Outdoor activity centres in the Lake District holiday cottages

Outdoor activity centres in the Lake District

Kim Brough 04 July 2022

The whole of the Lake District is a playground of outdoor activities, whether that’s up high in the mountains, down in the valleys, on the water, or sometimes in the sky! 

Even if you’ve never tried one of these experiences before or don’t have all the right equipment, there are plenty of outdoor activity centres in Cumbria to guide you and ensure you have an amazingly fun time.

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Take a look at these adventure centres in the Lake District, all of which offer a number of varied activities for you to enjoy!

Don’t forget to also browse our full guide to outdoor activities in the Lakes.

Jump to outdoor activity centres near…

Outdoor activity centres near Keswick

Keswick is often called the Adventure Capital of the Lake District. It’s jam-packed with outdoor activities and there’s plenty of help to get you out and about. Being on the edge of Derwentwater means that you have lots of opportunities to get onto and into the water, while the surrounding Newlands and Borrowdale valleys have peaks, ridges and gorges to explore.

For a large choice of different activities

There are numerous outdoor activity centres in and around Keswick providing everything from ghyll scrambling and kayaking to rock climbing and abseiling:

Keswick Adventures

Keswick AdventuresImage credit: Keswick Adventures 

This award-winning activity provider promises an exciting time with experienced instructors. They're focused on quality and safety too and use only the best kit.

Newlands Adventure Centre

Newlands Adventure CentreImage credit: Newlands Adventure Centre

With two bases - one in the tranquil Newlands Valley and one at Keswick Climbing Wall - this adventure centre has both on and off-site activities available.

Keswick Extreme

Keswick ExtremeImage credit: Keswick Extreme

One of the few companies that offer river tubing in the Lake District alongside their other adventures that include climbing, abseiling and ghyll scrambling. 

Kong Adventure Centre

Kong Adventure CentreImage credit: Kong Adventure Centre

Primarily an indoor climbing wall, Kong, in the heart of Keswick, also offers exciting adventures such as scrambling, paddleboarding and outdoor climbing.

Mobile Adventure

Mobile AdventureImage credit: Mobile Adventure

Boasting nearly 30 years of experience in the industry, Mobile Adventures certainly know their stuff! You can even hire one of their GoPros to video your experience.

Adventure Hunter

Adventure Hunter

Specialising in rock climbing and mountaineering, Adventure Hunter also offers multiple other activities including scrambling, bushcraft and guided mountain walks.

For water activities

Learn how to paddle board, kayak or sail. These water activity centres sit right on Derwentwater:

Derwentwater Marina

Derwentwater Marina

Hire kayaks, SUPs, pedalos and more to explore Derwentwater. If you need a confidence builder or just want to get the most from your day on the water, you can book lessons and guided trips. 

Nichol End Marina

Nichol End Marina

Canoes, paddleboards, rowing boats and kayaks are all available for hire here. If you’re experienced, you can take out a sailing boat and really feel the wind in your hair!

For those with disabilities and special needs

Calvert LakesImage credit: Calvert Lakes

Calvert Lakes runs adventure breaks for children and adults with special needs. Based just outside of Keswick, they have specially adapted equipment to make activities accessible for all kinds of needs.

Keswick cottages

Outdoor activity centres near Windermere

As the Lake District’s longest lake, you can be sure that Windermere has something to offer everyone looking for an exciting day in the great outdoors. Motorboating, canoeing, gorge scrambling, guided hikes… 

You name it, you’ll find it here!

For a large choice of different activities

Lake District Adventuring

Lake District AdventuringImage credit: Lake District Adventuring

Go for high adrenaline with activities like abseiling and rock climbing, or take it easy with Lake District sunset walks. One and two-day skills courses are also available.

For water activities

Windermere Canoe Kayak

Windermere Canoe Kayak

Offering kayak, canoe and SUP tuition, Windermere Canoe Kayak is the largest shop in the North West of England that’s wholly dedicated to paddle sports!

Low Wood Bay Watersports Centre

Low Wood Bay Watersports Centre

Perfect for water sports on Windermere, Low Wood Bay has a plethora of on-the-water options. Hire boats and paddleboards, go wakeboarding, or learn how to sail.

Windermere Outdoor Adventure Centre

Windermere Outdoor Adventure Centre

Conveniently located on Windermere’s eastern shore, this adventure centre specialises in water activities including windsurfing, sailing and kayaking. Pick from guided tours, lessons and multi-activity days.

Windermere cottages

Outdoor activity centres near Coniston

Coniston Water is one of the lakes that make up the fictional setting of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons, particularly Wild Cat Island. So if you want to relive your childhood with some adventures on the water, then this is the perfect spot for some excitement.

For a large choice of different activities

Joint Adventures

Joint Adventures

Find all your favourite water activities here, plus so much more including archery, pioneering, bushcraft, orienteering, and even skiing!

M&T Adventures

M&T Adventures

Run by an adventurer whose achievements include climbing the Matterhorn and kayaking in the Alps, you can be certain of a memorable experience. Activities include caving, mountain biking and expeditions.

Path to Adventure

Path to AdventureImage credit: Path to Adventure

Enjoy a number of outdoor adventures (including abseiling, bushcraft and archery), or try one of their exciting Dark Sky or dog-friendly experiences.

Coniston cottages

Outdoor activity centres near Eskdale and Wasdale

With the Lake District’s tallest mountains, deepest lake, and some of the remotest valleys, the West Lakes has a lot to boast about! Picture canoeing down a river to the sea, being guided on a hike up the fells, or learning to climb in the birthplace of British rock climbing!

For a large choice of different activities

West Lakes Adventure

West Lakes Adventure

In the remote valley of Eskdale, West Lakes Adventures are perfectly placed for outdoor activities. Ghyll scramble near the famous Wasdale Screes, SUP on lakes and rivers, or take on some outdoor skills coaching.

Adventure Hunter

Adventure Hunter

As well as covering Keswick and the North Lakes, Adventure Hunter hosts lots of experiences in Wasdale, too. As a climbing specialist, it’s no surprise you’ll find them in the home of British climbing!

Eskdale cottages

Outdoor activity centres near Ullswater

Ullswater, with its soaring mountains and twisting lake, is a stunning location for an outdoor adventure. Not only is there plenty to do on the lake itself, the rolling hills around it hold even more exciting activities to discover.

Take on some of the most popular outdoor adventures at:

Ullswater Outdoor Adventures

Ullswater Outdoor AdventuresImage credit: Ullswater Outdoor Adventures

This family-run company specialises in bespoke adventures for small groups. You’ll find all the usual activity offerings, plus the ‘Hell-Water Challenge’ where you paddle the length of Ullswater and then climb famous Helvellyn!

The Adventure Element

The Adventure Element

Head onto Honister’s Via Ferrata, zip down the hills on a mountain bike, or explore the fells with a guide. The Adventure Element covers it all!

Eden Outdoor Adventure

Eden Outdoor Adventure

With a fantastic TripAdvisor score, you know you’ll have a great time at Eden Outdoor Adventure! They offer trips in the Lakes, North Pennines, Scotland and Wales.

Or try something a little more unusual, like human bowling or JCB operation, at Rookin House Activity Centre. 

Ullswater cottages

Outdoor activity centres near Kendal

Kendal is the gateway to the Lake District and has the advantage of being within easy reach of both the Lakes and the Yorkshire Dales. That means lots of options for your adventure, and some of the nearby activity centres can take you in to either of these national parks.

The Outdoor Adventure Company

The Outdoor Adventure Company

Jam-packed with on-site activities, there’s quad biking, clay shooting, off-roading, axe throwing, air-rifle shooting, and even more! Plenty to keep you busy for a day bursting with excitement.

Lakes Outdoor Experience

Lakes Outdoor Experience

Scramble up rocky cliffs, pothole deep into the ground, and slide down waterfalls in canyons. You can gain new, useful skills such as winter skills, improvised rescue, and navigation.

Castle Green Activity Centre

Castle Green Activity CentreImage credit: Castle Green Activity Centre

Perfect for large groups, Castle Green has loads of fun activities that range from the usual to the unique. Enjoy a traditional school sports day, puzzle out a cryptic chase, roll about in a body zorb, or quad bike through the woods.

Kendal cottages

Outdoor activity centres near Carlisle

Outdoor activity centres near Carlisle​

Cumbria’s only city may not be your first thought for outdoor adventures, but just outside is the wonderfully peaceful Talkin Tarn, where you’ll find Talkin Adventures Activity Centre offering loads of on-site water sports and more.

Carlisle cottages

Self-catering cottages

After a day out at any of these Lake District activity centres, you’ll definitely want somewhere to relax and recall all your adventures! Settle in at one of our beautiful Lake District holiday cottages.

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Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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