Bassenthwaite Lake

Bassenthwaite Lake is one of the largest waterways in the English Lake District. It is located in the Lake District which is located in the north of England, in the region of Cumbria. It is the only lake in the Lake District that has the word “lake” after its name. All the others have it included in their name with either words like “more”, “tarn” or “water”.

Bassenthwaite LakeIt is the only lake in the Lake District that has the word “lake” after its name. All the others have it included in their name with either words like “more”, “tarn” or “water”.

Bassenthwaite Lake is long and narrow, about 6.4 km long and 1 km wide. It is also extremely shallow, with a maximum depth of about 21 m.

Bassenthwaite Lake is owned by the National Park Authority.

Like the other lakes in the Lake District, Bassenthwaite Lake is located in a glacially eroded valley that remains after the last icing.

The lake is drained and flows into the River Derwent. The River Derwent connects Bassenthwaite Lake with Derwent Water.

There have been some speculations that Bassenthwaite Lake and Derwent Water once were one single lake.

Bassenthwaite Lake is located at the foot of the mountain Skiddaw, near the town of Keswick.

There are old maps left from the 18th century where the names Bassenwater and Broadwater were used for this lake.

The A66 is a major road in Northern England and it passes the western side of the lake.

The stops on the side of the main road are popular places for photographers and bird watchers who want to see an osprey.

A catchment is an area where water is collected by the natural landscape. The Bassenthwaite Lakes catchment is the largest of all lakes in the Lake District.

The large catchment together with all the large area with arable land in the area makes Bassenthwaite Lake a fertile habitat.


In the lake, species such as salmon, trout, pike, perch, das, ruffe and eel can be found. The species that dominates in Bassethwigte’s waters are roach, which is believed to have ended up in the water when used as spawning bait when fishing.

The vendace was declared extinct in the lake in 2001.

Boating license

If you want to go out on the waters of Bassenthwaite Lake, you need a permit. There are permits to buy for all kinds of recreational boats without a motor. Fishing licenses are available for beach or boat fishing. To fish from the boat, both permits are required.

The permits can be purchased online and must be presented to the guard patrols.


Bassenthwaite Lake offers a rich bird life as well. Cormorants and herons are common bird species that can be seen by the water. In 2001, ospreys were observed in the Lake District after being absent for more than 100 years. Since they came back, they breed by the lake regularly.

General info

Bassenthwaite Lake is 69 meter above sea level.

The area is 5.1 square kilometers. Around Bassenthwaite Lake, it is mainly mixed forests that are growing.

The water quality in Bassenthwaite is affected by phosphate contamination. Phosphates promote algae formation. There are action programs to restore the lakes in the Lake District.

More trees have been placed along the waterways to reduce the sediment deposition that threatens the lake.

In May 2010, work began on upgrading the sewage treatment plant and pumping station.

The areas between Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake were the best center for agricultural communities and stone axes have been found in the area.