The Lake District provides fantastic opportunities to take to the water in a canoe, kayak or paddleboard. Beginners can have a go, guided by experts. Once more confident, create your own adventure exploring the many islands, beautiful rivers and stunning coastline.
Below we've a paddleboard safety video, how to hire equipment and safety information. While the water can look tempting on a calm summer day, Lake District weather can easily change. You should always be aware of the weather and its impact on the water.
Check out the Local Weatherline Forecast (website) and our lake activities guide (page) which explains activities you can do on our four main lakes, including where you can go kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding in the Lake District.
You can hire equipment from outdoor centres around Coniston, Derwentwater, Ullswater and Windermere. For hiring canoes, kayaks and paddleboards you can do so via the following websites:
The term canoe is often used to refer to both canoes and kayaks. Canadian canoe: Usually an open boat which can accommodate more than one person (sitting or kneeling) and is propelled by a paddle with a blade only at one end. Historically, canoes were used by indigenous Canadians to transport people and goods on the lakes and rivers. Kayaks: A covered craft designed for one person which is propelled with a double ended paddle. A kayak was an Inuit fishing craft used on the sea and paddled with a long harpoon.
Explore how to take to the water safely on a canoe, kayak or paddleboard with safety videos and some top tips. Guided by this, you can discover the stunning islands, rivers and coastline of the Lake District confidently. Before heading out onto the water, take a look at our Lake Rangers' short water safety videos featured below. While the water can look tempting on a calm summer day, Lake District weather can easily change, so you should always keep an eye on the weather forecast.
Whether you are a sit-down or stand-up paddleboarder, take a few moments to prepare for a safe and fun experience on the lakes by watching this short paddleboarding video.
A personal flotation device should be worn during any water sport activity. Ensure you are wearing the appropriate type for your chosen activity and you know how to care for it.
If you are thinking about swimming in the Lakes from your vessel or shore then please make sure you follow the advice from our Lake Rangers about being visible to boat users.
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 and Dry guide for water users (Non Native Species website)
Or check out Biosecurity for boat and kayak users