Draycote Water
Draycote Water
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Draycote Water is a large (700 acre) reservoir just outside Dunchurch on the A426 between Southam and Dunchurch. It is accessible from:

  • Dunchurch - go to the lights and take the A426 road to Southam for approx 1 mile, the entrance to the reservoir is on the right near the end of the first long straight bit.
  • Southam - take the A426 to Dunchurch & Rugby for about 5 miles, Draycote is on the left at the start of a long straight just after a particularly vicious right bend.
  • M1 Northbound take J17 onto M45 then follow signs to Dunchurch.
  • M1 Southbound take J18 (no exit Southbound at J 17), then the A428 to Rugby followed by the B4429 or A426 to Dunchurch .
  • M40 take J12 onto the B4451 to Southam.
  • A14 join M6, coming off at J1
  • M6 J1, take A426, follow signs for Rugby into the town, then continue on the A426 to Dunchurch.

Draycote members come from Birmingham, Coventry, Daventry, Rugby, Leicester, Southam, Banbury and pretty much anywhere in the West Midlands.

Draycote is smaller than Grafham or Rutland, but is otherwise one of the biggest reservoirs you're going to find. More importantly, there are plenty of Fireballs here, which is what you want if you happen to sail one. New style asymmetric boats have arrived here, but have not become popular, and we have only lost three Fireballers to other boats in the past five years or so.

Draycote is a picturesque venue, with a country park behind the clubhouse, a little fleet of fishing boats for the angling types, as well as facilities for birdwatchers, walkers and sailboarders. There are no powered craft allowed, and nothing less elegant than a water-tower in view. Dry people can relax in the lounge and watch the action through the wide panoramic windows. Wet people get the 'wet-bar', which is warm and serves good food.

The club house has been drastically redecorated over the past 2 years, and the lounge now looks like the result of a particularly successful episode of 'Changing Rooms' (one which didn't feature Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen, and ended with happy people). We also have double glazing, very comfy chairs and some damn stylish furniture. In all, it's far too good for dinghy sailors, which leads me to suspect that they will shortly be banned from using it.

The water itself is big and wet, without any shallows or islands. It is large enough that you can get waves big enough for sailboards to take off from, and for Fireballs to submarine under. It is also deep enough that you can turn turtle without losing your burgee - at 5 a time this is an important feature. For those who do need spares, there is a chandlery on site, open 7 days a week who can occasionally supply the part you need.

The club is 'home' to over 1000 members; thankfully they don't all sail.

Draycote Water Sailing Club website is here