Explore Our Parish
Bassenthwaite is a small rural parish in the most northern part of the Lake District National Park and covers an area of about 2,700 hectares measuring roughly four miles by five miles to the north and west of the summit of Skiddaw.
The attractive village of Bassenthwaite, lies beneath the Skiddaw massif about a mile and a half from the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake. The village is situated six miles north of the popular tourist town of Keswick and a similar distance from the market town of Cockermouth.
You will find many elements of an archetypal English village including a village green, primary school and church. The stream, complete with ducks and children's swings on the beck side, runs through the heart of this peaceful Lakeland village.
There is just a single pub within the village itself and no shop. There is a small campsite shop at the caravan site selling fresh eggs, bread, milk, newspapers and other basic supplies. The shop is usually open from Easter weekend through to October half term each year. Fresh free range chicken and duck eggs can be also bought from Bassenthwaite Hall Farm in the centre of the village.
There are many opportunities for walking in the area including the magnificent Skiddaw massif, Ullock Pike, Sale Fell, Lords Seat and Binsey Fell. A gentle ascent of three miles from Bassenthwaite brings you to the Cumbria Way and Dash Falls. A full circuit of Skiddaw can be completed via Dash Falls and Skiddaw House and is popular with walkers and mountain bikers alike. Skiddaw summit can be reached via Ullock Pike or Dash Falls. A more gentle walk from the village centre brings you to Bassenthwaite Lake and to the ancient church of St Bega in an idyllic location on the lake shore and the scene of many weddings. Dodd Wood, on the slopes of Skiddaw, offers a variety of way marked trails and a viewing platform for the Osprey. For a great resource for walking routes and maps in the Northern Fells go to www.go4awalk.com
Bassenthwaite Lake is the only true Lake in the Lake District as all the others are waters or meres! Owned by the National Park Authority, it is one of the largest lakes at 4 miles long and 3/4 mile wide, but also one of the shallowest (70 ft). The area is designated as a National Nature Reserve and is home to the Vendace, a rare and endangered fish species found only here and in Derwentwater. The lake is a very important place for wildlife. Hundreds of birds including the osprey migrate to the lake and fish such as atlantic salmon come to Bassenthwaite Lake to spawn.
The Lake District's first ever wetland nature reserve can be found at the northern end of Bassenthwaite Lake at Dubwath. Wildlife found here include grasshopper warbler, curlew, greylag, geese, reed bunting and meadow pipit. Find out about Dubwath Silver Meadows Nature Reserve here.
Bassenthwaite Sailing Club can also be found at Dubwath on the North Western shore of the lake. RYA members can launch sailing boats from the grounds of the club for a daily fee and a family regatta is held during the first week of August every year.
Learn more about Bassenthwaite Lake by viewing the Lake District National Park's leaflet. You can download the leaflet via the following links: