Cumbria with its 16 Lakes and numerous rivers, has excellent opportunities for canoeing and kayaking. Amongst the most popular lakes for kayaking in the Lake District is Derwent Water. There are safe places to launch your own canoe or kayak as well as organisations who hire out canoes and kayaks and who can also offer instruction. Beware that canoeing is not allowed on all lakes and rivers and on some such as Bassenthwaite, a permit is required. Kayaking on the River Eden is severely restricted, although the Eden River Trust has an excellent leaflet for canoeing Ullswater. See UK Rivers Guidebook for further information.
Kayaking is allowed on Derwent Water. One of the best places for launching your own canoe on Derwent is at Kettlewell car park at the South East corner of the lake. There are several canoe, kayak and paddleboard hire companies at Keswick.