Family in a rowing boat on Windermere

Access to the Lakes

This is a simple guide to which activites you can do on each of the main lakes in the Lake District National Park.

Please make sure you're aware of the relevant speed limits and byelaws. And remember 'check - clean - dry' your equipment to help stop dangerous invasive species spreading between different areas.

This A4 print version just shows which activities are allowed in each lake.

Guide to activities allowed in the four navigable Lake District lakes:

Windermere

πŸŠπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Swimming: Yes

πŸ›Ά Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards: Yes

πŸš£πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Rowing boats: Yes

⛡️ Sailing boats: Yes, boats must be registered

πŸ›₯ Powered craft: Yes, boats must be registered and there is a 10 mph speed limit

Who to contact:

Lake District National Park
hq@lakedistrict.gov.uk
01539 724555

Ullswater

πŸŠπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Swimming: Yes

πŸ›Ά  Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards: Yes

πŸš£πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Rowing boats: Yes

⛡️ Sailing boats: Yes

πŸ›₯ Powered craft: Yes, and there is a 10 mph speed limit

Who to contact:

Lake District National Park
hq@lakedistrict.gov.uk
01539 724555

Coniston

πŸŠπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Swimming: Yes

πŸ›Ά Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards: Yes

πŸš£πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Rowing boats: Yes

⛡️ Sailing boats: Yes

πŸ›₯ Powered craft: Yes, and there is a 10 mph speed limit

Who to contact:

Lake District National Park
hq@lakedistrict.gov.uk
01539 724555

Derwent Water

πŸŠπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Swimming: Yes

πŸ›Ά Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards: Yes

πŸš£πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Rowing boats: Yes

⛡️ Sailing boats: Yes

πŸ›₯ Powered craft: Yes, and there is a 10 mph speed limit

There is no access to any of the islands in Derwent Water.

Who to contact:

National Trust, North West
015394 35599

Guide to activities allowed in all other Lake District lakes:

Bassenthwaite

πŸŠπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Swimming: Yes

πŸ›Ά Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards: Yes, Bassenthwaite boating permit needed

πŸš£πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Rowing boats: Yes, Bassenthwaite boating permit needed

⛡️ Sailing boats: Yes, Bassenthwaite boating permit needed

πŸ›₯ Powered craft: Yes for electric boats with a Bassenthwaite permit

🎣 Fishing: Yes, Bassenthwaite fishing permit needed

Who to contact:

Lake District National Park
hq@lakedistrict.gov.uk
01539 724555

Buttermere

πŸŠπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Swimming: Yes

πŸ›Ά Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards: Yes, with a permit

πŸš£πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Rowing boats: Yes, with a permit

⛡️Sailing boats: No

πŸ›₯ Powered craft: No

Season Permits ring 017687 74649.  
Day permits are available from the car parks at Buttermere CA13 9UZ and Lanthwaite Wood CA13 ORT.

Who to contact:

National Trust, North West
015394 35599

Crummock Water

πŸŠπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Swimming: Yes

πŸ›Ά Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards: Yes, with a permit

πŸš£πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Rowing boats: Yes, with a permit

⛡️Sailing boats: No

πŸ›₯ Powered craft: No

Season Permits ring 017687 74649.  
Day permits are available from the car parks at Buttermere CA13 9UZ and Lanthwaite Wood CA13 ORT.

Who to contact:

National Trust, North West
015394 35599

Ennerdale Water

πŸŠπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Swimming: No

πŸ›Ά Canoes, kayaks: Yes. Commercial groups, activity providers and large groups need a permit.

Paddleboards: No.

πŸš£πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Rowing boats: Yes. Commercial groups, activity providers and large groups need a permit.

⛡️Sailing boats: No

πŸ›₯ Powered craft: No

Permits are available from United Utilities

Who to contact:

United Utilities
01768 772334
accessnorthcatchment@uuplc.co.uk

Esthwaite Water

Esthwaite Water is run as a private fishery, offering bank, row and motor boat fishing.

015394 36541

Grasmere

πŸŠπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Swimming: Yes

πŸ›Ά Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards: Yes

πŸš£πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Rowing boats: Yes

⛡️Sailing boats: No

πŸ›₯ Powered craft: No

Who to contact:

Lowther Estates
01931 712577

Haweswater Reservoir

πŸŠπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Swimming: No

πŸš£πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards: No

⛡️Sailing boats: No

πŸ›₯ Powered craft: No

Who to contact:

United Utilities
01768 772334
accessnorthcatchment@uuplc.co.uk

Loweswater

πŸŠπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Swimming: Yes

πŸ›Ά Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards: Yes, under 4 m with a permit

πŸš£πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Rowing boats: Yes, under 4 m

⛡️Sailing boats: No

πŸ›₯ Powered craft: No

Day permits are available from the car parks at Buttermere CA13 9UZ and Lanthwaite Wood CA13 ORT.

Who to contact:

National Trust, North West
015394 35599

Rydal

πŸŠπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Swimming: Yes

πŸ›Ά Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards: No public access

πŸš£πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Rowing boats: No public access

⛡️Sailing boats: No

πŸ›₯ Powered craft: No

  • Individual recreational swimming only. All commercial activity to be agreed with Carter Jonas.
  • Small lakes byelaws

Who to contact:

Rydal Estates, c/o Carter Jonas land agents
01539 722592

Thirlmere Reservoir

πŸŠπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Swimming: No

πŸ›Ά Canoes, kayaks: Yes

Paddleboards: No

⛡️ Sailing boats: Yes

πŸ›₯ Powered craft: No

Who to contact:

United Utilities
01768 772334
accessnorthcatchment@uuplc.co.uk

Wastwater

πŸŠπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Swimming: Yes

πŸ›Ά Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards: Yes

πŸš£πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Rowing boats: Yes

⛡️Sailing boats: No

πŸ›₯ Powered craft: No

Who to contact:

National Trust, North West
015394 35599