The Lake District

In his 1810 Guide to the Lakes, William Wordsworth described Wastwater as 'long, narrow, stern and desolate', and it's a description that still seems apt. The lake itself is owned by the National Trust and is the deepest body of water in the national park (around 79m at its deepest point). It's also the coldest, and one of the clearest; very little life can survive in its inhospitable waters, apart from the hardy Arctic char.

On the lake's southern side, the huge scree slopes reach to an altitude of 609m, created by thousands of years of natural erosion on the surrounding mountains.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Lake District attractions

1. St Olaf's Church

1.52 MILES

Supposedly one of the tiniest chapels in England, this 16th-century church is full of atmosphere. Legend claims the roof beams were salvaged from a Viking…

2. Honister Slate Mine

5.27 MILES

This old slate mine has been reinvented as a centre for all kinds of activities: you could venture underground into the bowels of the old 'Edge' and …

3. Muncaster Castle

7.82 MILES

This crenellated castle, 1.5 miles east of Ravenglass, was originally built around a 14th-century pele tower, constructed to resist Reiver raids. Home to…

4. Bowder Stone

7.92 MILES

A mile south from Grange, a turn-off leads up to the geological curiosity known as the Bowder Stone, a 1700-tonne lump of rock left behind by a retreating…

5. Watendlath Tarn

8.58 MILES

This National Trust–owned tarn is reached via a turn-off on the B5285 south of Keswick. On the way the road passes over one of the Lake District's most…

6. Lodore Falls

9.31 MILES

At the southern end of Derwentwater, this famous waterfall featured in a poem by Robert Southey, but it's only worth visiting after a good spell of rain…

7. Ruskin Museum

9.82 MILES

Coniston's little museum explores the village's history, touching on copper mining, Arthur Ransome and the Campbell story. There's also a section on John…

8. Grasmere Lake & Rydal Water

10.01 MILES

Quiet paths lead along the shores of Grasmere's twin-set lakes. Rowing boats can be hired at the northern end of Grasmere Lake from the Grasmere Tea…