Frequently used by militaries around the world as a training exercise, paintballing is a team based activity where the aim is to shoot members of the opposing team with specially designed guns that shoot out paint pellets, marking the target with colorful paint.

The game originated in the 1980s in the United States and whilst some venues do offer indoor sessions, it is primarily played in a large enclosed piece of land that features a variety of terrain types that can provide cover or vantage points. This thrilling sport will see you hone your targeting skills, as well as your ability to work as part of a team.

What Paintballing Involves

A typical paintballing session will start with a safety briefing, during which you will be shown how the paintball gun works. You will be given your gun and some paintballs. The paint in the paintballs is usually non-toxic and water soluble. You will usually be divided into teams and set a task. It could be that you simply need to eliminate the other team by shooting each member, or the game may involve taking control of a base or capturing the flag from the opposing team’s base. Your aim throughout should be to avoid getting shot, as this means you are then out of the game.

You will also be given safety goggles or a mask. It is very important that you wear this at all times during the game play, as failure to do so could result in blindness or other injury. It’s important to note that paintballing is not a painless sport, so you should be prepared for some bruising and sore spots.

What to Wear and Bring

You should bring old clothes that you don’t mind getting damaged, as whilst the paint is generally water soluble, it could still stain. You should wear loose, comfortable clothing that you can roll about on the ground in. Jeans would be too uncomfortable whereas jogging bottoms are ideal.

Gloves will help protect your hands from stinging paintballs, whilst long-sleeved tops, such as hoodies, will protect your arms. Your shoes should be solid with good ankle support to help as you run around the course. Additional equipment, such as overalls, may be provided by the course owners. Don’t forget to bring a change of clothes and footwear for the journey home!

Where to Go Paintballing in the Lake District

There are several sites across the Lake District where you can try paintballing. We recommend you book in advance of your visit to avoid disappointment.

Pro Paintball

Located north of Carlisle, this site is hosted within a mature pine forest, packed with natural features that enhance the woodland combat.

  • Address: Metal Bridge Wood, Gretna Service Road, Floriston, Carlisle, CA6 4HG
  • Tel: 01228597726
  • Website:

The Outdoor Adventure Company

You will need to fight your way through wooded terrain and take over a village to claim victory, before switching to a last man standing style challenge. A range of other shooting activities are available at the same site.


Rookin House

One of a range of activities available at this large site close to Penrith. Paintballing at Rookin House will see you navigate through difficult terrain and work closely with your team to achieve your goals.

  • Address: Rookin House Farm, Troutbeck, Ullswater, Penrith, CA11 0SS
  • Tel: 01768483561
  • Website:

Raw War Paintball

Led by ex-military personnel, Raw War Paintball have three sites across Cumbria: Aspatria (North West), Penrith (North East), and Ambleside (South). You can expect a fully immersive experience, complete with pyrotechnics and smoke machines with various combat areas offering a number of different scenarios.

  • Aspatria Address: Carrwood, Aspatria, CA7 3SZ
  • Penrith Address: Bale Hill Wood, Melmerby, Penrith CA10 1HN
  • Barnsgate Address: Barnsgate, Ambleside, LA22 0NG
  • Tel: 01900826036, 07442506822
  • Website: