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Bassenthwaite in the Lake District

Welcome to the EDGE Guide to Bassenthwaite lake in Cumbria.

Bassenthwaite Lake near Keswick in the Lake District, Cumbria.

Length: Just under 4mls/6km.
Nearest towns:
Keswick SE on the A66 and A591, 2.5mls/4km.
Cockermouth W on the A66, 4mls/7kms.

Location map

Surprisingly this is one of the less frequently visited of the larger lakes. Good scenery (Skiddaw is on its north shore) is plentiful, and sailing and boating are provided for, and it is in easy reach of some of the major towns in the area.

If you have ever read Morte d' Arthur by Lord Alfred Tennyson and remember the description of the lake into which the sword Excalibur was thrown, then you may be interested to know that it was Bassenthwaite that Tennyson used as a model.

He was staying at Mirehouse at the time, overlooking the Lake. Mirehouse and gardens are open to the public and are worth visiting. Close by is a viewing spot for the Peregrine Falcons that have made Bassenthwaite their Summer home.


When travelling by car along the A66 take the A591 towards Bassenthwaite and Bothel from the roundabout north of Keswick. About 3mls/5km along this road you will come to a car park. This is the starting point for one of the walks along the north eastern side. You could if you wished walk further around the top of the lake and stop for a time on the pebble beach near Ouse Bridge from where the top picture above was taken.

Bassenthwaite Lake, near Keswick in the Lake District, Cumbria.

You can also drive up hill through Braithwaite village and stop at the Whinlatter Forest Trail Visitor Centre. Some of the walks through the woods provide good excellent views towards Bassenthwaite and Skiddaw.


Map of Bassenthwaite lake