Boatman giving instructions at Coniston Boating Centre copyright Karen Barden
Boatman giving instructions at Coniston Boating Centre

Water

We have more than sixteen lakes and numerous tarns plus a stretch of coastline. So there's plenty of opportunity to go rowing, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, fishing or simply splash about on the shore.

Boat hire

The following lakes all have watersport centres, and places where you can hire boats, including rowing boats and electric boats:

Steamer and launch trips

These are a great way to get a different view with minimal effort! All links open in a new window:

Have a go taster sessions - just £7!

Why not try out rafting or canoeing from our Visitor Centre at Brockhole on the shores of Windermere:

Useful leaflets

Lake guides - including maps

These help everyone get the best out of their time on the water safely:

Byelaws

You can also read the Byelaws for the various lakes.

The coast

The National Park includes 26 miles of coastline and estuaries. The coast, from Seascale to Millom, is quite different to the rest of the National Park.

Here you can enjoy dramatic views across open sea and into the high fells. Where the rivers of the western Lake District meet the sea there are dunes and estuaries rich with sea life and the birds which feed on it. There are lots of places where you can launch anything from a windsurfer to a small boat.

Find out more in our The Coast of the Lake District National Park leaflet (PDF)

Help native wildlife

Invasive non-native species of wildlife can hitchhike on equipment, footwear, clothing and boats. You may inadvertently spread the aliens even if you just go for a paddle! Every time you leave any water such as a river, tarn or lake:

Check - Clean - Dry

Stop the spread of invasive aquatic species logo
  • Check your equipment and clothing for living organisms. Pay particular attention to damp or hard to inspect areas.
  • Clean and wash all equipment, footwear and clothes thoroughly. If you do come across any organisms, leave them at the water body where you found them or on a hard surface to die out.
  • Dry all equipment and clothing. Some species can live for many days in damp conditions.

Find out more at Biosecurity - South Cumbria Rivers Trust (opens in new window)

Need holiday accommodation?

Cottage near Coniston - copyright Charlie Hedley

We've cosy holiday cottages, quirky boutique hotels, friendly bed and breakfasts and luxury hotels!

Our commission goes towards keeping the National Park special: Browse and book accommodation online here

Want even more visitor information?

Cumbria Tourism logo - click to go to their website in a new window

Visit Golakes (opens in new window), the official website of the tourist board for The Lake District and Cumbria.