Bassenthwaite Lake

Bassenthwaite Lake

Bassenthwaite Lake

Length – 6.4km / Max Width – 1.1km

Bassenthwaite Lake lies alongside the A66 trunk road between Keswick and Cockermouth. The only body of water in the Lake District to be named as a lake, Bassenthwaite is one of the largest lakes and is a good place for viewing Osprey who nest nearby.

Bassenthwaite is not one of the more popular lakes, being on the fringes of the national park, but it does offer a number of excellent walking trails and easily accessible picnic spots.


There are a number of laybys on the A66 alongside Bassenthwaite where you can park for free. In addition you can take the B5291 off the A66 at the northern end of the lake and park at Banks Point (Grid Ref NY 202 319). The A591 runs along the other side of the lake and here you can find Dodd Wood, with pay and display parking available (Grid Ref NY235 282).


Much of Bassenthwaite Lake is surrounded by farmland, but there are number of pubs in the vicinity, including the Pheasant Inn (Grid Ref NY 198 308), whilst Dodd Wood has toilets and a café.

Walking Trails

Walking around the edge of Bassenthwaite Lake is not easy, as the southern end of the lake consists of boggy farmland through which there is no right of way and, therefore, you have to walk a couple more kilometres south before you can get across. The A66 runs along much of the western edge of the lake with no footpath and fast moving traffic.

However, the eastern side of the lake does have a number of paths with picturesque scenery, including a path through Lakeside Wood starting at Grid Ref NY 208 324. Dodd Wood has several trails overlooking the lake and it is here you may encounter nesting Osprey and a thriving Red Squirrel population.