Bassenthwaite
photo of Basssenthaite bridge
Bassenthwaite Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional
General Description
Use the drop-down menu above to view STILL photography if available - VIDEO will be shown on each "Site" page if available

A flat, low lying lake with scenic views and although you have the sound of the busy traffic thundering by along the A66 you can find heaven here if you check out the lay-bys along this route, each having a path leading to the lake although that path can be a long one. Taking the B5291 offers just a slight view of the lake in winter although trees in summer will almost completely block this view.

For those with other Interests
Classified as a "Quiet Lake". The dive reports are given for your information only. However, anglers and everyone else can have fun. At dive site 3, nesting Ospreys breed during the summer with parking proving impossible. So if you are into bird watching this might be a good place to start.
There is also Wythop Wood with an enjoyable trail through it.

For non diving family members, there is a beach mentioned at dive site 1 that offers sunbathing potential when the sun is out. Divers can park on that side of the lake if they wish - for us buds its just a two minute walk and your in. The Wythop Forest also has bike trails and walks galore. Also worth a visit, is the Bassenthwaite Boating club (photo a) who hire out boats to members - they may hire out to general public?

Places to Stay
By Ouse bridge (photo b) you have some creature comforts after the dive so have a wander around but don't expect too much choice. There is a caravan site down here (B5291) as well as the Armathwaite Hall Hotel.
For more details use one of the links here. Hotels and Guest Houses Youth Hostels for Families etc.

How to get here
From the M6, take the Penrith J40 turn-off. Following the A66 Ullswater road. Follow the A66 Keswick sign, heading West.
Stay on this road for some 24 miles where on your right, Bassenthwaite lake will appear. The Swan Hotel sign will be on your left and within a few minutes the lay-by for dive site 3, Hurst Hole will be seen. Simply carry on for the others.

If coming from Cockermouth take the A66 west and you'll be here in 15 minutes.
Detailed Information for Divers
Main Attraction
Sadly, this is a lake where recreational scuba diving is not permitted, although freshwater biologists and others in the field are allowed. The dive at site 1 would be the most appealing. You don't get too many chances to dive lake beds swept by reasonable currents that offer a little bit of booty from time to time. Ennerdale lake is the other lake to offer this type of river / lake dive.

Viewing Freshwater Life
Anglers use this lake a lot, especially with boats. There are Perch and Pike but no sign of other fish. Signs on the lake claim that the rare Vendace are here although I would suggest that they have been fished out. As divers, we can testify that fish die after being hooked. To admire Vendace, dive Ullswater in the Pooley Bridge area at night.
Map of Bassenthwaite lake click to dive Ouse bridge - North east side click to dive site 3 - Hursthole Point click to dive site 2 - Beck Wythop click to dive site 1 - Ouse Bridge
Clickable map! >
A Protected Lake: Recreational Divers are not allowed in this lake. The warden here has sharper eyes than the Ospreys that circle overhead - Sorry!
Property of the National Trust
Warden Permission Required.
but you may not get it.
Ramblers, walkers, anglers and boat people will have a wonderful day!
Who's the nearest for Dive Air?
Scottish Sub-Aqua Clubs:
Penrith Divers: Penrith based. Air compressor at Penrith.
Solway Sub-Aqua Club: Wigton based. Air compressor at Wigton.
West Lakes Sub-Aqua: Cockermouth based club. Air compressor sited at Cockermouth.
British Sub-Aqua Clubs:
West Cumbria branch is based at Egremont.
Solway divers branch is based at Whitehaven.
Kendal + Lakes branch is based at Kendal Leisure Centre.
Altitude, Visibility, Temperature, Torches
Altitude and Depth:
Since this lake is just 91 metres above sea level you would have no problem with the max depth. Maximum depth is 22 metres if you are prepared for a very long haul into the central area - not recommended, its just more of the same below.
During summer
Visibility: 5 metres but will be variable according to rain fall, not so much by sunlight thanks to a good supply of freshwater from the river Derwent.
Temperature: Insufficient data
During winter
Visibility: 5 metres
Temperature: Insufficient data
Torches: Not required. Although this is not the clearest lake it is light.
Thermoclines: None observed.
If new to freshwater diving: You would not dive here because the Park Authority will be waiting with handcuffs.
Communication intel
** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE ** Mobile phones do work in the dive area. Do test your mobile for signal strength, you may be lucky with your service provider.
** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE ** Public phones: are at Kilnhill and near Dubwath village. Also Bassenthwaite Boating Club. Plenty of road signage informing you of the phone locations are seen around this lake.
More useful Information for buddies
For the latest on the weather: "Scuba Weather Report"
For more air details see "Dive Clubs & Air".
Note: The above page's will remain open while you click to gather info.

Nearest toilet: Many "Inns" are in the area.
Good Pub's include "The Pheasant Inn" or "Castle Inn" - and are sign-posted from the road.
phone icon Reporting thefts or finds - Police: 0845 330 0247

Those with reason to dive this lake must obtain permission from the National Park Authority.
Bassenthwaite is classified as a "quiet lake", i.e, no engine driven boats are allowed. Rowing boats and small yachts only.
No powered boats (RIBs etc.) allowed on lake.
For Angling, Canoeing contact relevant agency. - see links page for non divers.

National Park Authority "Visitor centre contact listing"
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