Keswick is a real playground for water sports – there’s a reason why it’s known as the adventure capital of the Lake District! The town sits on Derwentwater, one of the most popular lakes in the national park, and the River Derwent and River Greta both run through the town. As if that isn’t enough, just beyond Keswick you’ll find Bassenthwaite Lake and even more rivers, ghylls and canyons in the Newlands Valley!
So with all of that wonderful water surrounding you, you’ll no doubt want to get in and on it. Read on for our favourite water sports in Keswick and nearby.
The ultimate water sport in Keswick has to be ghyll scrambling! Suitable for young kids, teenagers, and adventurous adults alike, this adrenaline-pumping sport is great as a group activity or just for couples. After a short walk to the top of the ghyll, you’ll get into the water with a splash, then head downstream, taking in some stunning scenery as you go! This is a truly excellent outdoor activity and one of our favourites!
There’s no better way to explore the water than by kayaking on a river or lake. While Derwentwater is fantastic when viewed from the shores, you just don’t get the full effect until you’re really out there. Picture the scene: the sun’s out, there’s a gentle breeze, and you’re taking a break from paddling. Bob about and look around to get a real feel for why so many people are in love with Keswick and the Lake District.
Book a kayak tour.
There’s something really idyllic about sails billowing in the wind tat carries your boat along. You can get a taste for this yourself on Derwentwater, where there are three marinas where you can hire a sailboat. If you know what you’re doing, get right out on the water by yourself, or else book in some tuition and learn all the ins and outs!
Also known as SUP, stand up paddle boarding in Keswick has grown massively popular over the last few years. You might be a beginner who’s never had to balance on the board before, or maybe you’ve done it a few times and can’t wait to get onto the water again. It can take a bit of concentration at first while you get a feel for it, but once you’ve had a bit of practice, you’ll be gliding along the water in no time at all! Reach the distant islands of Derwentwater, explore round the hidden bends of the rivers, or just calmly admire the mountain scenery that surrounds Keswick.
River canyoning is extreme ghyll scrambling: you’re still following a river downhill, you’re still splashing and sliding, but everything is bigger and even more exciting! You’ll slip over waterfalls, glide down zip wires and abseil over sheer drops. Not only will you get thoroughly wet, you’ll get to see secret spots of the Lake District that are hidden from anyone who doesn’t experience this particular water sport!
The rivers around Keswick lend themselves well to white water rafting thanks to the twists, turns, and falls. It can be a hair-raising experience that will leave you wanting more! Alternatively, you might prefer a rafting adventure without the rapids, and raft building is the perfect activity for families and groups of friends. Work together or split into teams and compete to make the best raft. Then you’ll launch it onto Derwentwater and see just how far you can get before you sink!
Book a raft building activity.
Whether you canoe on a lake or a river, nothing beats the smooth action as you push your paddle through the clear waters and glide as if on air. There’s usually two to a boat, so there’ll be a bit of working together. It’s therefore perfect for some family bonding time or if you have little ones who need a bit of extra help making their way along the water. The higher sides of a canoe will help with your balance, too, and are an ideal alternative to kayaking if you’re a little bit nervous of falling in!
Book your canoe adventure.
Windermere may have the Great North Swim, but Derwentwater has all you need for a tranquil wild swim. It can get busy during the day with boat traffic, so your best time to go is first thing in the morning or later on in the afternoon. Take your time to enjoy the sights and (lack of) sounds before towelling off and popping to the pub for a warming meal or drink.
If you want to be one of the first to try a water sport that’s going to take the UK by storm, then you have to hop on a hydrospeed board and get ready to play! Holding on tightly to your board, you’ll get caught up in the current and zip along the winding beds of the river. Give it a go and see why we’ve tipped this as the next big thing!
We are the only provider of hydropseeding in the Lake District!
Keswick and water sports go together hand-in-hand and we firmly believe that this is one of the best areas to get out on the water. Not only are they fun and exciting, they can help build confidence and allow you to see the Lake District from a completely new perspective!
Browse our available water sports in the Lake District now.