The Cotswold Water Park just south of Cirencester offers an extensive range of watersports and water based activities on many of the 150 different lakes throughout the local area ensuring there is always something for everyone to enjoy whatever the weather. When staying locally you can either book any of these options (advisable during school holidays) in advance or just turn up on the day.
For 10 great ideas on how to enjoy the water in and around the Cotswold Water Park:
1. Sailing / Windsurfing
For beginners and experienced sailors alike, the Cotswold Water Park provides a perfect environment for wind powered & sail based watersports. Turn up and have a go, take a beginners or refresher course or bring your own boat and set sail – the choice is yours – at Waterland (Lake 32) and South Cerney Outdoor (Lake 12). There are local several sailing clubs (Cotswold, South Cerney, Whitefriars and Bowmoor Sailing Clubs) who will be delighted to help with your enquiries if you want to pursue the pastime of sailing further.
2. Kayaking / Canoeing
As with sailing, the wide open lakes are ideal for these paddle sports, and there are plenty of experienced and fully qualified staff at Waterland, South Cerney Outdoor and Cotswold Water Park Hire (Lake 86) on hand to help you master the techniques. Kayaks and canoes are available for hire on these lakes and are a great way to explore the shorelines, reed beds, islands and the vast array extensive wildlife and natural habitats of the waterfowl and wading birds. If courses and qualifications are what you are after, again they can advise the best route for you to advance further in these activities.
3. Paddle Boarding
This new and simple to learn sport is fast becoming one of the most popular watersports in the Cotswold Water Park, with everyone wanting to have a go at stand up paddleboarding – and yes, anyone can do it! A wonderful way to get out onto the water without getting wet, and what’s more its good exercise too and a great way to see the wildlife and the extent of the various lakes! Try Waterland, South Cerney or Cotswold Water Park Hire for this activity.
4. Swimming / Paddling
With all these lakes and all this water, there’s bound to be plenty of splashing on offer! From a toddler’s first experience of paddling, to full on open water swimming there is something to suit everyone. There is a large man made paddling and sandy bathing beach at the Cotswold Country Park & Beach, along with a fenced off playground and smaller paddling area for very young children.
The thing to mention is that swimming is only allowed in certain places – many of the lakes are extremely deep and dangerous, so please stick to where getting into the water is permitted. For paddling and bathing, go to Cotswold Country Park and Beach. For open water swimming take a look at what Waterland, South Cerney Outdoor and Cotswold Country Park have to offer – times and conditions vary.
5. Waterskiing / Wakeboarding
If it’s adrenalin packed adventure you are after, why not have a go at waterskiing on the smooth waters of the Cotswold Water Park lakes. Instruction from fully qualified experts is available for beginners, or for those who just need some encouragement, along with taster sessions if you want to try before you buy! Lakeside Ski (Lake 14) and Craig Cohoon (located between Fairford and Lechlade), are both great places to have a go at this exciting sport.
6. Inflatable rides
For the fun seekers looking for some thrills and definitely some spills, take a ride on one of the inflatables like a Ringo, a Stingray or even a Banana boat. Fast and furious fun guaranteed for all. All equipment is supplied, all you need to do is call to book your slot. Lakeside and Craig Cohoon are the places to catch a ride.
7. Cable skiing
Located at Cotswold Country Park and Beach (Lake 31), this new facility offering a constantly moving cable line around the lake offers a fun way to enjoy wakeboarding and waterskiing, without the noise of a boat. All equipment and instruction is provided, and with the speed of the line individually controlled you can be assured of a safe and enjoyable experience whatever your level of skill. There are ramps, jumps and slalom poles to challenge the more advanced.
The lime rich clear waters of the Cotswold Water Park lakes are home to many fish and many differing species to, from tench, trout to giant carp, to test anglers of all abilities. Fishermen come from all over the UK to fish these waters, taking part in competitions or just having a relaxing day by the water. For those wanting to fish, either coarse or fly, head down to the Tackle Den near South Cerney (Lake 11) where they can offer plenty of advice, bait and other equipment. Centrally in the Cotswold Water Park try Lake Pochard (Lake 15), Watermark Lakes (Bradleys Lake, Little Horseshoe and The Pike Lakes), Whelford Pools (nr. Fairford), and Bushy Leaze (Trout fly fishing) are all perfect places to do some day fishing, just don’t forget to book or get your day ticket!
Fishing is also available from just outside many of the holiday cottages and lodges providing the perfect relaxing fishing break. For beginners, lessons are available to help you learn this hugely popular sport.
9. Rowing, Pedalos, Zorbing, Boat Trips
For a sedate afternoon on the lake why not take out a rowing boat, or a pedalo, and just let time drift by. Or take a boat trip aboard the lovely ‘Inglesham’ on the Thames, run by the Cotswold Canals Trust, and based at Riverside Park in Lechlade. Cotswold Water Park Hire is a new facility next to the Gateway Centre offering rowing.
Try something quite different at the Cotswold Country Park and Beach - Zorbing is a crazy activity, rolling about inside a huge transparent plastic sphere on water, give it a go and see if you can keep upright and walk on water!
10. Wildlife Watching
Watersports are great fun but do take an opportunity to have a look around you whilst out on the water, there is an incredible variety of wildlife, the lakes are teeming with birdlife and give home to an amazing number of animals, insects such as colourful dragonflies, you may even get to spot an otter! The great thing about this enjoyable activity is it can be done all year round, there is always something to see whatever you are doing.
For more information or advice do contact us at Orion Holidays on 01285 861839 or do visit the Cotswold Water Park website.