Safer Lakes.

Please help protect our communities, observe social distancing and stay safe.

Check car parks and toilets across the Lake District National Park

See for latest coronavirus rules across the National Park and our services.

#LoveYourLakes: Donate to the Lake District Foundation's crowdfunding campaign to help care for the Lake District after the impacts of a busy summer.

Paddling a Canadian canoe on Coniston Water copyright Dave Willis

Canoeing and kayaking

The Lake District provides fantastic opportunities to take to the water in a canoe or kayak. Beginners can have a go, guided by experts. Once you are more confident, create your own adventure exploring the many islands, beautiful rivers and stunning coastline.

Featured places to visit for canoeing or kayaking

Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre

Brockhole gardens

Have a great day out at Brockhole! Explore 30 acres of stunning gardens, hire bikes for the family, enjoy lake Windermere by canoe, kayak or rowing boat and let the children blow off some steam on the adventure playground or Treetop Nets!

Visit the Brockhole website

Coniston Boating Centre

Brockhole gardens

Pre-book boats and bikes from Coniston Boating Centre and go on a mini adventure with friends and family! Explore Coniston Water by canoe, kayak, paddle board, rowing or or motor boat!

Visit Coniston Boating Centre

Starting out?

Not sure if canoeing or kayaking is for you? You can hire equipment from outdoor centres around Coniston, Derwentwater, Ullswater and Windermere

Hire and course centres

Here are some providers. All links open in a new window:

Keeping safe

Before heading out onto the water, take a look at our short water safety videos.

Whilst the water can look tempting on a calm summer's day, the 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.

Canoeing guides

Maps of Lakes for water users:

What’s the difference between a kayak and a canoe?

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 (either in a sitting or kneeling position) and is propelled by a paddle with a blade only at one end.

Historically canoes were used by the native Canadian Indians to transport people and goods on the lakes and rivers.


This is 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.

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

Or check out Biosecurity for boat and kayak users