woman running in the lake district Skelwith

10 Outdoor Activities In The Lakes

10 Outdoor Activities In The Lakes



It’s not just all about waking when visiting the Lake District. No matter your age, experience or confidence levels, there are all manner of diverse outdoor activities you can get involved with whilst visiting The Lake District. For anyone wanting a little more excitement, here are ten activities in The Lakes which you can do on land, on water and in the air.


If you have the nerve for being in subterranean confined spaces then why not give caving a go? The old mines of west Cumbria and the limestone hill caves in the east make for some great underground exploring. The British Caving Association can help you get started.

Canoeing & Kayaking

Hop in a canoe or kayak and experience an activity that the whole family can enjoy. There are a number of places you can hire or launch your own vessels from especially on the major lakes such as  Derwent Water, Windermere and Coniston. More confident paddlers can explore the shores of the many islands which are dotted throughout the Lakes National Park.

Fell running

Why walk the fells when you can run them?! Fell running is an all-terrain sport and often involves routes with no paths. You should expect open moorland, rocky grass, bogs, tussocks, heather, boulder fields and some very steep climbs and descents. Learn more about this sport at the Fell Runner’s Association.


Take to the skies and experience a bird’s eye view of the fells and valleys. If you’re after a taster session with a tandem paragliding flight, book a trip with Jockey Sanderson or Air Adventures. For experienced flyers, the Cumbria Soaring Club has advice on take-off and landing sites.

Mountain biking

With established mountain biking trails across the Lake District this sport is a very popular activity on the fells and in the forests. A good source of routes and more information is Lakes MTB.

Offroad driving

For those who want to experience the trill of a motorised off-road adventure there companies including Kankku who organise 4×4 motor trails through the fells. Take a look at our blog when we went for a trip to explore the Lake District trails with them.

Rock climbing

Another way up the fells is to climb them. There are plenty of companies catering for beginners to experts. The Fell and Rock Climbing Club has everything you need to know.


After a decent snowfall, the Lake District offers the best skiing in England. The Lake District Ski Club can be found on the slopes of Raise. It’s an awesome place for those willing to make the one hour trek up the fell. The club is run by a team of outstanding dedicated volunteers.



Dipping into any of the lakes will soon awaken your senses. Charities and clubs including the British Long Distance Swimming Association swims in many of the large lakes. For those looking to take part in an organised swim the Great North Swim is a fantastic event taking place in June each year which offers a variety of swim distances to suit all abilities.

Windsurfing & Paddle Boarding

Jump on your board and experience an invigorating way to explore the lakes. Coniston Water, Derwent Water, Windermere and Ullswater are all popular local windsurfing and paddle boarding locations. The UK Windsurfing Association and British Paddle-boarding Association both have a wealth of information.