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    Lake Windermere Kayak Guidebook

    In short, Lake Windermere makes for a great kayakers destination. We recommend all UK (or international) paddlers find their way down there when they have the chance. Read the full guidebook below.

    Published on

    Region:North West
    Average Time:2 Hours
    Start:Exploration of this area is best started from the east shore, either from Ferry Nab, just south of Bowness-on-Windermere, or from the Lake District National Parks Visitor Centre, Brockhole. This provides the best launch point also.
    Finish:Return to Ferry Nab.

    Lake Windermere is a popular boating hotspot that offers scenic views and plenty of space for all types of watercraft.

    While it can be busy at times, there are areas where you can find peace and quiet. This makes it the perfect place to start off a weekend paddling trip in the Lake District.

    Whether you’re exploring the lake by canoe, kayak, or other small vessel, you’re sure to have a great time.

    Suggested Paddling Route

    Paddling around the small islands just south of Windermere is a popular activity, as they are full of interesting wildlife and scenery.

    There are four main islands in this area – Belle Isle, Thompson Holme, Hen Holme, and Lady Holme.

    The best way to explore these is by starting from the east shore, either from Ferry Nab or Brockhole.

    If you have two vehicles, you can shuttle between the two launch points and make a day of it. If not, paddling from Ferry Nab in the morning, exploring the islands, having lunch at Brockhole, and paddling back to Ferry Nab makes for a great half-day paddle.

    Top Tip #1

    The lakes of the Lake District are well known for their dramatic scenery and changeable weather.

    A bright morning can quickly turn into a wet, windy afternoon, so be prepared!

    Even a light breeze can create big waves on the larger lakes, making paddling difficult and unpleasant. That’s why it’s important to always bring your walking boots with you and be prepared to take to the hills if the weather doesn’t go your way.

    Top Tip #2

    The Lakes are a great place for multi-sporting possibilities.

    If you’re into climbing, you can hike up Shepherd’s Crag and climb a route, then descend back to where you left the canoe for your return trip around Derwent Water.

    If you’re looking for something more challenging, you could hike up to Whin Rigg and Illgill Head with your inflatable strapped to your back, then descend to cross Wastwater.

    The possibilities are endless – it just takes a bit of careful logistics planning!

    Lake Windermere Accommodation

    Lots of great B&Bs, hotels, pubs & bunk houses in the area.

    Food & Drinks

    Lots of great cafes, restaurants and pubs in Bowness, Winderemere and Ambleside.

    Kayak & Canoe Shops

    Brookbank Carlisle (Carlisle Canoes) – Windermere Canoe and Kayak & Brookbank Lancaster.

    Useful Websites


    So in short, Lake Windermere makes for a great kayakers destination. We recommend all UK (or international) paddlers find their way down there when they have the chance.

    Dave Jenkins
    Dave Jenkins
    A keen swimmer, kayaker and surfer. Since I was a teenager all of my favourite hobbies and past times have involved spending time out on the water.


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