Thanks to the Lake District, the North West of England and kayaking have always gone hand-in-hand. But, the North West has a lot more to offer kayakers than just its picturesque lakes – the choice will impress even most experienced paddlers.
Whether you’re looking to paddle on relaxed and scenic lakes, whitewater rivers or explore what the North West’s coastal spots have to offer, our list is bound to have a kayaking location that takes your fancy!
Derwentwater Lake, Lake District
If the Lake District does sound appealing, you’re not exactly short of choice for where to take your kayak, but Derwentwater is arguably the most popular place to paddle – and it’s easy to see why.
Fondly referred to as the ‘Queen of the Lanes’ for its breath-taking views, Derwentwater offers peaceful flat waters that are perfect for all kayaking abilities. If you’re able to drag your eyes away from the stunning scenery, you’ll be able to spot a plethora of wildlife, such as the coveted Ice Age old Vendace fish which only survives in Derwentwater and one other UK lake.
Once you’ve paddled your way around Derwent’s four islands, you can make your way to the nearby picturesque town of Keswick, where you can enjoy a well-earned cake and pot of tea!
Image credit: Visit Cumbria
The River Dee, Chester
With 2000 years of history under its belt, Chester is one of the most beautiful cities that the North West has to offer – and what better way to see it than by kayaking along the River Dee?
You can embark on a guided journey with Chester Kayak Hire all the way to Farndon and back, or you can go it alone and explore your own route. The benefit to choosing this kayaking spot is the choice of things to do in Chester while you’re not paddling – just make sure to try the many pubs that Chester boasts after you’ve left the water!
Image credit: Jo & Peter Cunningham
Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool
Liverpool is famous for a lot of things, but its waterfront is the one that immediately springs to mind (second to the Beatles of course). If you thought taking your kayak to this impressive body of water was too good to be true, you’d be wrong.
Albert Dock is one of the most popular places in Liverpool to kayak, with Liverpool Watersports centre doing guided sessions there with an experienced coach. Meaning that even if you’re on your own solo trip, you won’t be the only paddler seeing the sights!
Image credit: The Albert Dock Charitable Foundation
Hollingworth Lake, Rochdale
Rochdale may not be the first place that springs to mind when you’re thinking about water sports, but Hollingworth Lake in Littleborough answers your kayaking woes if you’re after a paddle in the Rochdale area.
Granted, it doesn’t rival the jaw-dropping surroundings of the Lake District (anywhere would struggle), but its surrounding countryside gives the lake its own views to be proud of. You’ll see all kinds of water-lovers making the most of the water, from sailors and paddleboarders to windsurfers and rowers – but don’t worry, there’s plenty of room for everyone!
Image credit: Day Out With The Kids
River Kent, Cumbria
If you like your kayaking a little bit more fast-paced, the River Kent in Cumbria is the place for you. While parts of this river are calm, there are white water rapids dotted along it, so if you’re an experienced kayaker looking for an adrenaline rush, it should be on your bucket list.
Our advice would be to take a paddling pal with you just in case the rapids succeed in capsizing you, and bring a spare change of clothes because you will definitely get very wet!
Image credit: Swaledale Outdoor Club
St. Bees Head, Cumbria
Although the final location on our list is also in Cumbria, this coastal spot couldn’t be more different. St. Bees Head is the most westerly point of Northern England and with its red sandstone bluff, it forms one of the most dramatic natural features along the coast of North West England.
Wildlife is also the star attraction here – St. Bees is home to an RSPB nature reserve which is England’s only colony of Black Guillemots. Make sure you don’t get too distracted bird spotting though, as the Irish Sea can get choppy!
Image credit: Swaledale Outdoor Club
Did any of these North West kayaking spots take your fancy? If they did, make sure to take out Specialist Kayak Insurance so you can enjoy paddling through the water without unnecessary worries!