Bassenthwaite is long and narrow and is one of the largest lakes in the Lake District, it is actually the only one to have the word lake in its name, most of the others are termed waters, e.g. Coniston Waters. Bassenthwaite Lake actually drains into one end of the river Derwent and is situated at the foot of Mount Skiddaw near Keswick. The lake has been called Broadwater lake and it is named Bassenwater is some maps dating back to the eighteenth century.

Running from north to south along the western edge of the lake is A66 dual carriageway

Art and Culture

Along the west shore of the lake there is a short path, but the only access at the east side is at Mirehouse historic house and gardens with four wooded adventure playgrounds. There are a number of sheltered gardens for guests to walk around, as well as walks through the woods and parks. The house is still privately owned and is only open to the public on Sunday and Wednesday from 2-4.30pm although the tea rooms are open every day. The house has been in the Spedding family for more than three hundred years and has a lot of artistic and literary collections. You can also see manuscripts that belonged to Wordsworth, Southey and Tennyson.

Just along the shore from the Mirehouse is a small church and just past that is an open air theatre built by the Tennyson Society in 1974. The theatre was built specifically for the poem Morte d’Arthur as much of the poem was written in that area. The lake is said to be home to a water monster known as the Eachy, 13ft long triple humped python headed creature at Windermere in 1873 and at Bassenthwaite Lake as late as 1973 when it was photographed twice.


Keswick is one of the bigger towns in the Lake District and it is only a short distance from Bassenthwaite. There are some neat little independent gift shops, camping shops and clothing stores in the area the streets are quite compact and great for wandering around and there are several cafes where you can stop for a break.


Visit the Keswick Mining Museum and learn about the mining history of the Lake District dating back to the mid sixteenth century when experts from Germany came to the area for copper and lead. There is also a good Art Gallery and Museum in Keswick that is well worth an afternoon’s visit. If you prefer to stay by the lake then there are the adventure playgrounds close to Mirehouse.


If you want to sit by a fire with something to eat and a pint in your hand then the Dog and Gun in Keswick is a great place. Things get a bit livelier at weekends and you will find pubs where there is live music, and it’s not far from Bassenthwaite.