A BOATHOUSE in Powys described as one of “Mid Wales’ most exciting attractions” has been named a winner in the Best of British Getaways 2023 awards.

Lakeside Boathouse, in Llandrindod Wells, won ‘Best Boat and Canoe Hire Attraction – Wales’ in the awards, created by SME News.

The Best of British Getaways awards programme highlights getaways and activities across the UK, showcasing top SMEs.

Lee and Jenni Percy, of Lakeside Boathouse, were presented with their award at a ceremony held at Llandrindod’s Hotel Commodore on Friday night, March 8.

“We were up against some big companies and some big venues in Wales, so we’re really chuffed to win it,” said Lee, who came aboard as Lakeside Boathouse’s first mate during a choppy period, during Covid in June 2020.


“It’s great for the staff, as we never dress up. We’re normally on the water in wet suits or life jackets, so it was nice to actually dress up properly for an evening.”

The award was presented to Lee and Jenni by Nina Davies, Powys County Council’s director of social services and wellbeing, while Llandrindod mayor Marcia Morgan and High Sheriff of Powys, Reg Cawthorne, were also in attendance.

The rise of Lakeside Boathouse under Lee and Jenni’s leadership has been wonderful for both the venue and the town, where it has become a real hub.

Its potential is something Lee saw in his hometown for many years – even though it was hardly plain sailing, as they took over the lease three months after Wales went into lockdown.

“We took over in June 2020 – in the middle of Covid,” Lee remembers.

“Everything was shut down when we signed the lease. We weighed up whether it was worth taking the hit, but we did, and if anything it (the pandemic) has helped.

“It’s brought people to the outdoors, people like getting out for a walk and coming to the lake.”

County Times:  Staff enjoyed swapping their wet suits and life jackets for suits and frocks. Staff enjoyed swapping their wet suits and life jackets for suits and frocks. (Image: Lakeside Boathouse)

The local authority initially granted the owners a 5-year contract, which has since been extended by 10 years.

“I feel very lucky managing to make a living while doing something good for the town,” added Lee.

“I’m a local boy and had seen the potential the lake’s had for years. It is now being utilised as it should be and it’s great. I feel lucky and privileged to do what I do.”

Lakeside Boathouse has made a real splash in the spa town, and did so with SME News judges too, who lapped up their experience on the lake that houses a dragon, describing it as one of the town’s star attractions.

Lakeside Boathouse offers a variety of family activities on the 13-acre lake, from dragon and pelican boats, to canoes, kayaks, rafts and SUPs (stand up paddle boards) for hire.

Despite lockdown, Lakeside Boathouse expanded its activities, with the addition of three extra dragon pedalos, three Canadian canoes, 10 open-top kayaks and 10 SUPs. The owners went on to convert the gift shop into an ice cream parlour, which was named No1 in Powys in 2021.

Lee and Jenni are part of a small team who set up Llandrindod Community Events, which restored the town’s raft race.

The boathouse has further expanded, with team building, groups, stag and hen parties, cycle hire, bushcraft, outdoor cooking and fishing lessons.

Lee and Jenni hope to introduce archery and axe throwing in the near future.

To find out more about Lakeside Boathouse and everything it offers, pay them a visit at Princes Avenue, visit them online at https://www.lakesideboathouse.wales/, ring 01597 824604 or email llandrindodboathouse@yahoo.com.