The Best Places To Go Kayaking In The Lake District

The Best Places To Go Kayaking In The Lake District

The recent heatwave may have suggested otherwise, but the summer is now coming to an end and that means watersports fans may need to think about trying some different activities.

Although many people love wild swimming at any time of the year, most folk might be a little less keen on going in the water as the temperature drops. But that doesn’t mean you cannot go on the water.

Autumn can be a great time to go kayaking. You stay mostly dry unless you have a mishap (for which a life jacket is an essential precaution), and you can spend longer on the water without being baked in the sun or getting very thirsty.

You might hire a kayak or even invest in a solid one, but another great option is to get an inflatable kayak, which takes up less space and weighs a lot less when you are travelling.

Of all the places to travel to, the Lake District is one of the finest. With so many lakes, tarns and rivers to choose from, it is not hard to find a good spot to take to the water. The National Park Authority has helpfully created lake maps for water users on Windermere, Ullswater, Coniston Water, Bassenthwaite Lake and Derwent Water.

These are not the only options, but the information about these lakes can be very handy for anyone doing watersports, as it shows details such as facilities, restricted areas, points of danger and private shorelines where you cannot launch or land.

Other lakes you might want to kayak on include Wastwater and Thirlmere, which join Windermere, Ullswater and Coniston Water in Go Paddling’s top five lakes.

There are various things to consider with each lake. Windermere, Ullswater, Coniston Water and Derwent Water all have public steamers that you should take care not to get in the way of. It’s also worth noting which islands in these lakes you can visit without trespassing, as some of the larger ones are private and have homes on them, like Belle Isle on Windermere.

While such considerations make published guides useful, one of the joys of having an inflatable kayak is the mobility this offers you, not least the chance to head somewhere a little different. For example, you might want to take it to one of the national park’s many tarns, enjoying the wonderful rugged scenery from new angles.

However, if you do go to one of the smaller lakes or tarns, there are a couple of things to consider. One is that some of them are on private land, so check that you are allowed there. This can apply to larger lakes too; for example, unlike on neighbouring Derwent Water, you need a permit to kayak on Bassenthwaite Lake.

In addition, if you are on a smaller and more remote body of water, it is better not to go alone. The solitude may be great, but it means there may be nobody around to help if you get into difficulties.

With sensible observance of byelaws, care for other users and sensible precautions, you can have a wonderful time taking an inflatable kayak to the Lake District and enjoying one of Britain’s most treasured places in a new way.