Staying Safe in the Water in the Lake District, Cumbria

As the weather warms up and the evenings get longer, more and more of us will be heading out to enjoy the water. Whether it's wild swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking or something else, the Lake District, Cumbria, is a great place to enjoy a whole host of watersports. But before you do so, there are a few things you’ll want to be aware of to help you prepare, and stay safe when out on the water.

First things first, as with any outdoor activities in the Lake District, Cumbria, ask yourself the three #AdventureSmart questions:

  1. Do I have the right gear?
  2. Do I know what the weather will be like?
  3. Am I confident I have the knowledge and skills for the day?

Staying Safe in the Water in the Lake District, Cumbria

The Right Gear

Making sure that you have the right equipment is key to helping you have a fun, safe watersports experience. Alongside having a good boat or paddleboard if that’s your chosen activity, you will also need a fully functioning buoyancy aid; a wetsuit if needed; a bright hat; and a tow float. A waterproof case for your phone is a great idea, as you will need to take this with you in case you need to call for help. If you don’t have your own equipment, there’s no need to worry: there are plenty of places to hire watersports gear across the Lake District, Cumbria, with expert guidance on hand too.

The Weather

We Brits love to talk about the weather, and planning our outdoor adventures is no exception! Before you head for the water, make sure to check the forecast. If things are looking a little wet or cold, don’t be afraid to change your plans! We’ve got some fantastic indoor activities to enjoy, from adventurous pursuits like climbing to cultural exploration at one of our museums and galleries.

You don’t need us to tell you that the great British weather can be unpredictable at the best of times, and this can have a dramatic impact on water conditions. Be prepared for changes in weather, and check the predicted currents and tides before you go.

Staying Safe in the Water in the Lake District, Cumbria

The skills and knowledge

We know you’re raring to go, but it’s important to be aware of your own ability and limitations. Be honest with yourself and, if you feel like you do need some extra assistance, we’ve got plenty of brilliant guides and instructors who offer classes and support; as well as equipment hire if you don’t have your own. Always plan for the least able member of your group, and make sure you’re aware of any potential risks, like water temperature (even when it feels warm in the air, the water can be chilly!).

If SUP is on your list, the AdventureSmart group has produced a special video full of great advice and tips to help keep you safe whilst stand-up paddleboarding. Check out the video here.

Top Tips

  • Let someone know where you’re going, what you will be doing, and what time you expect to be back.
  • Swim with a buddy or in a group if you can
  • Avoid swimming across ferry routes, in busy sailing areas or near to ferry jetties.
  • Don’t swim after a heavy meal or drinking alcohol
  • Know the risks. Even if it feels warm in the air, the water can be cold!
  • Check the rules: a permit is required to enjoy watersports on some of our waters, while others restrict certain types of activity.

Be prepared, stay safe, and have fun! Check out our Know Before You Go page for more tips and advice, and enjoy your visit to the Lake District, Cumbria.




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