The Lake District’s greatest lakes – including the best ones to beat the crowds


‘How many lakes does the Lake District have?’ It’s a common quiz question – and before you start counting on your fingers, the answer is just one, Bassenthwaite Lake.

The rest are all ‘waters’ or ‘meres’. Annoying yet useful trivia. But, eschewing grammatical accuracy, we shall refer to them as lakes. By no means are they all the same; only four, for example, have passenger boats. Each has a personality that appeals to a different type of visitor. Some love Windermere’s boat-bobbing busy-ness, others feel drawn to Wastwater’s air of menace… But which is best for you?

Best all-rounder: Windermere

As England’s largest lake, at 10.5 miles (17k) long, you’d expect big things from Windermere and…

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