Out on the lake

Woman landing in Windermere at Fell Foot

With state-of-the-art changing rooms and impressive views up to the Fairfield Horseshoe, Fell Foot is the perfect place to try out a new activity on England's largest lake. To help get you started, we've put together a handy list of everything you can do out on the water.

Join a class or club

*Please note these are all run by affiliated groups and not by the National Trust*

Open water swimming classes

For those looking to dip their toe in the world of outdoor swimming, SleekerSwim offers open water courses at Fell Foot. These are for both beginners and intermediate swimmers, and provide a great opportunity to boost your confidence under the watchful eye of an experienced instructor.

If you’re already a confident open water swimmer, SleekerSwim runs events throughout the summer in which to get involved.

A full list of events is available on their website (external link) and wetsuits are also available to hire.

Take a dip in England's largest lake
Open water swimming at Fell Foot
Take a dip in England's largest lake

Sailing, rowing and canoe clubs

Fell Foot is home to three local boating clubs.

South Windermere Sailing Club (SWSC)

Fell Foot has been home to South Windermere Sailing Club for over 50 years. If you’re thinking of joining the family friendly club or would like to arrange a taster session, either email membership@swsailing.co.uk, or pop down on a Saturday morning from 10am to talk to some of the club’s members and officers. While SWSC isn’t a formal training centre, it is a great place to gain experience and confidence, and club members can guide you to the right level of training you might need. 

On Saturday mornings the club runs ‘Messing about in Boats’, informal sessions for members which offer both children and adults a safe environment to relax and sail with safety boat cover. The popular ‘Family Sailing Week’ happens throughout the first full week in August and offers something for everyone at all levels.

 The club hosts many events throughout the year, so keep an eye on our What’s on page for more details. For more information about any of the above please contact the club directly via email - enquiries@swsailing.co.uk or visit their website.

Take the helm and try your hand at sailing
Sailing sessions at Fell Foot
Take the helm and try your hand at sailing

Windermere Rowing Club

If you fancy getting out onto the biggest lake in England, grow your social network and get fit while you’re at it, then rowing might be for you. Windermere Rowing Club was founded by a small group of enthusiasts in 2015 and welcomes members of all ages and abilities from complete beginners to seasoned rowers. It now has over 100 members and a growing fleet of boats.

If you’re new to the sport, the club offers Learn to Row courses which take you through the basics and prepare you for your first regatta over a six week course. You’ll have the opportunity to compete in events across the North of England if you choose, ‘The Tour of Windermere’ (a full 21-mile circuit of the lake), or if you’d rather take it easy and just have a paddle with friends, rowing takes place most days throughout the year. Contact the club for more information windermererowingclub@gmail.com or visit their website (external link).

Rowing at Fell Foot

Ulverston Canoe Club (UCC)

Ulverston Canoe Club is a small, friendly club which welcomes both individuals and families with any level of experience who have an interest in kayaking or canoeing. They provide various levels of coaching to ensure you’ll feel confident in the water. For further information please visit the club's website or email them directly at ulverstoncc@gmail.com.

Woman canoeing on Windemere

Hire a National Trust rowing boat, kayak or paddleboard

If you fancy exploring the lake at your own pace, we’ve got rowing boats, paddleboards and kayaks available to hire until Sunday 27 October.

Rates and times

Thursday 5 September–Sunday 13 October (Autumn term) Thursday–Sunday, 10am–4pm

Wednesday 16–Sunday 27 October (Half term) 7 days a week, 10am–4pm

The hiring point is down on the lakeshore, next to the shop and is weather dependent.

Rowboat prices:

30 mins 2 people: £12                 
30 mins 3 people: £14               
30 mins 4 people: £16                 

1hr 2 people: £17
1hr 3 people: £19
1hr 4 people: £22

Kayak prices:
1 hr single kayak: £12                  
2 hr single kayak: £20                  
3hr single kayak: £27                   

1hr double kayak: £17
2hr double kayak: £25
3hr double kayak: £32

Paddleboard prices:
1 hr (standard - 1 x adult): £15
1hr (XL - adult + child): £20
2hr (standard - 1 x adult): £23 
2hr (XL - adult + child): £28
3hr (standard - 1 x adult): £30 
3hr (XL - adult + child): £35

Dry bags are included.
Wetsuits are available to hire for £5 when hired with a kayak or paddle board. They're available to hire individually for £20.

A family enjoying a trip in a rowing boat, Fell Foot Park, Cumbria

Bring your own

Canoe, kayak, inflatable dinghy and paddleboard owners can launch at the south end of the park for free, so long as you can carry the equipment down on foot from the car park. If you’d rather save yourself the hassle and launch safely from one of our slipways then passes are £4 and include entry to our new changing rooms in Fell Foot’s Active Base. You can pick one up from the visitor welcome team in the car park, or the shop or café. For those with larger boats on a trailer, the cost is £14. If you park up in the car park at the Active Base it’s just a short walk down to the shore – head through the boat storage to access the lake.

The Active Base Club House

If you’re one of the brave ones you’re welcome to park up and wild swim from our shoreline. The easiest place to get in the water is one of our many slipways across the park. Once you’re ready to return to dry land, there’ll be a hot shower and a toasty changing room waiting for you in the Active Base, complete with underfloor heating. Day passes are just £2 and can be bought from the visitor welcome team in the car park, or the shop or café

We’re now offering wetsuit hire. Pull on a wetsuit to make use of the lake whatever the time of year is, and our shop sells towels if you need one.

Be brave – take a swim in Windermere at Fell Foot
Four swimmers walk into the water at Windermere, Fell Foot
Be brave – take a swim in Windermere at Fell Foot

Boat storage

We also offer storage to boat owners – at the moment there is no summer hardstanding boat storage available but we do have room for tender boats, kayaks and canoes. If you’d like to moor in the lake itself, you’ll need to enquire with the Lake District National Park warden for Windermere, as we don’t own the lake. Winter storage is dealt with on a first come, first served basis. Please contact Claire Brady at fellfootactive@nationaltrust.org.uk for more details.