Thirlmere is a 19th-century reservoir that provides water to Manchester and is owned and managed by United Utilities.

As a result, paddling and other water sports are not allowed in the lake.

However, its dramatic surroundings, including Helvellyn, give it an isolated and magical atmosphere.

The lake offers several beautiful walking trails.

Most visitors pass the eastern shore while driving along the A591 between Keswick and Windermere, but a single-track road provides access to the western side, with connections to the A591 at both the southern and northern ends of the lake.

Its crystal clear waters and rolling hills make it the perfect destination for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the great outdoors.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you make the most of your visit to Thirlmere.

There are limited facilities at Thirlmere, so tourists less frequently visit it.

In Thirlspot, a small settlement on the A591 roughly halfway along the lake (Grid Ref NY 317 177), the Kings Head Hotel provides food and lodgings.

Things to do at Thirlmere:

  1. Go for a walk: Tourists a 10-mile-long lake less frequent Thirlmere due to the need for more facilities.

    You can start your walk around the lake at available car parks, but be aware that you will need to cross the busy A591 road at several points.

    Most of the route consists of tracks or paths, with a trail running alongside the single-track road on the lake’s western side.

    At the south end of the lake, you will have to rejoin the single-track road briefly before reaching the A591.

    Then, you can either cross the road and follow the path south for a short distance before looping back north through woodland or walk up the A591 and join the path at Grid Ref NY 324 136.

    At the United Utilities car park (Grid Ref NY 316 168), you will need to cross the A591 again to continue on the path that runs along the lake shore to the northern end of the lake and back to the single-track road.

    The only available amenities on the route are at Thirlspot, where the Kings Head Hotel offers food and accommodation (Grid Ref NY 317 177).

  2. Take a scenic drive: Take a drive around Thirlmere and take the stunning scenery from the comfort of your car.

  3. Visit the Thirlmere Sculpture Trail: This popular trail takes visitors through a series of sculptures against the backdrop of the beautiful Thirlmere landscape.

Where to eat:

  1. The Lake View Café: This charming café serves a range of light bites, including sandwiches, soups, and cakes.

  2. The Thirlmere Bistro: This stylish bistro serves various delicious dishes using locally sourced ingredients.

  3. The Thirlmere Inn: This cosy pub serves a range of classic pub grub, including hearty pies, sandwiches, and soups.

Where to stay:

  1. The Thirlmere Youth Hostel: This comfortable hostel offers a range of affordable accommodation options, including dormitory rooms and private rooms.

  2. The Thirlmere Campsite: This budget-friendly option offers comfortable camping facilities and is just a short walk from the lake.

  3. The Thirlmere Hotel: This charming hotel offers comfortable and stylish guest rooms and is just a short walk from the lake.


There are several options for parking at Thirlmere. You can park at the United Utilities car park just off the A591 at Grid Ref NY 316 168.

Additionally, several parking areas along the single-track road run alongside the lake, which can be accessed by following the signs for “Public Road Round Lake” from the A591.

These include a pay and display car park at Grid Ref NY 307 188 and parking spots at Grid Ref NY 306 173 and Grid Ref NY 321 130.

In conclusion, Thirlmere is a truly stunning destination, offering visitors the chance to escape city life and immerse themselves in nature.

Its range of activities, delicious dining options, and comfortable accommodation makes it the perfect place to spend a few days exploring the Lake District.

So why not plan your trip today and discover all this beautiful lake has to offer?