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Kayaking on Derwentwater.

Kayaking is one of the most popular ways to explore Derwentwater.  The Lingholm islands are just around the corner and can be explored in under an hour. If you have a bit longer you can go to St Herbert's Island in the middle of the lake where a hermit used to live - have a good hunt to find the remains of his cottage. No previous experience is needed to hire a kayak from Nichol End (weather dependent). Kayaking on Derwentwater is particularly nice in the light spring and summer evenings, when all the big groups have gone home for the night!

Kayak Hire

Nichol End has kayaks available to hire all year round. Kayaks are available in singles, doubles and trebles, and are great for couples, families and groups.  Most of our fleet are sit on tops, but we also have a fleet of touring sit in kayaks.

Single sit on top kayaks cost £10 for the first hour then £7 for any extra hours, Our Touring kayaks (sit in) are also £9 for the first hour then £6 for any extra hours.

Double kayaks (both sit on top and sit in) cost £15.00 for the first hour then £10 for each extra hour.

If you have any queries see our FAQ, or drop us an e-mail on


Setting off from Nichol End to explore Derwentwater in kayaks. paddling down the lake arrived at lonetree island
at Lingholme Islands Kayaking on Derwentwater - setting of from Lone Tree Island. On Derwentwater in Sit on Top kayaks.
Kayaking from Nichol End Kayak games at Nichol End Playing in Derwentwater

The bulk of our hire fleet is made up of sit on top kayaks - these are stable and easy to use. 

We keep a range of sit on tops, so we can find one suitable for most users!  We like these boats because they are stable, easy to get on and off, easy to paddle, much reduced risk of entrapment in comparison to traditional kayaks, and if the worst happens and you do capsize they are quite easy to climb back on without worrying about the need to empty them.  We do have a boat to suit everyone from their first paddle having a go  to serious paddlers using a touring sit on top or sit in to explore all of Derwentwater.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Book a kayak for use on Derwentwater.

Generally you can turn up and go at Nichol End, most of the time we have enough boats to allow customers to simpily turn up and go kayaking on Derwentwater without reserving a boat.  The exception tends to be 2-3 days in the summer holidays where all the boats will be out in the middle of the day, although it is rare that there is not one due back in the next 30mins.  If you have special plans and would like to book this can now be done with our booking system - see below.


 End of season sale


To keep a nice fresh fleet of boats, we sell 90% of our hire fleet most years - only keeping a few boats for winter use from year to year.  Half the boats are offered for sale early in September, the other half late in October. As a guideline prices for a boat with 2-6 months use are about 30% below RRP and include a paddle and backrest.  Some boats are older and cost less.