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Travel Feature: Paddle Off For Lakes Adventure – Evening Express

From the Evening Express

Call it divine intervention but I’m sure Saint Herbert is watching over me as I pass my first bushcraft test at one of Britain’s most heavenly destinations.

Faced with having to boil water on a magical island without the aid of matches or a lighter, my prayers are answered by the former monk when the tiny pieces of bark from a silver birch tree crackle and then burst into flames with little more than a flick of flint on steel.

Saint Herbert must have performed a similar task every day when he lived as a hermit on this island in the middle of Derwent Water, Cumbria, back in 687 AD.

He would have caught fish in the crystal-clear waters, poured himself a drink and then sat back in wonder at the beauty of his surroundings, the four highest mountains in the Lake District rising out of the deep blue lake in majestic splendour.

More than 1,300 years on, it’s my turn to feast on the views, and I feel blessed to be there on such an enchanting summer’s day.

A tree-laden haven for wildlife, St Herbert’s Island features heavily in the remake of Arthur Ransome’s classic children’s tale Swallows And Amazons, which is expected to be one of the blockbuster films of the summer…

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