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If you’re booking holiday cottage accommodation in Bassenthwaite for a special occasion, then you’re in for a treat. With Lakelovers you’re guaranteed on quality and luxury. With the largest collection of VisitEngland Gold award properties in the Lake District, we pride ourselves on offering the finest luxury holiday cottages in the most sought-after locations.
Choose from secluded 2 bed Lake District boltholes, oozing with charm and fitted with understated luxurious styling and conveniences. Or modern family friendly holiday homes with the latest mod-cons for a convenient and comfortable break. Large holiday home manors, where you get a flavour of traditional Lake District gentry living, are also sure to impress. Whatever you’re looking for, our Bassenthwaite Lake Cottages are sure to delight and inspire.
Just 15 minutes from Keswick, named Britain’s top dog friendly town, Bassenthwaite is also a great holiday for our four-legged friends! There’s plenty of dog friendly walks, pubs generally welcome dogs and there’s very little traffic. What’s more, dogs stay free with Lakelovers holiday cottages. So look out for the pet friendly symbol when browsing our Bassenthwaite cottages collection.
A Little of Bassenthwaite’s History
Originally Bastunthwaite Water, Bassenthwaite Lake is actually the only one of the Lake District’s 16 bodies of water which is actually called a lake. And the special nature of this region doesn’t end there. Read on!
Historically, the economy of Bassenthwaite lake and nearby area relied on agriculture. The lake is surrounded by relatively flat farmland. This is except for the ancient mass of Skiddaw, the oldest peak in the Lake District, (and indeed in Europe), flanking its south east shore.
Today, Bassenthwaite Lake is a National Nature Reserve and home to many important wildlife conservation projects. It is also one of the largest bodies of water in the Lakes. A beautiful stretching ribbon of water, it is long and narrow at 4 miles long and ¾ miles wide, but is the shallowest in the National Park.
The lake has a plentiful supply of roach, perch and pike and is surrounded by fertile land. Dodd Wood and Whinlatter Forest lie to the south. This is an ideal wildlife habitat and so some of the very best and rarest of Lake District wildlife can be seen here.
In fact, the first of the Lake District’s wild ospreys in over 150 years decided to make Bassenthwaite their home. You can see them from Dodd Wood or Whinlatter viewpoints between April and August.
Booking holiday cottage accommodation in the Bassenthwaite area is a treat for all. For couples looking for a romantic getaway, families looking for all-season outdoor fun, groups celebrating a special occasion or anyone wanting to bag the enjoyable Wainwright peak, Skiddaw, or see the unique wildlife.
The easiest route into Bassenthwaite is to leave the M6 at Penrith onto the A66. Bypassing Keswick and then over the River Derwent, the A66 takes you along the west shore of Bassenthwaite and eventually into Cockermouth.
There’s no access on the east Lake shore, but at Keswick you can leave the A66 to join the A591 now following the River Derwent, which leaves the roadside to join Bassenthwaite. The A591 takes you away from the lakeshore and draws you along the base of Skiddaw where you can head into Bassenthwaite village. Other than the winter months, there are regular bus services taking you into Cockermouth, Keswick, Penrith and Carlisle.
Out and About in Bassenthwaite
In Bassenthwaite village you experience an authentic English village community. Complete with village green and river running through where you must catch the annual Duck Race if visiting in August. This village is an absolute delight.
Rather than queuing up for a cash machine, get your holiday spends out from the travelling Post Office van which parks up weekly by the Village Green. There’s also a quaint mobile library bus adding to the nostalgic feel of village life. From yoga and fitness classes to baby sensory, upholstery classes, Prosecco nights, cookery demos and walking groups, the local Parish Room, or Village Hall, is a wonderful reminder of community spirit that today only exists in a small rural community, such as Bassenthwaite.
In contrast, the bustling market town of Keswick, sitting on Derwent Water and often referred to as the best market town in the Lakes, is a short drive or bus ride from Bassenthwaite. Voted the best market in the country in 2015, take in the buzz of this outdoor market on either Tuesday and Saturday.
Only 10 minutes drive from Keswick and less than that from Bassenthwaite village, is the Lake District Wildlife Park. The only one in the North of Cumbria, this makes for a great all-weather day trip for families. There’s 24 acres with over 100 species of local and exotic animals. Don’t forget to give the oldest resident, Brian the Larr Gibbon, a hello. For wet or hot days where protection is needed, there’s an indoor play area and outdoor picnic and play area with shelter. The cafe is also a nice spot to take in the tranquil views where the animals are free to roam around. Plus, it’s open all year round.
Many who stay in the Bassenthwaite area have their walking boots set on summating Skiddaw which, as one of the largest fells in England, dominates the skyline in the North Lakes. This is most often walked from Keswick but there’s also a fine route from Bassenthwaite. Skiddaw is a great classic ridge walk where the easy paths and consistent incline makes it accessible to many.
If you’d like to get close to the lake there is limited access from the A66 on the west shore. But, if the roadside access to this beautifully rich in wildlife lake isn’t enough for you, then head to Mirehouse Historic House and Gardens on the east side. This grand 17th Century lakeshore residence is extremely inviting. It is particularly welcoming to children also, who can play with toys, including the rocking horse and dolls house in the playroom and can enjoy the owl trail and quiz as well as the surprising outdoor adventure play areas.This is a place you can return time and again.
Dodd Wood is opposite, where you will find the Lake District Osprey Project. This is also the place to head to for spectacular views. You can take a picnic or enjoy the converted Sawmill Cafe, open over the summer months.
For those with lots of energy, burn rubber at Whinlatter Forest. Hire or take your own bikes to test your stamina against the longest purpose-built mountain trail in the Lake District. And not only is the trail the longest, the terrain is testing too, as Whinlatter Forest is England’s only true mountain forest at 1000ft above sea level. The paths are fast, full of hairpins, they’re rocky and unforgiving. This is true ‘mountain’ biking.
For thrill junkies you can also take to the tree tops at Whinlatter at the popular GoApe attraction. But, you don’t have to be a daredevil to enjoy some gentle woodland trails, spot a red squirrel or take part in some of the kids forest craft and adventure activities. Many also head to the lookout to see the Ospreys fishing from Whinlatter Visitor Centre.
Eating and Drinking, Wining and Dining
Whilst the charm of Bassenthwaite village is its seclusion, don’t worry there is an excellent village pub, The Sun Inn. This Jennings pub is what you’d want from a rural Lake District village drinking hole – olde worlde charm with excellent pub grub and beer! Don’t forget to order some dog biscuits for your four legged pal too. This pub has a warm welcome for all, kids included. And if you’re into your ales, a tour of Jennings Brewery in Cockermouth, less than 10 miles outside Bassenthwaite village, is worth a visit.
There is so much that is unique about this part of the Lake District, and here’s another. The Lakes Distillery on Bassenthwaite creates the only made in Cumbria gin and is also England’s largest award-winning distillery. There’s tasting tours and masterclasses or you can sample their delights in the outstanding Bistro at the Distillery.
The Pheasant Inn, a 6-minute walk from Bassenthwaite, is a great place to book for a celebratory or extra special meal as it can offer private dining for up to 20 guests and are known for their quality local food. Or, if you’ve enjoyed a gentle hike up nearby Sale Fell, which you can do from this pub door and is a gentle walk rewarding you with great views over the valley and Skiddaw summit, then you may prefer a lunch in the less formal bistro or bar menu. Dogs are welcome and there’s a great kid’s menu too.
For uber fine dining or indeed some luxurious spa pampering, then take achy bodies and stressed muscles to Armathwaite Hall Country House Hotel and Spa for an escapist experience. Surprise a loved one with a full afternoon tea of refreshing loose leaf tea, clotted cream scones and dessert in a glass. Or, set the standard for your luxury holiday in Bassenthwaite with a relaxing spa experience where you can enjoy a beauty treatment, outstanding spa facilities, including Hydrotherapy pool, Aroma room and essence Steam room. Then relax in the outdoor infinity Jacuzzi set amidst the beautiful grounds and garden, breathing in the vitality-giving Lake District air. Throughout the seasons you must enjoy a walk around the gardens, taking a look down the Bassenthwaite valley.
Bassenthwaite and its many unique attractions make this area a real hidden gem of the Lake District. Here the unique wildlife and beauty of Bassenthwaite Lake and village life of the valley is conserved and holidaymakers lucky enough to visit this special area often return. If you’ve not found what you’re looking for here in Bassenthwaite Cottages have a look at holiday cottages in north Lake District in the nearby areas of Keswick and Ullswater.