Haweswater Reservoir – a Lesser-known “Lake” in the Lake District

Though officially a reservoir, Haweswater Reservoir, a lesser known lake in the Lake District, provides some glorious walking in serene, tranquil surroundings.  It’s one of the less-frequented lakes, so if you’re up for a bit of solitude, then it’s definitely an option for a great day out.

Haweswater was originally a much smaller lake until the valley was deliberately flooded in 1935 in order to make way for a reservoir.  The villages of Mardale Green and Measand were both flooded – much to the anger of the locals – and even now, if the reservoir dips very low, you can see the remains of Mardale Green, including some stone walls and the village bridge.  Eerie!

Walking in Haweswater is a delight! There are glorious views to be had in all directions and you really do get a sense that you are in the middle of nowhere.  The wildlife is superb, and the reserve has red squirrels visiting frequently, as well as plentiful birdlife and sightings of deer on the fells.

The OS map that has Kirkby Thore on it, also has Haweswater (and Ullswater), so it’s well worth having a look and deciding on one of the many routes that surrounds this peaceful water.  For the more adventurous, you can take a hike up to High Street via Kidsty Pike (part of the Coast to Coast route) or via Riggindale Crag, as preferred by Julia Bradbury in her Wainwright’s Walk series.   The views from High Street are just simply out of this world – you can look straight across at the Helvellyn mountain range with the scary Striding Edge, peer down onto the stunning Ullswater and look behind you to see the beautiful stretch of water that is Haweswater.

High Street – an old Roman Road where they used to race horses! It’s quite a hike up here, but the views are worth it!

Refreshments near Haweswater Reservoir?

For the less-adventurous, Haweswater is blessed with a footpath that hugs the water’s edge for practically the whole circumference of the lake, with just a mini-section on a quiet road.  And a walk wouldn’t be a walk without a pub in it or at the end of it (in our humble opinion!), so why not take a trip into the Haweswater Hotel – for some panoramic views of the lake and a lovely rest-up for tired legs!!

Happy hiking!

Chloe x


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