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Where To Go Paddleboarding In The Lake District

Posted by Lydia Burdett

Tucked away in a North-Westerly corner of the UK, the Lake District is globally renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, unique countryside, and some of England’s tallest mountains. As the name suggests, the district’s rolling hills are also packed with a vast concentration of lakes, providing some of the very best locations for paddleboarding in the whole of the country. 

Whether you’re a seasoned paddler visiting the Lake District or planning to give the activity a try for the very first time on an upcoming holiday, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite places to visit in the region. Read on to discover how to make the most of your time paddleboarding in the Lake District. 

Bassenthwaite Lake

As the most Northerly of all of the lakes (and one of the biggest), Bassenthwaite is a wonderful place to go paddleboarding if it’s a tranquil and unique experience you’re looking for. The size of the lake means that it generally feels pretty quiet and secluded, though the real draw of the area is the presence of incredible ospreys which are known to swoop down to the water through all seasons! 

You can launch from a variety of points around the lake, with Bowness Bay and Mirehouse generally the most popular due to convenience and parking availability. Do note that the lake is a specially protected area which means that you’ll need to purchase a permit wherever you launch. 


The vast size of the Lake District means that you might want to narrow your SUP spot search to where you’re staying. With this in mind, paddling on Windermere is a fantastic option due to its proximity to some of the area’s most popular tourist towns and accommodations. 

Lake Windermere itself is the largest lake in the whole of England and boasts an impressive array of sheltered bays from which you can launch your paddleboard. Given the size of the lake, you could spend days exploring here and soaking up its rich history. If you just fancy hitting the water for a few hours one afternoon, there are also some great rental options available in neighbouring Bowness at Windermere Canoe & Kayak.


However, if you’d rather go paddleboarding away from the Lake District’s busiest tourist hotspots, why not pay a visit to Loweswater? Its remote nature makes it one of the more challenging SUP spots to get to on this list but we promise it’s well worth the drive over Newlands Pass for the secluded experience that awaits. Once you’ve got a permit, you’ll find it remarkably easy to explore the whole lake in one afternoon. There is a pretty small beach to be discovered at the western bank and ample opportunities to lie back and take in the surrounding woodlands. 

Coniston Water

If you’re new to paddleboarding or paddling as a group, we’d highly recommend taking a trip to Coniston Water. Like Windermere, Coniston is one of the more bustling places to visit in the Lake District. However, it’s also home to expansive waters perfect for honing your skills and refining your paddling technique - just make sure you check the forecast before launching as it can get windy and challenging on a bad day. The lake itself measures in at around 5 miles long, making it perfect for both all-day adventures and shorter trips with the whole family. 


For an almost otherworldly time paddleboarding in the Lake District, hop in the car and launch at Wastwater. You might recognise this vast and dramatic lake from the Harry Potter films and, just a stone’s throw from nearby Scafell Pike, it’s the perfect place to go for a post-summit paddle. Despite its proximity to England’s tallest mountain, Wastwater still feels incredibly remote and therefore a paddle here will always be a relaxing one. We’d generally suggest parking in the Wasdale Head area and launching from here. Note that facilities nearby are limited so you’ll want to have a changing robe to hand to eliminate any awkward roadside changing moments!


Lake Buttermere’s crystal-clear waters offer a picture-perfect Lake District paddleboarding experience. This small but charming lake is easy to navigate and offers spectacular views from all directions, with neighbouring Crummock Water also offering an area well worth a visit. The two were originally one larger lake, but erosion resulted in a divide between the two and the formation of two unique places to paddleboard in the Lake District. When you’re finished paddling, the nearby infinity pools are also worth a visit if you’re up for taking the plunge! Warm up afterwards with a cream tea from one of the wonderful tea rooms in the village itself. 


Last but not least on our list of the best places to paddleboard in the Lake District is the spectacular Derwentwater. Found near the popular town of Keswick, this equally popular SUP spot promises numerous islands and captivating surroundings of fells and woodland. Keswick Boat Landings offers a convenient and accessible place to launch, from which you can enjoy a whole day on your board hopping between islands and exploring your surroundings. 

Top Tips For Paddleboarding In The Lake District

While we are sure you’ll be itching to pack up your paddle board and pay a visit to the best places to paddleboard in the Lake District, there are a couple of things you should bear in mind first. 

As always, remember that safety comes first! Many of the SUP spots featured on this list are popular with a range of water users and boats and therefore it’s important to keep in the appropriate areas, stay seen, and only paddle within your comfort zone. You should always wear a buoyancy aid or waistbelt PFD - lake conditions can be surprisingly unforgiving - and check the forecast before committing to a trip.

If you’re planning to visit lots of different SUP spots in the Lake District, rinse your board down between uses to avoid cross-contamination between different lakes. Extend the same care to your time off the water and remember that the Lake District is a national park with guidelines to follow to protect its natural beauty.

Finally, enjoy yourself! Whether you prefer the busier waters of Windermere or the tranquillity of Loweswater, there is no doubt that the Lake District offers a unique array of paddleboarding experiences. Let us know if you discover a hidden gem, and don’t hesitate to get in touch should you have any questions about an upcoming trip.