Windermere Lake is the biggest stretch of water in the Cumbrian Lake District National Park. The Lakes make up England’s biggest National Park and includes the highest mountain peak of Scafell Pike. Windermere is the largest lake in England and stretches out for 10.5 miles with a depth of 219 feet. This means that the budding paddler has a massive expanse of water to explore – all in the beautiful, awe inspiring surroundings of the Lake District. Bowness is probably the easiest access point for anyone wanting some paddling action as there are car parks and facilities readily to hand. Waterhead – at the northern end of Windermere – is also another possible launching site and is a picturesque stop that features cafes and other amenities. If you get the itch to explore some of the other stretches of water then all of the lakes are extremely close to one another, making this watery playground one that is easy to enjoy. The only downside is the sheer volume of traffic on the roads during the high season and the extremely changeable weather. There is plenty to explore on the water with a few islands to be found in the middle of the lake that offer perfect picnicking spots and rest stops. Windermere is a perfect fresh water paddling spot for anyone with a sit on kayak as the lake offers relatively safe paddling and the opportunity to come ashore at various points to shoot a few pics and inspect the local scenery. With such a vast area to cover you may not get time to circumnavigate the whole lake but even if you don’t, with the ever changing weather and scenery there is always something new to witness while paddling your kayak.
How to get there:
Head along the M6 before turning off and following signs for Kendal. Then take the A591 all the way to Windermere.
At Bowness you will find car parks, toilet facilities, shops, restaurants and cafes with plenty of outdoor sports shops for any last minute bits and bobs you may need.
Windermere can get quite busy with boating traffic in the summer months so be aware when out paddling. The ever changing weather can present challenges so be prepared with adequate clothing.
Ins and Outs:
Launching from the shore side at either end of the lake (Bowness or Waterhead) is relatively easy. Choosing other spots to drop in may be difficult due to the proximity of the road.
The Lake District is a Mecca for hill walkers , climbers and cyclists, which means there are plenty of other sports to have a go at if you fancy.
The Lakes have long been associated with outdoor adventure sport including climbing, hill walking and kayaking. Many of the lakes offer access for the keen paddler and the jewel in the crown, Windermere, is a great place for a bit of ‘yakking.