Naturally, if you’re visiting the Lake District there are plenty of water activities to enjoy, from sightseeing to watersports. The range is wide, so whatever kind of holiday you’re planning, you’ll find the something to do on the water that will fit right in.


The View from the Lake: Sightseeing

One of the best ways of seeing the breathtaking countryside of the Lake District National Park is by boat. There are frequent boat cruises from Windermere, ideal for taking in local landmarks and scenery. Options include round trips between Bowness and Ambleside, circular cruises around the islands of Windermere, and cruises including a walk along the western shore of the lake.

You can also try inclusive on-board buffet cruises and trips to specific local attractions by boat, including the Lakeland Motor Museum, the Haverthwaite Steam Railway and the Lakes Aquarium.

There are also scenic cruises around Derwentwater, with a choice of boarding and disembarking points along the lakeshore. At Coniston visitors can enjoy a luxurious cruise on a steam yacht gondola, rebuilt to the same specifications as an original Victorian vessel. The cruise travels the full length of Coniston Water and includes a live commentary on board, about the area’s cultural heritage and connections.


A Rush and a Splash: Watersports

Whatever your age, ability or interests, there are plenty of watersports to experience in the Lakes. Canoeing and kayaking are popular family activities but also with an appeal for more experienced visitors. Both the Brockhole Visitor Centre and Coniston Boating Centre are excellent locations for booking canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, or even hiring a motor boat.

There are number of places offering courses, including starter and taster sessions for those wanting to try watersports out for the first time.

If you’re a little more daring, several places in Windermere offer extreme watersports, including waterskiing and wakeboarding.

Some of the quieter lakes are ideal places for swimming. These include: Buttermere, Crummock Water, Grasmere and Rydal Water. You can also swim in the busier Coniston Water, Derwentwater, Ullswater and Windermere, but here you’ll be sharing your space with more boats.

For those keen on fishing, there is the annual Cumbria Fishing Festival, and some of the larger lakes are recommended for pike and coarse fishing. Fishing on Windermere, Ullswater and Coniston is free. There is also excellent fishing in many of the local rivers. These are controlled by local Angling Associations, from whom you can obtain daily or weekly permits to fish for trout and salmon.

The Lake District is an ideal activity holiday destination, with plenty of holiday accommodation offering great access to the water. Always remember to stay safe, keep an eye on the kids, and make sure, if you’re a novice, that you’ve had proper instructions if you’re venturing out onto the water.