Bassenthwaite Lake is beautiful with its stillness and its backdrop of Skiddaw Mountain on one side and forested fells on the other where there are Ospreys nesting. A viewpoint for watching the Ospreys has been set up at Dodd Wood on the opposite side of the lake.The lake is one of the longest in the Lake District stretching over four miles long and over three quarters of a mile wide at its widest point.
The A66 dual carriageway runs along the western edge of the lake, this carriageway follows the route of the old Keswick to Cockermouth railway line of which little now remains to be seen except for the ruins of the old railway station that nestle in the wood beside the turn off for The Pheasant Inn. At the head of the lake is the village of Dubwath where Bassenthwaite Sailing Club is sited, only small boats are based here and usually no motor boats are allowed on the lake with the exception of a rescue boat. For members of the RYA boats may be launched on a day permit basis from Bassenthwaite Sailing Club. There are restricted no boating zones around the lake in order to protect breeding grounds Permits are required to take any kind of boat onto the lake.
The deepest part of the lake is around seventy feet and attracts anglers to fish for Pike, Salmon, Eel, Perch, Roach, Dace and Ruff. The Lake is also home to the extremely rare Vendice or Vendace fish which is a tiny relative of the Salmon family. In 2001 this fish was declared extinct in the lake but there are reports that it is still there. Please note an environment agency licence is required in order to fish the lake and no live bait fishing is allowed.
The lake is now home to Otters and for the Bird lovers Curlews, Reed Buntings, Meadow Pippits, Geese and Warblers may be observed. Hides are being set up by ‘The Bassenthwaite Reflections Programme’ on a new nature reserve area.
The scenery of the Lake and its surrounding area is much admired by artists and Photographers alike .Three Poet Laureates Wordsworth, Southey and Tennyson were frequent visitors to the historic ‘Mire House’ that sits overlooking the lake and the tiny pre-Norman Saint Bega’s Church close to the shore is well worth a visit. Tennnyson was the author of ‘Mort d’Arthur’ the legend of King Arthur and the ‘Sword of King Arthur’ is said to have been returned to The Lady Of The Lake in Bassenthwaite Lake on his death.
Of general interest Bassenthwaite Lake has been said to contain its own Nessy type Lake Monster called the Eachy. In the early 1960’s a scientific search of the lake was made in an unsuccessful attempt to locate this creature.