You’ll find the YMCA National Centre, Lakeside hidden within 400 acres of private woodland along the south western shores of Lake Windermere.

As a centre of excellence in outdoor learning  we’ve been here for more than 60 years and in that time, we’ve helped more than a million young people to build a better future.

Today, we’re one of the largest outdoor activity centres in Europe, delivering top quality outdoor learning  from , in our opinion, the best location you could ask for.

Come and see for yourself

Looking out across Lake Windermere and beyond to the Cumbrian mountains that make the Lake District such a dramatic environment, the views will take your breath away.

It’s impossible to capture the true beauty of this area in a two-dimensional photo. So why not come along and experience it for yourself? We’re always happy to show visitors around, call our team to arrange a convenient time. Or attend one of our open days

As you probably know from our name, we’re part of the worldwide movement of YMCA’s.

We’re also an educational charity – registered charity No. 1074571. That means any surplus income is put back into Lakeside to improve our facilities ensure best value for youth and school programmes and provide an amazing experience for all our visitors.

Our activities

Making the most of the natural resources on our doorstep we offer nearly 50 land and water-based activities. Our adventures range from kayaking to fell walking, and archery to caving, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Our facilities

On site we offer hostel-style accommodation for more than 200 people, including a limited number of en-suite rooms for adults. Camping is a great value adventurous option available during the summer months from Easter to September.

Our counter-served restaurant seats 150 and can accommodate most dietary requests. Speak to our team if you have any special requirements.

‘New for 2019’

2019 will see us open our ‘world class’ School & Youth building which will be the focal point of a new dedicated zone for children and young people here at Lakeside. Purpose-built to accommodate schools and youth groups, the new Centre will have 192 beds, dining, leisure and training facilities, a climbing wall not to mention amazing views across the Lake and valleys. Speak to one of our team members to find out more.

Who we work with

We work with schools, colleges, youth and corporate groups from all over Europe. Since we introduced our Family Residential Camps, more and more families are also enjoying adventure holidays with us. We think children of 8 or older will get the most from our activities, but we do work with younger children who attend with their parents. .

Many of our activities can be adapted for groups with special needs and disabilities. Speak to a member of our team to find out more.

Safety is integral at Lakeside

Parent’s naturally want their children to have adventures and experience what the world has to offer. But they are equally concerned that their children don’t come to harm. Safety through careful risk management allows us to provide thrilling adventures without undue risk.

We’re fully accredited by The Adventure Activity Licensing Authority (AALA), Adventure Mark (AAIAC) British Activity Provider Association (BAPA) and Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) and work with them to make apply the highest possible level of expertise and leadership in risk management  and safety at all times.

Our instructor team, all hold relevant outdoor instructor certifications gained through long experience and rigourous assessment by National Governing Bodies, and Key staff have further qualifications making them technical experts in their specialist field.

We leave nothing to chance. We put all our instructors through our own, induction and  training programme to make sure they really are the best they can be. Added to that, all our instructors are first aid trained, police and DBS checked.

Contact us for more about your next adventure or learning and development programmes available at Lakeside and speak to a member of our team.