Our Experience with Lake District Paddle Boarding
Can you go to the lakes without trying a water activity? Of course not. So, we booked ourselves in with the guys at Lake District Paddle Boarding for a private session, teaching us how to paddle board on Derwent Water.
We met at the Filling Station cafe in Keswick and followed the guys down to the car park at Derwent.
The session included a private instructor, Mick, for a 3 hour duration with the hire of a board and paddle each, and I also paid the extra £5 each for a wetsuit.
We changed into our wetsuits at the car, shoved on our buoyancy aids and grabbed a board to walk around the corner to the lake.
The kids were super excited and energy was high as we all gathered round to listen to Mick as he gave us instructions on how to stand.
We were to straddle the handle in the middle of the board, on our knees to begin with. Starting at the top of the board, put the paddle in the water, bowed side away from us and stroke down the board to go forwards. To go in a circle, use the paddle in the same way, but pull it outwards in an arch from top to bottom. We all copied the movements and made sure we understood before we entered the water.
Molly was pushed in first, to her horror! She floated off while we all followed, trying to get stable on our boards. The boys were pushed in and Oliver got straight to it, finding his flow with the paddles. I tentatively pushed myself in the lake, realizing it wasn’t actually that bad and being on your knees is quite stable.
We had a play around, getting our bearings and jesting to see which one of us would stand up first! Oliver had a go, followed by me, and it felt surprisingly OK!
Back safely on my knees, we were guided around the edge of Derwent Water as the wind was picking up and jostling the boards around. Mick was so patient with Molly and took her under his wing, placing her board on his and towed her along. She isn’t very strong so to paddle against the wind was quite an effort!
We paddled on, Finley got himself a bit stuck as he lost his rhythm. With a bit of coaxing, all was well and he got his stride back.
We stopped about an hour and a half in and made a raft with all of our boards. I had brought along a few snacks to keep the kids fuelled and a cup of tea too! We enjoyed bobbing along in the middle of Derwent Lake enjoying the views and the serenity of being on the water. As we finished and the boards were released from the makeshift raft, Dicky fell in the water! I had my suspicions that Mick did it on purpose, although he neither agreed nor disagreed with me!
Making our way back to the shore, Molly got adventurous and wanted to paddle on her own. She got stuck in the trees a few times but was such a good sport about it. She even stood up on her own and floated along. To be honest, she’s that light, she could have run up and down the board with no bother!
Finley wasn’t too keen about standing but was happy paddling along at his own pace. My mom didn’t dare stand in the deeper water as she felt she wouldn’t have got back on the board. She did have a go closer to the edge!
Back where we started, the water was calmer and we were allowed to try out some tricks and have a general play. I got up on the board and was very happy to do so. Oliver was shown a trick from Mick, to stand on the very back of the board and to spin himself round as fast as he could. Oliver gave it his all and fell off about 7 times, but was SO happy to do so! I felt super proud of myself for not tumbling in the water, until the last minute when I was looking back, chatting away to Mick, and promptly felt myself fall backwards!
It was a shock, but the water wasn’t too cold. Molly and Finley decided to swim in the lake for a little while while we were practicing our moves!
We had the best day we’ve had as a family for a long time. The kids are constantly asking when we can go back and do it again. Dicky is currently looking for paddle boards to buy and we have already purchased wetsuits for our next water adventure!
Special thanks go out to the guys at Lake District Paddle Boarding. They were professional, patient and so friendly. I would 100% recommend booking with them if you are looking for a great Lake District experience.
Disclaimer – this activity was not sponsored or endorsed in any way. Everything was paid for by us, but I felt we had to say what a great time we had. Our experience with Lake District Paddle Boarding was brilliant.