Aquativities! Things to do on Derwentwater

Two men in a boat on Derwentwater! © ntpl/Paul Harris

Two men in a boat on Derwentwater!


Although the National Trust doesn’t have any boats on Derwentwater, rowing boats and small motor boats are available to hire from a number of local providers:

If you wish to launch your own small craft, you can do so at Kettlewell car park or the shore near Great Wood car park. Please don’t leave trailers in the car parks over night. Launching is also possible with the landowner’s permission at Derwentwater Marina, Nichol End Marina and some campsites.


Fishing is permitted on Derwentwater: anglers must get a permit from Keswick Anglers’ Association and also a Environment Agency rod licence. You can get both of these from Keswick Information Centre and the Post Office.

Derwentwater is home to a population of vendace, Britain’s rarest fish. Because of this, anglers are asked to use sea fish dead bait or artificial lures.


Swimming in Derwentwater is very popular in the warmer summer months. If you want to swim you need to be aware of boat traffic but there are some quieter areas – between Lord’s Island and the shore is a no-boat area. Myrtle Bay is also quiet.

Swimmers should remember that while areas of shallow water may be warm, deeper water will be a lot colder even in the summer.

If you see anyone in difficulty you should call the coastguard straight away - phone 999.

For more information and advice (and a map showing all public launch sites) please have a look at Derwentwater – A Lake User’s Guide