Length – 6.9km / Max Width – 0.9km

Controversially created in 1929 to provide a water supply for Manchester, Haweswater is one of the lesser-visited lakes in the Lake District due to the lack of facilities and poor accessibility.

It is for this reason that it is also one of the more tranquil areas of the national park, and offers a number of walking routes with spectacular scenery. Access is via a single track road leading south from the village of Bampton, close to Shap.


There is a United Utilities car park at Haweswater, located at the southern end of the lake at Mardale Head (Grid Ref NY 468 107). There are a limited number of spaces here and the car park does fill up quickly. A small number of spaces are also available in the hamlet of Burnbanks on the northeastern edge of the lake (Grid Ref NY 507 161).


There are no public facilities at Haweswater. The Haweswater Hotel has a walkers bar serving refreshments and is located half way along the lakeside road at NY 483 139. Further afield, the village of Bampton has a shop and a pub.

Walking Trails

A walk around Haweswater is approximately 10 miles, around half of which is along the road on the eastern shore. Start at Mardale Head and from there a path runs along the western shore and re-joins the road at Naddle Gate (NY 510 163). During periods of drought you may catch a glimpse of the buildings of the village of Mardale that was flooded to create the reservoir.

A walk up to Blea Water tarn provides a shorter walk, albeit considerably steeper, up to the deepest tarn in the Lake District. Blea Water (Grid Ref NY 452 108) is surrounded by its own amphitheatre of rocks, which creates a stunning oasis for a picnic. A path leads directly from Mardale Head to Blea Water. If you would like something more challenging you can attempt the summit of High Raise.

From Mardale Head take the lakeshore path around to the Rigg and then turn off at Grid Ref NY 468 118 onto the path up to Kidsty Pike (NY 447 126). From here you can join the old Roman road known as High Street up to High Raise (NY 448 136).