, see http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/42119500
As in previous years, Tony at Bluebell Lakes Fisheries is happy for us to park on his premises and get in and out of the river there, both this and next week. Please make sure to respect their property and their clients!
The swim starts at Cotterstock Lock where we finished last time. The river goes around the edge of Tansor, then goes on to the Bluebell fishing lakes. We will swim around the lakes, cross Perio Lock, get back in (it's really not done to walk the last bit from there back to the cars...) and then get out at the other end of the fishing lakes, near the car park. There is a good access point across the bridge from the car park.
Please note that Bluebell Fisheries close just after 8pm but the gates will stay open until around 8:30pm, so we'll have to be away by then. Car access is over a narrow and bumpy road / track that starts from the road between Tansor and Fotheringhay. Coming from Peterborough on the A605, take a right at the roundabout near Warmington; go left at the T-junction toward Tansor, and then take the small road to the right after about 400m (it has Bluebell Lakes signs). Follow the "road" straight ahead, onto the gravel track, between two lakes, and on to the Reception where the car park is. The address is Bluebell Lakes, Tansor, Oundle, Peterborough PE8 5HP. If you are interested in seeing some of the monsters that hopefully don't make it from the lakes into the river: http://www.bluebell-lakes.co.uk/index.html. They would eat a turtle (if not a small human being), but Jaap says that it's still one of his favourite stretches.
As always, we meet at the finish at Bluebell Lakes, around 6.15pm and then take a few cars to drive to the start at Cotterstock for 6:30pm. Please advise on the Forum if you expect to be late, or intend to go straight to the start.
See you on Thursday.
If I can get away from work on time, I hope to come along on Thursday - my first for a while. I’m pretty slow, so might join in at Tansor. Is anybody else going from Tansor?
We had 15 swimmers last Thursday, on another great evening for river swimming, through the remote countryside north of Oundle. This Thursday we are swimming from Bluebell Lakes to Warmington Lock. See http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/43629928. The distance is 1.97 miles according to Mapmyrun.
We start at the car park of Bluebell Lakes where we got out last week. Most of the route is through open fields, and we swim past Fotheringhay, with great views of the church and the castle site. We will swim under the Fotheringhay road bridge, and continue to the lock near Warmington, where we get out.
This is the only public access point downstream from Fotheringhay. This section has the longest walk from car park to entry / exit point: we will have to walk about 500 meters over a footpath through a field (usually with very confused looking sheep) to get to the car park. (The only alternative is to swim 3.5 miles between Fotheringhay and Elton ...)
The car park is at the Fired Earth kitchens store and the Elton Boat Club at Warmington Mill. Go to the A605 roundabout near Warmington and follow the signs to Warmington Mill (exit toward Fotheringhay / Tansor) and then take an immediate right just a few meters past the Roundabout, and you'll get to the car park. The address is Warmington Mill, Eaglethorpe, Warmington Peterborough PE8 6TJ.
As before we are meeting at the finish at Warmington Mill at 6.15pm, aiming to get to the start at Bluebell Lakes for 6.30pm. Please advise on the Forum if you intend to go straight to the finish, or expect to be late.
See you on Thursday.
As a one-off, I'm sending this week's Nene Swim email as Steve is away. I understand there was a decent turnout last week with 12 or so swimmers, and a relatively gentle pace.
This Thursday is the 11th leg of the Nene Marathon Swim; so just two more swims after this one to get to Wansford, and four to Castor.
Like last year (but different from the original schedule) we will be getting out at Elton Lock, because the exit at Elton Bridge is a bit tricky.
We are swimming from Warmington Lock, past Elton Park and down to Elton Lock. Mapmyrun tells us this is 1.6 miles, which makes it one of the shorter swims. See http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/fullscreen/1685602283/
Those who did the previous leg (and previous years) will know that the start is a 500 metre walk from the car park to the lock. This is a decent grassy track through a field (but do bring slippers; someone can take them to the finish for you). We will get in at the lock and swim alongside Elton Park and its woods and get out at Elton Lock, by Elton Mill. There is car parking space on the road between Elton Lock/Mill and The Crown Inn in Duck St, Elton, Peterborough PE8 6RQ.
The plan is to meet in Duck Street, Elton, near to the Mill at 6.15pm, take 2 or 3 cars to drive up to Warmington and start the walk to the lock at 6.30pm. If you can't make it you can always go straight to the start. And if you are even later, you could still join the fun by swimming upstream from Elton Lock and meet us en route.
Finally the semi-regular safety reminder: it is important that everyone is aware that there are some risks associated to river swimming; that everyone is primarily responsible for their own safety (not Pactrac or any other individual); but that we also look out for each other. The key risk is getting hit by boats - this is why it is important to stay in groups, wear colourful caps and look up/wait to regroup, regularly. Other risks are stomach upsets (so don't swallow the water!) and trips&slips around the structures. And of course encounters with wildlife, especially swans and turtles... We've not had any serious incidents, but need to raise awareness again so that we can keep it that way. Their is a Risk Assessment which you can find via this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByEw-8T01JgedXJ0c2pCb0d2M0E/edit?usp=sharing. If you come along on the swim, you will have signed in with a copy of the RA on the back.
Please advise on the Forum if you expect to be late, or intend to go straight to the start.
See you on Thursday.
I've been taking the coffee / tea each Thursday, so if anybody wants to fill that gap this week, please feel free.
I'm thinking that I might join the swim again this week.
I can't help with tea and coffee,but I'll try to remember how to make FLAPJACK!!
Tonight's swim is on as normal. However I plan to be at Warmington earlier, around 5.30, to have a swim upstream and back. I plan to be back at the start (Warmington lock) at 6.30 to take over childcare duties before Mariska jumps in! Mariska will have the sign-in forms as normal.
Anyone interested to join?
Change of plan - I will swim as normal with the group, and won't start from Warmington at 5.30. Just in case anyone was interested to join!
This Thursday's swim is from ELTON LOCK to Nassington, see http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/1685607260. It's 2.14 miles according to Mapmyrun. which makes up for last weeks shorter leg.
We had a good turnout last week on another lovely evening with a very comfortable water temperature. Thanks once again to the swimmers who provided transport, food and drinks; and to Chris for the photo's on Facebook.
This Thursday, we meet in Nassington at 6.15pm. Cars can be parked just outside the village when coming from Elton / Fotheringhay (before the Black Horse pub), near the Nene Way footpath sign that leads to and from the river. There is plenty of space on the grass verge of the road. We will then drive to ELTON LOCK, to be in the water at 6.30pm. Please note, as last week, that we are now using ELTON LOCK and NOT Elton Bridge where we have had problems getting out in the past.
The route passes Elton Bridge, where we used to get out, crosses a footbridge and then goes through open countryside until you see Nassington church in the distance. There is one weir on the right bank, with about half a mile to go. The finish is at the next footbridge. Depending on vegetation and fencing there are various places to get out - a good spot is on the left some 20 metres beyond the bridge. It's quite a long walk back to the road, so it's best to bring flipflops, as well as flapjacks.