Where to kayak and canoe

Kayaking in the sea off Middle Beach, Studland, Dorset
Visitors kayaking in the sea off Middle Beach, Studland, Dorset National Trust Images / Ben Selway

There are lots of options for kayaking and canoeing at our places across the UK. In some places, you can hire the boats and all the kit you'll need or join a group. In other places, you can take off on your own adventure. Here's our guide to top spots and what they offer.

Best of both worlds

You’ll find all the kit you need at these spots, but you can also bring your own. These places are a great option for groups of mixed experience.


Coniston is the third largest lake in the Lake District. It’s a brilliant spot for combining boating with a walking trail through the lush landscape around the lake. When you take to the water, you can canoe, kayak or sail. We’ve also restored a beautiful Victorian steam boat, the Steam Yacht Gondola, which tours the lake.

Derwent Water

Derwent Water, also known as ‘Queen of the Lakes’ is nestled in the idyllic Borrowdale Valley. You can explore the islands on your own boat or hire all kinds of boats from hire centres around the lake.

Fowey Estuary

The wooded creeks of the Fowey Estuary in Cornwall are a beautiful and dramatic place to explore the water.


We care for a beautiful stretch of the South Devon coastline at Salcombe. Paddle along the Salcombe estuary to discover secret beaches and soaring cliffs. We’ve created a guide that you can download, and you can buy a waterproof version in the local area.


Stackpole is an exceptional landscape and nature reserve on the Pembrokeshire coast. You can launch your kayak at Stackpole Quay and paddle along the coast to discover sandy beaches and coves. The Outdoor Learning centre at Stackpole is an ideal place for groups to stay and enjoy watersports and outdoor activities.

Strangford Lough

Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland is the largest sea loch in the British Isles. We care for an outstanding range of wildlife here, and there are plenty of ways for you to take to the water.
If you’ve got your own kit, you can set off from nearby Castle Ward with the Strangford Lough canoe trail. You can also camp at Castle Ward or spend a night on Salt Island Bothy.

Studland Bay

This famous coastline of Purbeck is famed for its miles of sandy beach and gentle bathing waters. The sea here is perfect for watersports too. Take to the water for terrific views of Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight. On land, you can find an array of wildlife in the heathland and long, sandy walks on the golden beach.


Windermere is the largest lake in England, where you can try out a great range of activities on the water. You can also hire kayaks and rowing boats at Fell Foot Park.

Boating for beginners

Great entry-level classes for people looking to pick up a paddle for the first time.

Brancaster Activity Centre

This centre in the East of England offers a great range of kayak taster sessions and instruction.

Bring your own boat

Got your own boat? We care for lots of waterways that you can explore on your own.


The Crom Estate, Northern Ireland, sits on the beautiful meandering Upper Lough Erne river and is on the Lough Erne canoe trail. You can even camp at Crom as you complete the trail.


The Minnowburn and Lagan rivers wander through this picturesque spot within a stone's throw of Belfast. Launch yourself into the River Lagan from our landing platform for an idyllic escape.

Mullion Harbour

The Lizard in Cornwall is a haven for all kinds of watersports. You can try out kayaking from Mullion Harbour with Lizard Adventure.

River Wey and Godalming Navigations

An intriguing route of river and canal packed with history in the South East. A current portable Navigations Licence or BCU membership is required.

The Fal

The Fal River runs through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Cornwall. You can explore the Fal in a canoe then wander through the beautiful Trelissick Gardens.

A view of Studland Beach, Dorset
Sea views and sandcastles at Studland Beach National Trust/Will Wilkinson

Studland Beach

Vast area of sandy beaches and heathland

Stunning aerial view of Fell Foot
We're looking to improve the facilities and enhance all that makes Fell Foot so special MovieIt

Visit Fell Foot Park

Lakeshore park with stunning mountain views

The old castle ruins at Crom
Explore the spooky old castle ruins Bernie Brown

Visit Crom

Romantic and tranquil landscape of islands, woodland and historical ruins

Kynance panorama
The spectacular Kynance Cove Layla Astley/NT

Lizard Point and Kynance Cove

Lizard Point and Kynance Cove are the perfect backdrop to a winter visit. Watch the waves breaking as the winter unleashes it's might on the Atlantic or find a wooded valley to wonder through and take shelter.

Swans on the river Wey, frosty towpath
St Catherine's, River Wey National Trust Images / John Miller

Visit River Wey and Godalming Navigations and Dapdune Wharf

Tranquil waterway running for nearly 20 miles through the heart of Surrey

View of the Fal river from Trelissick main lawn
Experience Trelissick tennis court lawn in Winter NT Trelissick

Trelissick garden 

With 30 acres of garden and summerhouses to shelter in there's lots to explore whatever the weather.