Windermere lake cruises

Our Pick of the Best Boat Trips on Windermere

26 July 2021Local area

Lake District Boat Trips

Windermere is the largest lake in the Lake District National Park and one of the top tourist attractions in the UK. Every year, thousands flock to its shores to admire the beautiful views and enjoy a well-earned.

We think a boat trip is one of the best ways to truly appreciate the sheer size and beauty of Windermere and an absolute must during your stay at Park Cliffe Caravan Park! You’ll get a completely different perspective of the scenery and will make happy family memories to cherish when you return home.

Here we list our pick of the best boat trips on Windermere. We outline what the various trips entail and what you can expect to see.

Windermere Quays Electric Boat Hire

Hire a powerboat from Windermere Quays Electric Boat Hire and explore Windermere at your leisure. This is the perfect option for families wanting to explore secluded coves and take in the scenery at your own pace. There are a range of unique boats available to hire by the hour – with most accommodating up to 10 passengers. The self-drive boats are eco-friendly and quiet, so you can enjoy the peace and tranquillity of The Lakes without being interrupted by a noisy engine!

We highly recommend hiring one of the fantail boats. These are the latest addition to the fleet and have been specially imported to offer guests a truly memorable experience. There are 3 colour options available, classic white, powder blue and a striking hot pink. The iconic pink boat is part of the team’s corporate responsibility programme and can only be rented by guests wishing to make a donation to Cancer Research.

Find the boats at Windermere Quays in Bowness-on-Windermere. Prior booking is recommended, especially in peak season. All safety equipment is provided and you’ll receive a thorough briefing from the friendly team before setting out. The boats are easy to manoeuvre and no prior experience is necessary.

sail n dine windermere

Sail ‘n’ Dine

If you’re celebrating a special occasion during your holiday in the Lake District, the Sail ‘n’ Dine Experience aboard Maddie Too is an absolute must! This popular boat trip is in hot demand, so you’ll need to book well in advance of your stay at Park Cliffe.

Choose between a lunch or evening cruise with your family group. You’ll begin the trip with a gentle sail out into the Lake, where you can take in the far-reaching views and relax with a drink in hand. The crew will choose a picturesque spot in a quiet cove to anchor for the rest of the trip, before inviting you into the saloon to tuck into the 5-star fayre.

Evening cruisers will enjoy a 4-course meal accompanied by a complimentary glass of house wine. The delicious dishes are all prepared on board and local produce is used throughout. Finish the meal with a tasty cheese board and cup of tea before heading back to the Marina.

VIP Lake Tours

Enjoy a skippered excursion aboard one of VIP Lake Tours luxury motorboats. The relaxing trips last between 1 and 4 hours and can seat up to 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 small children.

There are a range of packages on available, with trips lasting between 1 and 4 hours. The helpful team are happy to tailor the cruise to your requirements and can accommodate special requests.

On VIP Lake Tours website, you’ll find a selection of sample itineraries that will give you an idea of what is possible. There are lots of different options available including the Island Tour and an Afternoon Tea Cruise.

You can order catering on board, enabling you to sample a selection of sweet and savouries while looking out across Windermere. You can also bring your own snacks and drinks.

rowing boat hire windermere

Brockhole Rowing Boat Hire

If you fancy getting out on the water under your own steam, why not give hiring a rowing boat a go? Brockhole has a number of rowing boats for hire, that have been built to replicate the traditional boats you’d have found on Windermere more than 200 years ago!

The rowing boats can accommodate up to 6 people and are available to hire for 1 hour at a time. It’s a fantastic activity to enjoy as a couple or with younger members of the family in tow! The helpful shore team will give you a brief instruction before heading out, to ensure you get to grips with it quickly. They’ll also provide you with buoyancy aids so you stay nice and safe on the lake.

From Brockhole’s fantastic location you can explore the stunning scenery around Windermere’s Northern basin. Please note, rowing boat hire is weather dependent and will not be possible during high winds.

Windermere lake cruises

Windermere Lake Cruise

Hop aboard one of Windemere Lake Cruises fleet of historic paddle steamers. The traditional boats are the ideal choice for anyone hoping to explore at a slower pace. The boats travel to various destinations around Windermere and offer fantastic views from the top deck.

There are 6 routes available of differing lengths. Flexible tickets are available as well as combined tickets that allow entry to some of The Lakes best attractions. Our personal favourite is the 90 minutes Yellow Cruise. The round trip from Bowness showcases some of Windermere’s best scenery, including historic houses and ancient woodlands.

Many of Windermere Lake Cruise’s trips operate year-round, allowing you take in the changing scenery during the picturesque autumn and winter months.

windermere yacht cruises

Windermere Yacht Cruises

Windermere Yacht Cruises offer scenic sails aboard their luxury yacht. The boat accommodates up to 10 people and is perfect for family get togethers or a special treat with friends.

The skipper and crew will do their utmost to ensure you have a memorable experience during your trip. They’ll do all the hard work so you can simply sit back, relax and enjoy the views as you make your way around the lake.

Prices vary depending on the number of people in your group, but all packages include food and drink. Choose between romantic champagne and strawberries, the savoury Lakeland grazing platter or Ploughman’s lunch.

Windermere Wakesurfing

For groups looking for something a little more adventurous, we highly recommend booking a boat trip with Windermere Wakesurfing. The family run business has been based on the lake for over 30 years and offer adrenaline fuelled trips aboard their fleet of top of the range tow boats.

The trips are suitable for complete beginners or experienced wave riders. The team will create the perfect conditions needed for you to excel at this action-packed sport. Using top of the range helmets with a talking intercom system, your coach will communicate with you throughout your time in the water. You’ll receive expert tuition, helping you understand the basics or hone your existing skills.

Windermere Wake surfing also offer private boat charter.


Park Cliffe is an award-winning holiday park in the Lake District National Park. It occupies an enviable location, with stunning views across Windermere and easy access to some of the Lake Districts best attractions.  

There is a range of accommodation available including caravan holiday homes, touring, camping and glamping. It’s the ideal choice for families or couples wanting to enjoy a staycation in the UK.