Bassenthwaite Lake

(See also Bassenthwaite , Bothel)

Bassenthwaite Lake looking toward Skiddaw by Graeme DougalIn the quieter northern region of the Lake District National Park lies Bassenthwaite Lake, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a National Nature Reserve. At four miles in length, it is one of the largest lakes.

The lake is fed by the River Derwent, Bassenthwaite Lake by Ann Bowkerwhich, along with the Newlands Beck, silted up and created the division between Bassenthwaite and Derwentwater to which it was once joined. Bassenthwaite is home to a rare freshwater whitefish, the vendace. Sailboats are allowed on the lake.

Bassenthwaite Lake and Skiddaw by Ann BowkerThe A66 runs beside its western shore to the village of Thornthwaite, while on the lake's eastern shore, mighty Skiddaw lords it over the horizon. Wythop Woods skirts the western shore. Trails lead south to Whinlatter Forest Park and Thornthwaite forest. Near the eastern shore are Mirehouse and Dodd Wood.Bassenthwaite Lake Head and Swan Inn by Ann Bowker

Bassenthwaite, like many of the lakes, has a literary connection. Tennyson was inspired by the lonely Norman church of St Bega, on the lakeshore, when writing Morte d'Arthur:

“the Chapel nigh the field...
on one side lay the ocean and on one
Lay the great water...”

Bassenthwaite Lake with Skiddaw behind by Ann BowkerThe words are part of the tale of Excalibur whose resting place is supposedly in the lake.

Bassenthwaite is north-west of Keswick on the A66.

Photos courtesy of Graeme Dougal and Ann Bowker

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