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Lake District Information from

Temple Sowerby House Hotel

North Lakes

Ullswater Lake District

Ullswater - just a short and scenic drive from Temple Sowerby House

The Lake District, in my opinion, is the most beautiful corner of England, with incredible landscapes of mountains and lakes, waterfalls and quiet woodlands.

The beauty of the North Lakes, in particular, has inspired poets and painters, photographers and filmmakers. If you're not one of these, it doesn't matter! For walking, climbing or just tootling around by car, boat or train, the Lake District is unsurpassed in beauty and drama.

The stunning landscape is a natural phenomenon. Here in the North Lakes you will find wild and windswept moorland, beautiful lakes and valleys. There is also a social landscape to explore that has been formed over thousands of years and continues to be shaped by modern culture. From poignant ruins to local legends and literary works. The picturesque towns and villages host historic castles, churches, stately homes and museums showing us how the region's history and heritage have defined Cumbria's identity.

There are many activities which attract visitors to the Lake District. There is a large range of outdoor activities; climbing, fell-walking, sailing, canoeing, cycling, paragliding, coarse & game fishing or off road driving.
The stunning scenery is accessible on foot, by bike (on or off road on your mountain bike), horse, car and public transport. The Lake District is the most beautiful corner of England and not to be missed.

You can also come down from the fells to discover the unique culture and personality of the Lake District’s towns and villages. from the historical appeal of Kendal to the cobbled streets of Ulverston. and the market town charm of Penrith. Each has a story to tell With England's five tallest mountains and deepest lake, two national parks, three areas of outstanding beauty and Cumbria's rich natural environment is simply unique. The Lake District National Park covers 885 square miles and is the largest of England's National Parks. It includes one third of the county of Cumbria from Caldbeck in the north to Lindale in the south, from Ravenglass in the west to Shap in the east.

The Lake District became famous after a group of British poets made it their home at the beginning of the 19th century. The most famous of these poets are William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey. These poets were described by critics as the Lake School of poetry and from then on they were referred to as the Lake Poets.

The four 'waters' of the North Lakes offer a stunning variety of scenery and each is unique in its environment.....


Bassenthwaite Lake is the only Lake in the district with the word ‘lake’ in the title. It is located in the northwest of the Lake District near Derwentwater and is one of the longest lakes in the district distancing about four miles long and three quarters wide but very shallow (roughly 21 metres at deepest point.) Bassenthwaite Lake lies at the base of Skiddaw, close to Keswick and drains into as well as fed by the River Derwent, which connects Bassenthwaite with Derwentwater. The latter attracts most of the attention with Bassenthwaite being the more unspoilt and quieter of the two.

Like other Lake District lakes, Bassenthwaite is situated in a glacially eroded valley. The lake’s fishing area exceeds any other catch rate out of all the lakes in the district. It is home to extensive varieties of fish, including salmon, trout, perch, pike, dace, eels and the most common variety – Roach.

The wildlife is impressive, especially the many types of birds that inhabit the area. These include Cormorants, heron and ospreys, which returned to nest here earlier on in the century and have done so ever since. There are parking spaces along the A66 running North/South along the Western Side of the Lake, which are good spots to catch a glimpse of any resident Ospreys in the area.

Surrounding the lake, you can find many peaceful walks along the banks and in the woodland. There is also the village of Bassenthwaite on the north side. The southern section of road heading towards Keswick was laid on top of the old railway, which led to Penrith and it is still possible to see the old Bassenthwaite railway station.


Ullswater is the second biggest lake in the Lake District, measuring approximately 9 miles long and 0.75 miles wide with a maximum depth of slightly over 60 metres.

Due to the formation of land surrounding the Lake, it lies in the shape of a narrow, z shaped ribbon, which is the result of a glacier digging out the valley at the end of the last ice age. This was then filled with meltwater when the glacier withdrew and so became a lake.

The main areas of attraction surrounding the lake include the Ullswater Steamers. Originally working boats from the 1850s, they were used to transport mail, workers and goods to and from Greenside lead mine situated at Glenridding which closed in 1962.

The Steamers operate all year round and allow you to tour up and down the lake itself calling at Pooley Bridge, Glenridding and Howtown. People often catch the 'Steamer' from Glenridding to Howtown and then return on foot back along the lakeshore to complete one of the most popular and picturesque low level walks in the Lake District.

All three villages on the Lake are popular places to visit. Glenridding village is found at the southern end of the lake and is particularly popular with mountain walkers. It enables easy access to England's third highest mountain, Helvellyn, as well as many other equally beautiful peaks, which can also be a challenge to climb.

If you would like to be near the water, there is a six-mile walk from Howtown to Patterdale. The views from this path are some of the best in Lakeland.

Pooley Bridge is a village at the northern tip of the lake. Its narrow 16th-century bridge straddles the River Eamont as it meanders out of Ullswater and it is overlooked by Dunmallard Hill, which was the site of an Iron Age fort. For much of its length Ullswater forms the natural border between the ancient counties of Cumberland and Westmorland.

Set slightly back from the lake is Aira Force, a pretty walk beside some stunning waterfalls, tumbling down the gill and emptying into Ullswater. Close to this is Lyulph's Tower, originally constructed by a former Duke of Norfolk as a shooting box.

Ullswater is a very popular sailing location with marinas situated around the lake there are facilities also for diving, rowing and motorboats.


This is the widest lake in Cumbria and has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest in order to protect the rare species of wildlife that inhabit the area. Most of the land next to the shoreline of the lake belongs to the National Trust with a number of walking trails through the woods and along the shoreline. It measures approximately 3 miles (4km) long by 1 mile (1.5km) wide and is about 72ft (22m) deep. It is fed and drained by the River Derwent.

There are many islands within the lake, the largest of which are: Derwent Isle, Lord's Island, St Herbert's Island, Rampsholme Island and Otterbield Island. Derwent Isle is lived on. It is also home to Derwent Island House, a prestigous 18th-century residence, is a tenanted National Trust property open to the public for five days per year.

Derwentwater occupies part of Borrowdale and lies directly south of of Keswick. It is a place of outstanding natural beauty, surrounded by a backdrop of gentle, sloping fells. Many of these are covered in woodland with a good selection of bird life and views of Skiddaw.

A regular passenger boat operates on the lake, taking passengers between various landing stages. There are seven lakeside landing stages in total, the most popular stops being: Keswick, Portinscale and the Lodore Falls, from where boats may be hired. Walking is a major tourist activity in the area and an extensive network of footpaths exist within the hills and woods surrounding the lake.
The Keswick to Borrowdale road runs along the eastern shore of the lake and there is a regular bus service. There is an unclassified road along the western shore between the villages of Grange and Portinscale.


Haweswater is located to the south of Penrith and to the north of Windermere. At 790 metres above sea level, it is the highest lake in the District and is the 4th deepest at 198 metres. It was originally a smaller natural lake at about 4 kilometres long, 600 metres wide and almost split into two by a strip of land. The two separate sides of water where called high water and low water. The water level was raised by Manchester water-company just before the second-world war by installing a damn. This caused controversy among the local people as it meant that the farming villages or Mardale Green and Measand, along with the surrounding farmland were to be submerged. The work however started in 1929 in order to provide a needed water supply to areas in north-west England. When the reservoir is full to capacity it holds 84 billion litres (18.6 billion gallons) of water. The reservoir is now owned by United Utilities plc.

Before the damn was put in place, the villages were evacuated and then demolished. The stone was then used to construct the damn. All bodies were exhumed from the churchyard and re-buried at Shap and the Church was torn down. When the water levels are low, remains of stone walls and the village bridge of Mardale Green are still visible.

Though the lake is now a man-made reservoir, it is still beautiful, and one of the most peaceful of the north lakes. As well as the foot path along one side the lake, there are the surrounding fells of Branstree, High Street and Harter Fell.

The area around the lake is also home to England’s only breeding pair of Golden Eagles There is a Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) observation post in the remote valley of Riggindale where the nesting pair are settled. The first original pair of eagles came to nest in the valley in 1969. Since then, the male and female of the pairing have changed several times over the years and in total, sixteen chicks have been produced. The most recent female bird disappeared in April 2004 and the RSPB are hoping a replacement female will eventually be drawn here to join the male.


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Lake District information, Temple Sowerby House Hotel north lakes




lakes mountains

View from Haystacks

northern lakes

Skiddaw - North Lakes

lake district fells

Blea Water, above Haweswater


Ullswater in Winter

castlerigg stone circle

Castlerigg Stone Circle, Keswick

From Fairfield in Winter

In the Howgills

blue poppies at dalemain house, eden valley

Blue Poppies at Dalemain

Beck, North Lakes

Bowscale Fell

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