Activities and Camping

Great days out with South West Lakes 

Explore the great outdoors and have a day filled with fun and adventure! Catch fish, build dens, get on your bike or explore the lakes of the south west by boat or foot. It's your outdoors - come and explore.

There are so many things to do at the lakes – discover the joy of simply wandering through woodlands, spotting birds and bugs and playing amongst nature. You can also take to the water and experience an exhilarating adventure as a family.

Please note: unprecedented numbers of people are visiting our activity centres this summer. To avoid disappointment, you must pre-book your session online prior to arriving at the lakes. 


Our lakes provide the perfect setting for a great day out in Cornwall, Devon and on Exmoor. Venture along our trails, encountering nature face to face. Refuel at our onsite cafés with delicious snacks, cakes and hot drinks. Enjoy a wide range of fun things to do – try an activity on or off the water for the very first time, shoot an arrow or swing through the trees, discover paddleboarding or explore our lakes by canoe. Extend your stay and enjoy a night under canvas, create a family holiday packed with new experiences creating lifelong memories.

Holidays like no other 

Keep the whole family entertained with a range of activities on and off the water. Our expertly trained instructors offer superb sessions for you to experience a day out like no other. From canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing to archery and high ropes – there’s plenty of outdoor activities to experience the ultimate day out or holiday with the family in Cornwall, Devon and on Exmoor. 

#ItsYourOutdoors - come and explore! 

As the nights draw in, the temperature drops and the leaves start to turn into fiery reds and golds, our lakes are beautiful places to visit in the autumn.

Drink in the scenery while exploring miles of footpaths and cycle trails, wander through woodlands or simply enjoy being close to nature. Find some inspiration for things to do in nature this autumn here.

Take to the water and enjoy the view from a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddle board – book a session with one of our friendly instructors, hire equipment from us or launch your own. The change in weather and water conditions make for a unique watersports experience in comparison to the busier summer season, not to mention the wonderful views. 

Enjoy the tranquillity of a day’s fishing or book a late-season camping holiday to get away from it all and gaze at the stars snuggled in a blanket.

It’s your outdoors – come and explore!  

Camping

Bring your own tent or glamp in style in one of our luxury bell tents or wooden pods! Camping in the autumn is a great way to relax as the campsites tend to be quieter. The weather is still fairly warm, but the darker evenings are perfect for a spot of stargazing and enjoying a hearty campfire! 

  

Camping is available at Tamar and Siblyback during September and at Sithians until the end of October.

Take advantage of the special weekday camping offers at Wimbleball in September and October, with up to 50% off in October.

You can camp at Roadford, home of the famous Bertie Bell tent, until early November!

Watersports equipment hire

Explore the lakes at your own pace!

Kayaking, paddleboarding, canoeing, sailing, windsurfing and rowing equipment is available to hire when our Activity Centres are open.

Check out the opening times at Roadford, Siblyback, Stithians, Tamar and Wimbleball.

Instructor-led sessions

Learn something new with one of our qualified and friendly instructors by booking a bespoke instructor-led session when our Activity Centres are open. 

Activities include kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, sailing and windsurfing. Archery and high ropes are available at Roadford and Wimbleball.

Check out the opening times at Roadford, Stithians, and Wimbleball.

Activity clubs

Alternatively, you could join one of our activity clubs and get involved in a new hobby!

At Roadford Lake, our adult sailing club runs on a Wednesday from 10am - 12pm (£17pp), and the junior club runs on a Saturday (10am - 12pm for beginners and 1pm - 3pm for advanced) - £17pp. Book 5 slots and get 10% off. 

Bespoke tuition is also available on request.

Find out more about clubs at our lakes here.

Self launch and launch membership

Already have your own kit? You can launch your own equipment at all five of our lakes!

If you are a regular visitor, you may be interested in becoming a watersports member, which provides unlimited launching at our activity centres (using the buddy system outside of opening hours) and other benefits such as 10% off equipment hire. Find out more here.

   

Fishing

You can enjoy trout fishing or coarse fishing at many of our lakes. In the autumn, the waters start to cool down and water levels begin to rise, bringing the fish into the margins to feed around the vegetation which has grown during the summer. If you are quiet and stealthy, you will find that margin fishing at this time of year can be very effective and enjoyable!

Why not extend your stay at one of our campsites? Mornings and evenings are the best times of day to catch, so camping will extend your stay and allow you to venture further for the best fishing experience. 

   

Trout fishing is available at Colliford, Roadford, Fernworthy, Wistlandpound, Avon, Crowdy and Meldon until 12 October and at Kennick, Siblyback, Stithians and Burrator until 30 November.

Sea trout fishing is available at Christchurch Harbour until 31 October.

Coarse fishing is available year-round at 14 of our waters.

Family Activity Days

Water is a precious resource which we must conserve to safeguard our habitats and wildlife for the future. As part of our 'I Love Water' project, we have some exciting opportunities to come and learn more as a family at our themed family activity days, including nature trails, environmental art, hands-on activities and outdoor cooking. Tickets are just £3 per child, £2 per adult, with all proceeds going towards our work. 

   

Details on themes will be available in due course here. See the dates and locations below:

  • Monday 25 October at Siblyback Lake
  • Wednesday 27 October at Roadford Lake
  • Friday 29 October at Wimbleball Lake
  • Sunday 12 December at Burrator Reservoir
  • Saturday 18 December at Roadford Lake
  • Sunday 19 December at Wimbleball Lake
  • Tuesday 21 December at Longham Lakes

Exploring our footpaths and cycle trails

Autumn is a beautiful time of year to wander amongst the woodlands, notice the little signs of nature and enjoy being by water - a proven mood booster. 

You will find walking maps on the individual lake pages throughout this website - from short 30 minute strolls to challenging hikes!

If you visit regularly, you might wish to consider becoming a Friend of South West Lakes, which supports our important environmental and educational work, whilst providing free parking at all of our lakes for a year plus a gift and regular updates on our work.