The lakes tucked away in the National Park's north west are probably the most peaceful. With no motor boats, they are great choice to go for a swim, a kayak, a canoe, a paddleboard, or just a peaceful lake shore walk.
Buttermere lies at the foot of some spectacular fells, including Wainwright's favourite Haystacks. It's also one of the few lakes you can walk all the way round, taking four miles.
From Buttermere village, the climb to Rannerdale Knott provides stunning views of the lake and surrounding area. Enjoy the fabulous Rannerdale bluebells in the spring.
To discover more about Buttermere visit Buttermere Web.
Located behind the Bridge Hotel and beside the Buttermere Court Hotel.
Grid reference: NY 172 169
Nearest postcode: CA13 9XA
Crummock Water lies between Loweswater and Buttermere. It is two and half miles long and three quarters of a mile wide. At 140 feet deep, this clear, rocky bottomed lake is flanked by steep fellsides of Skiddaw slate. It is owned by the National Trust.
The River Cocker starts from here and flows towards Cockermouth where it joins the River Derwent. Crummock Water is fed by numerous streams including the beck from Scale Force, the tallest waterfall in the Lake District with a drop of 170 feet.
A nine mile round the lake walk is possible with great paths through Lanthwaite Woods.
Loweswater is situated in a wooded valley in the Vale of Lorton. It is approximately one mile long, half a mile wide and 60 feet deep. A walk around the lake is around four miles, most of it on footpaths. It passes through Holme Wood, a fine mixed woodland.
Loweswater is the only lake that drains towards the centre of Lakeland to Crummock Water, which it was once joined to. Red squirrels enjoy the coniferous habitat and can be found in the area.
If you're looking for somewhere to grab a bite to eat and a drink, the Kirkstile Inn is a popular spot for walkers.
Northwest of Keswick, Bassenthwaite Lake is the only official Lake in the Lake District - the others are all called meres, waters or tarns. The area is designated as a National Nature Reserve, and is a great place for birdwatching. Until recently you could view the nest from viewpoint at Dodd Wood managed by FE and supported by the RSPB and LDNPA until the birds decided to nest in a location less visible.
You can take a paddleboard, kayak, canoe or rowing boat out onto Bassenthwaite Lake, you just need to buy a permit online first.
This high pass runs between the head of Borrowdale with the head of Buttermere. Once horse-drawn coaches followed this route on the 'Keswick Round'.