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There is no better way to explore the water than with a boat hire in the Lake District!
If you are thinking of taking to the waters of Windermere, Ullswater, Coniston and Derwentwater, all four lakes have plenty of self-drive boat hire options available – whether a motor boat, rowing boat, a sailing boat or even an electric one.
As with all boat hires in the Lake District, no experience is needed. You will be taken through safety information, how to drive the boats, guidance and advice on where to go as well as given all the safety equipment you need.
Hiring a boat in the Lake District can be of the most tranquil experiences on the lakes, or the most adventurous. It really is up to you.
Boat Hire on Lake Windermere
Lake Windermere is the most popular and largest lake to explore. It also has the most boat hire options to choose from. There are so many we created a whole post about them! Check it out here and start planning your Lake Windermere adventure.
Boat Hire on Coniston Water
Coniston Water is the third longest lake in the Lake District and Coniston village is located on the western shore of the northern end of Coniston Water. The lake is about 5 miles long and half a mile wide. It is large enough to explore for hours in this popular Lake District boat hire location. Take in the views with a stunning mountain backdrop – a treasured moment to look back and smile on.
This great Coniston map and guide provides lots of information about where to find places of interest and facilities on and around Coniston Water.
Boat Hire is available from Coniston Boating Centre. Their small electric boat hires can accommodate up to 6 people. They can be hired for up to an hour so that you are never too far away from safety, and well-behaved dogs are welcome on board!
They also have a range of open canoes, kayaks, rowing boats, paddleboards, electric bikes and more to hire. Check out their website for more information, along with a live webcam.
Boat Hire on Ullswater
As the second largest lake in England, Ullswater is over 7 miles long, but less than a mile across. There are dramatic views from both sides of the lake with 3 beautiful islands to explore and plenty of beaches, perfect for pulling up with a picnic.
Explore breathtaking views of Ullswater at your own pace with a boat hire from St Patrick’s Boat Landing. Powered by a 4hp outboard engine, these dog-friendly boats can carry up to 6 people. They are easy to operate and perfect for exploring. Boat hire is available for 1 or 2 hours.
St Patrick’s Boat Landing also offer fishing boats for hire. Choose from a 16ft Irish fly fishing boat or a 16ft spinning boat (both vessels are for 3 people max.) for a full or half-day. Own tackle must be provided as they do not provide this and a standard National license is required to fish Ullswater. Licenses can be bought online or locally from the Patterdale Post office. Rowing boats and Canadian canoes are also available for hire.
Lakeland is another popular choice of Lake District boat hire. Nestled on the northern end of the lake, Lakeland Boat Hire offers motorboats with front cabins to protect from the elements or smaller open boats to go exploring. Also available to hire are rowing boats and Canadian canoes.
For boat hire without a motor, Glenridding Sailing Centre offers a range of sailing boats, Canadian canoes, canoe rafts and kayaks for hire. RYA Sailing Tuition is also available along with lots of kid’s activities. Or how about a kayaking guided tour?
If you are seeking a real canoe adventure, check out the 1 or 2 day Ullswater canoe trail. With its breath-taking scenery, it’s an ideal destination for canoeing enthusiasts in the Lake District. Find out more information about the trail and points of interest in this Eden River Trust information guide.
Boat Hire on Derwentwater
Derwentwater in the northern Lake District region is 3 miles long and 1.5 miles wide. Explore this gorgeous lake at your own pace, cruising past its 4 islands. Now owned by the National Trust, they include Derwent Island, Lord’s Island, Rampsholme and St Herbert’s Island.
Check out this map and guide for more information about the lake.
Derwentwater is probably one of the most fun options for boat hire in the Lake District due to the number of different islands, inlets and beaches to explore.
Hire a boat from Keswick Launch with a small onboard motor, perfect for up to 8 people. Boats can be hired for up to 2 hours. No booking is necessary – just turn up at their booking office. Rowing boats are also available for hire.
If driving your own boat doesn’t sound appealing, take one of their lake cruises. Enjoy the 50 minute round boat trip, or jump off (and back on again at some point!) at one of the 8 jetties around the lake and explore at your leisure. This is a perfect way to take in the entire lake by water and by land.
Fancy a slower paced water activity? Derwent Water Marina on the west side of the lake offers kayaks, paddleboards, canoes, rowing boats and pedalos to hire.
Do you have a favourite boat hire in the Lake District? Are you planning on visiting and hiring your own boat? We would love to know your thoughts in the comments below.
Water loving British girl who moved to Australia and seriously caught the travel bug! Loves to explore and share destinations that inspire others to spend more time on the water and in the great outdoors. Typically, you’ll find her on a boat or next to the ocean, often in a daydream!