Canoes are usually open and the paddler uses a one-blade paddle.
Canoeing provides a brilliant way to enjoy everything from a gentle potter with the family through to technical solo paddling on Derwentwater, a simply stunning location!

We have tandem canoes that you can paddle solo too, family canoes for two adults and two small children and for small groups and in adverse conditions an option to raft two canoes together into a catamaran to provide a stable platform, extra power and everyone will have a great time in one craft. Check out our voyageur.

Our experience and knowledge of the lake along with access to safety boats allows us to offer you a range of experiences in most weather conditions. Anyone can go canoeing, there are no age limits, from babes in arms to great gran and we have all the necessary safety equipment and will offer you advice.

You can hire canoes for any period from one hour to a whole day. They are a great way to explore the lake, have a picnic on one of the islands or spend some time drifting about getting close to nature and admiring the magnificent scenery. Just being out there is a great way to relax and “de-stress”.

As a British Canoeing Quality Mark Activity Provider we also offer tuition, with our qualified staff either as a one off taster session or part of a more formal certificated course or book on to one of our GO Canoeing Guided Tours

The session can be tailored for your needs, both in time and content. So whether you are looking for guidance on particular skills, or just someone to make your time on the water more fun, we have the session for you.

Ian the indian


Canoes were developed over the course of thousands of years by the native peoples of North America. The word ‘canoe’ originated from the word ‘kenu’ – meaning dugout. These seagoing boats were used by the Carib Indians of the Caribbean islands, and were made of large tree trunks which were shaped and hollowed, and were strong enough to travel between the islands.

North American Indians are responsible for creating the more well-known version of the canoe – a frame of wooden ribs covered with the lightweight bark of birch trees, and sometimes elm or cedar trees. These boats, which have remained virtually unchanged in design for thousands of years, proved to be ideal for travelling the numerous streams, rivers and lakes of North America.

Birch bark was the perfect choice to build canoes because, not only was it lightweight and smooth, but it was also waterproof and resilient. As well, the birch tree was found in almost every area of Canada, except for the western subarctic region, where spruce bark had to fill in as a substitute. The joints of the canoes were held together by the root of the white pine and then made waterproof by applying hot pine or spruce resin.


Our volunteers thoroughly enjoyed the
Keswick Mountain Festival Fix the Fells Care Day
Litter pick by canoe around Derwentwater
despite the windy and rainy start to the day!Ruth Kirk - Fell Care Project Officer - Friends of the Lake District
We had a fantastic experience  yesterday and the weather did not spoil the canoeing at all. St Bridgets School Brigham ~ Julie
Thank you very much to Sarah, John and your staff, for this year.
The boys seemed to have a fantastic time, particularly on the ‘rapids’,
and everything worked well logistically.Paul - Manchester Grammar School
Thanks for a great time on Derwentwater on Easter Saturday.David Parker - 3rd Gateshead Boys Brigade

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