bassenthwaite lake

Bassenthwaite Lake

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  • osprey bird lake district
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About Bassenthwaite Lake

Bassenthwaite is situated in between Keswick and Cockermouth, towards the North West of the National Park. It is one of the largest lakes in the Lake District and the only body of water to have ‘lake’ in its name. Unlike the majority of lakes in the area, there are no major settlements on its shoreline and it is relatively difficult to access. It is quieter than more popular destinations such as Ullswater and Windermere, which is ideal for visitors looking to escape the hustle and bustle and connect with nature in the great outdoors.

Despite being fairly tricky to get to, Bassenthwaite is popular with birdwatchers, photographers and walkers. It occupies a stunning location at the foot of Skiddaw and boasts commanding views of the surrounding fells.

Things to do around Bassenthwaite

Walking around Bassenthwaite

There are only a handful of footpaths to explore, if you plan on walking near Bassenthwaite Lake. Much of the lake is surrounded by farmland and some areas get boggy, especially after heavy rain.

On the western side there’s a public footpath that runs the length of the shoreline. Here you can explore the scenery at a leisurely pace and enjoy some much-needed peace and quiet in this lesser-known area of the national park.

Unfortunately, there is no access to the eastern side except at Mirehouse, where you’ll find a small open-air theatre and historic house with pretty gardens and a woodland play area. There is no public right of way on the lake’s southern shores.

Wildlife watching

Bassenthwaite is popular with wildlife enthusiasts keen to see an Osprey. This magnificent raptor is seen in few places around the UK, so many bird watchers are keen to tick it off the list. Keep your eyes peeled as you walk for this distinctive bird of prey. If you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of its distinctive brown and grey plumage as it swoops down to catch a fish. Osprey have a wingspan of around 180m, so they are quite the spectacle in the air!

Towards the Northern end of the lake, you’ll find Dubwath Wetland Nature Reserve. This is the first of its kind in the Lake District and the reed beds and marshland are home to a range of species, including curlew, warbler, greylag and geese. Please stick to the boardwalks when exploring the nature reserve to protect the natural environment. They connect viewing points and hides, which are the best places to get an up-close look at the abundant bird life.

The Lakes Distillery

The Lakes Distillery is within easy reach of Bassenthwaite Lake and well worth a visit if you’re in the area. We highly recommend taking a tour of the distillery where you’ll learn more about the artisan whisky, gin and vodka that is made on-site.

Head whiskymaker, Dhavall Gandi is involved in every step of the process, which is unusual in the industry and helps sets The Lakes Distillery apart from the crowd. Throughout the tour you’ll learn more about the ethos behind the brand and will get the chance to sample some of the delicious blends for which the team have earned international acclaim.

There is a bistro serving seasonal dishes crafted from local produce and plenty of events take place throughout the year. There’s also a small shop where you can buy a bottle to commemorate your visit to the Lake District and enjoy once you get home.

Getting to Bassenthwaite Water

It takes just over an hour to drive to Bassenthwaite Water from Park Cliffe caravan, camping and glamping park, depending on traffic. You’ll follow the A591 for the most of the way and will enjoy some lovely scenery out the window as you pass Windermere, Ambleside and Kewswick.

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