Top 10 Water Sports and Water Based Activities in the Cotswold Water Park

The Cotswold Water Park, just south of Cirencester, offers an extensive range of water sports 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. You can either book any of these options in advance (advisable during school holidays) or just turn up on the day.

 Check out our Top 10 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 water sports. 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 several local sailing clubs (Cotswold, South Cerney, Whitefriars and Bowmoor Sailing Clubs) who will be delighted to help you.

Sailing with South Cerney Outdoors

2. Kayaking / Canoeing

Like 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 wildlife. This is the natural habitat of the waterfowl and wading birds. If courses and qualifications are what you are after, 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 water sports in the Cotswold Water Park, with everyone keen to have a go at stand up paddle boarding – and yes, anyone can do it! Paddle boarding is a wonderful way to get out onto the water without getting wet, it’s 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.

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 water skiing 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.

Water skiing in the Cotswold Water Park

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 is guaranteed for all. All equipment is supplied, all you need to do is call and 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 offers a constantly moving cable line around the lake giving you a fun way to enjoy wakeboarding and water skiing, 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 skill level. There are ramps, jumps and slalom poles to challenge the more advanced.

8. Angling

The lime rich clear waters of the Cotswold Water Park lakes are home to many fish and many differing species, 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 to have 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. In the centre of 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 introduce you to 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!

Cotswold country Park and Beach

10. Wildlife Watching

Water sports are great fun but do take an opportunity to have a look around you while you are out on the water.  There is an incredible variety of wildlife, the lakes are teeming with birdlife and are home to an amazing number of animals and 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!

Need more Help?

If you are still unsure of why you should visit the Cotswold Water Park, have a chat with one of the friendly Orion team.  They all live locally, love the area and very happy to share some of their personal favourites.

We have also created our unique digital Guest Guide packed full of things to do, great eateries and places to visit plus some special offers that we’ve agreed with local businesses for our customers.  Follow the link to download the free Guest Guide and take a look for yourself.


Water skiing in the cotswold water park

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