Bassenthwaite Lake

Bassenthwaite Lake is situated alongside the A66 trunk road, which connects Keswick and Cockermouth.

This picturesque body of water is unique in the Lake District as it is the only one to be referred to as a lake.

With its large size, Bassenthwaite Lake is a perfect location for observing Ospreys, which nest in the vicinity.

Although it may not be as well-known as other lakes within the national park, Bassenthwaite offers a serene environment with various scenic walking paths and accessible picnic areas for visitors to enjoy.

Here are some top sights and activities to check out during your visit to Bassenthwaite Lake:

Bassenthwaite Lake is predominantly surrounded by farmland, but several nearby pubs offer a great relaxing place, including the Pheasant Inn (Grid Ref NY 198308).

For those needing facilities, Dodd Wood provides toilets and a cosy café for visitors to enjoy.

  1. Wildlife Watching: Bassenthwaite Lake is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including ospreys, otters, and a diverse range of waterfowl.

    Take a guided boat tour or hire a kayak to examine the lake’s inhabitants closely.

  2. Scenic Walks: Exploring the circumference of Bassenthwaite Lake can be challenging, particularly at its southern end, where the terrain comprises marshy farmland without a designated walking path.

    As a result, travellers may have to take a detour to find a suitable route.

    In addition, the western edge of the lake is bordered by the busy A66, lacking a footpath and presenting a danger to pedestrians.

    On the other hand, the eastern side of the lake offers a variety of scenic paths for visitors to enjoy, including a trail through Lakeside Wood, which starts at Grid Ref NY 208 324.

    Dodd Wood boasts several scenic paths with views of the lake, where visitors may also come across nesting Ospreys and an abundant Red Squirrel population.

  3. Water Sports: The calm waters of Bassenthwaite Lake are perfect for swimming, kayaking, and fishing.

    Rent a kayak, bring your equipment, and spend a day on the water.

  4. Local History: Bassenthwaite Lake has a rich history, dating back to Roman times when it was used as a water source for the Roman army.

    Learn more about the area’s account at the nearby Castlerigg Stone Circle, one of the oldest stone circles in Britain.


Along the A66, several laybys adjacent to Bassenthwaite Lake offer free parking.

An alternative option is to take the B5291 exit off the A66 at the northern end of the lake and park at Banks Point (Grid Ref NY 202 319).

The A591 runs along the opposite side of the lake, where Dodd Wood can be found, with pay and display parking available (Grid Ref NY 235 282).

Whether looking for a peaceful escape or an adrenaline-fueled adventure, Bassenthwaite Lake has something for everyone.

So plan your trip today and discover all this incredible destination has to offer!