Lakeshore Paddling & Swimming at Wastwater

Duration:2 hours or less

Hot summer days are few, but they still happen! At the side of Englands deepest lake (74m/249ft), Wastwater (pronounced ‘Wostwater’), there are many places to dip your toes and cool down whilst taking in the view of the surrounding mountains of Red Pike, Kirk Fell, Great Gable and Scafell Pike.

Please note that even in summer the lake is extremely cold! With the infamous and visually imposing Screes graduating towards the Lake and the mountains majestically overlooking and surrounding – you may want to bring a camera to record how breath taking it really is. The lake water is amazingly pure – and that’s why it’s internationally important for special wildlife.

Further Information

Planning your visit:

There are numerous informal stops near Wastwater Lakeshore, please park on hard areas and be considerate to other road users.

There are amenities in Gosforth, ranging from a small food store and locally renowned bakery. At Nether Wasdale, there are two public houses.

There is a YHA at the side of the lake. Past Low Wood and past the lake, there is Wasdale Head. Here there is the Wasdale Head Inn and an outdoors shop.

Nearest beaches are at St. Bees, Drigg, Silecroft, and Haverigg (near Millom).

Nearest petrol station is at Holmrook on A595. Tourist information and railway station available at Seascale.

How to get here:

From the north: From Gosforth, follow secondary roads to Wastwater Lake going via Nether Wasdale. Pass Woodhow Farm (signed) towards the lakeshore, then there are informal parking areas along the way, but please use common sense and park sensibly.

From the south: From Greenodd turn right onto A5092 to Foxfield (Broughton-In-Furness) via Grizebeck. At Duddon Bridge (traffic lights) continue onto A595 through to Gosforth (via Bootle/Holmrook). From Gosforth, follow secondary roads to Wastwater Lake going via Nether Wasdale.

Other Activities in Wasdale:

By Martin Clayton

Ranger Supervisor Helping to care for the Duddon & Eskdale Valleys. I've been working in the countryside for over 22 years, so I guess I must like it! Organising and leading mountain bike working holidays. Fully qualified mountain bike instructor/leader. My main interests are cycling (road and mountain bike) and gardening.

Martin Clayton  's Profile Picture

How to get here

Wast Water, Wasdale

Seascale CA20 1

Ordnance Survey OL6
The English Lakes
South Western area

NY 151 055

Get Directions

By Train and Bicycle: Cyclists can take their bikes on the train from Lancaster, Grange over Sands or Whitehaven to Ravenglass, then cycle along National Cycle 72 to Gubbergill. From here follow quiet lanes through Santon Bridge to Wastwater.

Telephone: 08457 48 49 50

Traveline website:
Telephone: 0871 200 22 33