Often overlooked, the Lake District is great for boat hire and cruises. If you are looking for things to do in the Lake District, it might not be the first thing you think of, but it is a great way to see another side of the lakes. There are four main lakes in Cumbria, where visitors can enjoy a cruise or hire boats. In the north of the county, there’s Derwentwater and Ullswater, whilst in the south, there’s Windermere and Coniston Water.
With its pretty islands, traditional trees and well-proportioned size, this is possibly the most attractive lake of all.
Within a short walk from Keswick town centre is the Keswick Launch. For cruises, rowing boats and self-drive motor boat hire, check out the Keswick Launch website: www.keswick-launch.co.uk
Derwent Water Marina
Hire Kayaks, Canoes, Rowing Boats, Sailing Dinghies and Windsurfers. They also offer tuition for all the activities and can arrange guided trips around the lake. www.derwentwatermarina.co.uk
Nichol End Marina
Hire Kayaks, Canoes, Rowing Boats, Sailing Dinghies, motor boats and Windsurfers. They also offer tuition for all the activities and can arrange guided trips around the lake. www.nicholendmarine.co.uk/activities.php
With three distinct bends, Ullswater offers stunning scenery, especially around Glenridding.
Glenridding Sailing Centre
Sailing boats, canoes and kayaks can be hired, plus tuition is also offered. www.glenriddingsailingcentre.co.uk
Lakeland Boating Hire, Pooley Bridge
Motorboats, canoes and rowing boats can be hired. www.lakelandboathire.co.uk
St Patrick’s Boat and Bike Hire
Motor boats, rowing boats and mountain bike hire. www.stpatricksboatlandings.co.uk
Ullswater Caravan Camping and Marine Park
Bring your own boat to use on the lake or take part in some of the activities offered. www.ullswatercaravanpark.co.uk
Although you are not truly in high mountain territory, Windermere remains the most popular of all the lakes.
Windermere Lake Cruises
Low Wood Watersports Centre
Hire and tuition for motor boats, rowing boats, kayaks, canoes, waterskiing and more. www.englishlakes.co.uk/watersports/index.aspx
Windermere Lake Holidays
Houseboats and moorings. www.lakewindermere.net
Coniston is much quieter than its neighbour, Windermere, in the south of the county and offers fantastic scenery.
Coniston Boating Centre
The Coniston Boating Centre has a range of choices, including Electric boats, motor boats, rowing boats, sailing dinghies, open Canadian canoes and kayaks. You can even save 10% if you book online over the walk-up prices. www.conistonboatingcentre.co.uk/blog/offers
These guys can seat up to 8 people, so you can explore the beautiful scenery of Coniston Water.
The classic row boat. If you want to see the beautiful scenery, whiteout the distraction of a motor, then this is the way. The serene feeling of being one with nature is just beautiful.
These are probably my favourite type of watercraft simply because everyone can row, unlike a rowing boat where it’s left to one poor person. These are often used in team-building exercises for this exact reason – great fun for everyone.
Like a surfboard for when there is no surf, so you get a paddle instead. Great fun and a good test of balance for those interested in surfing.
For the avid sailer, they also have sailing dinghies; why not give it a go?
Take a leisurely cruise on Coniston or combine it with a walk. www.conistonlaunch.co.uk
Lake District Coast
There are three main towns with marinas: