There are four main bodies of water in the Lake District where you can enjoy a relaxing boat cruise: in the South Lakes near the Howbeck Guest House there’s Windermere and Coniston Water, while in the North Lakes there’s Derwentwater and Ullswater.
Windermere lake cruises are said to be the most popular attraction in Cumbria, taking holidaymakers on a journey around England’s largest lake right at the heart of the Lake District. You can start your trip at Bowness, Ambleside or Lakeside, passing lush, wooded islands, sheltered bays, and spectacular mountain scenery. Many passengers break up their journey, stopping to explore various parts of the lake, or visiting tourist attractions situated on the lake shore – such as the Lakeland Motor Museum, the Lakes Aquarium, or the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Steam Railway.
Cruises on Coniston Water
Coniston Launch offers regular services on traditional timber launches running on two different circular routes on Coniston Water. Passengers can choose to either stay on the boat for the full trip, or stop off at any of the jetties and catch a later boat back. Again, lots of people combine a boat cruise with a walk around the shore of Coniston Water, on lakeshore footpaths and quiet country lanes. The walks from one jetty to another take as little as ten minutes or as long as 70 minutes, depending on which you choose to stop at. There are places to eat at several jetties, including the Jumping Jenny Coffee House and Restaurant at Brantwood, and the Bluebird Cafe by the Lake at Coniston Boatlandings.
Cruises on Derwentwater
Some say Derwentwater is the most beautiful of all the Lake District’s lakes, tarns, meres and waters. Located on the lake shore of Derwentwater, close to the market town of Keswick, the Keswick Launch Company offers cruises around Derwentwater – . either around the entire lake in one go on a 50-minute trip, or stopping off at any of the seven lakeshore jetties. From many of the jetties you can join local walks such as the one- to two-hour ramble from Keswick Landings to Ashness, taking you past Friar’s Crag and Calfclose Bay.
The Ullswater Steamers is a VisitEngland Silver Award-winning attraction that has been operating cruises on this famously beautiful lake for more than 150 years. An historic fleet of steamers offers holidaymakers the chance to combine a cruise on the lake with a hike along some of the most famous trails in the Lake District – such as the Howtown to Glenridding walk, which weaves through an area well-known for its rich and varied wildlife. There are various boat services available, ranging from short, 35-minute single trips from one lake destination to another, to round-the-lake trips taking more than two hours.