Boats can be hired from Waterhead, Low Wood, Bowness, Brockhole - The Lake District Visitor Centre and Fell Foot Park. These vary from rowing boats to sailing boats or self-drive motor boats.
Take to the water to truly experience Windermere. The many different options and tickets allow you to hop off, walk back or just sit back and watch the mountains, woodlands and islands unfold before you.
To plan your own voyage of discovery, take a look at Windermere Lake Cruises (opens in new window).
Windermere has arctic charr, brown trout, pike, perch, roach and eels, salmon and sea trout. Find out more on our Fishing page.
Follow in the footsteps, or rather wake, of Arthur Ransome's "Swallows and Amazons" and take up dinghy sailing! These places offer courses:
For keeled yachts:
A car ferry links Ferry Nab on the eastern shore of Windermere with Ferry House, Far Sawrey on the west. For details see Travel around Windermere.
Swimmers may be able to see boaters but boaters may not be able to see swimmers!
Take a look at the photos below. If you were steering a boat, which swimmer is easier to spot?
Exposure to cool water can rapidly lead to hypothermia
Other people use the lakes too! Windermere, Derwentwater, Coniston Water and Ullswater are busy with boats. People on boats may struggle to see swimmers. A collision with any boat can be fatal.
Swimmers and other lake users may be in any area of the lake at any time of day or night.
Ferry Nab is the main public launching area with a public car park, toilet and shower facilities, public jetties, sailing dinghy storage and tender storage. It's the only public slipway available for power boats and large boats.
Small motor boats (five horsepower or less) may launch from Waterhead. Sailing dinghies, canoes and rowing boats may be launched from several areas on National Trust land, Rayrigg Meadow and Beech Hill.
There are several private and commercial launching points, predominately on the eastern shore. These include sailing and power boat clubs, caravan parks, commercial jetties and marinas and several outdoor pursuit and activity centres.
A fun take on how to keep Windermere healthy by Windermere Reflections:
This page is brought to you by the staff of Bowness Bay Information Centre.
We can help you with booking accommodation, tickets or attractions. See us on the south side of Bowness Bay, home to Bowness Information Centre.