Exploring the Northern path of Draycote Water

Draycote Water, January 2024

My previous visits to Draycote water have focussed on the visitor centre and watching the sailing club activity on the water. The reservoir has many wildlife visitors and I have enjoyed photographing their presence.  As I had some time to myself during a visit with my daughter who lives in Rugby, I took the opportunity to visit Draycote Water. I wanted to explore parts of the reservoir that I had not visited before. To approach the Eastern tip, I walked from Dunchurch over the M45 and then down Toft lane where there is a public footpath entrance.  This approach to the reservoir is from a high hill and you get an overview of the landscape before dropping down to the arrow point of the water.  Severn Trent are doing work on the tow path towards the east part of the reservoir so I realised that I would not be able to do a full circle. Therefore I started walking and took a chance that I could get to the valve tower at the dam wall.  

Draycote Water, January 2024
An overview of Draycote water.
Draycote Water, January 2024
Shadows by the fence

Immediately I discovered that around here, the geography of Draycote water was interesting and varied.  The water level was high and many trees were partially submerged in the water. There were glimpses of the wildlife swimming in between the tree trunks.  This part of my journey took some time but this was self-inflicted by my desire to take photographs of the different views amongst the trees.  There were also many different birds on the water surface.  In the air, I saw kestrels and helicopters – quite divergent aerial sights.  One had to be careful of the cyclists and runners who were buzzing past you on the roads and footpaths.

Draycote Water, January 2024
The water levels are high
Draycote Water, January 2024
Colours amongst the trees

I also met Bob who is an avid birdwatcher and was armed with his binoculars and scope. He also had a bridge camera with him. We struck up a conversation and learnt a lot about each other. We exchanged our family stories. Then we discussed the birds around Draycote water including the Great Northern Diver. This was a species that Bob was keen to see. We spent a good 15 minutes passing the time of day. We even acted as tour guides as people stopped to ask us about the path around the reservoir. 

Eventually I arrived at the Valve Tower and took several pictures of this feature of Draycote water.  The signs were now telling me that I could not go any further.  There were three kestrels circling around and I was hoping they would come closer but instead they moved further away into the surrounding countryside. There were several birds on the water to photograph and then it was time to head back to Dunchurch to get a lift from my daughter. 

Draycote Water, January 2024
Cyclists on their way
Draycote Water, January 2024
The view towards the valve tower.
Draycote Water, January 2024
The valve tower on the dam wall.

Enjoy this photographic journey of Draycote.  A place I will return to especially in the Golden hour of sunrise/sunset.

Draycote Water, January 2024
Taking life slow.

Severn Trent have a visitor site that provides up to date information about what is happening at Draycote Water

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