Bassenthwaite permits

Bassenthwaite Lake is a specially protected area

As well as being in the Lake District National Park, Bassenthwaite has special protection as a National Nature Reserve. It's a really special lake for wildlife, home to ospreys that swoop down and fish from the water during the summer and many other flora, insects, birds and small mammals all year round.

It's a wonderful place for some quiet enjoyment, as there are no motor craft allowed on the water. Sailing, rowing, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, fishing and swimming are all allowed on the lake. We issue permits for most of these activities, so we have a good understanding of how and when people are visiting this area, and the money raised goes back into helping us protect and conserve the lake to benefit its wildlife.

Fishing and boating permits for Bassenthwaite

If you want to visit Bassenthwaite and get out on the water, you will need a permit. You can buy a boating permit for any kind of unpowered pleasure craft. You can buy a fishing permit for shore or boat fishing. If you want to fish from your boat you will need both permits.

Please buy a permit online and keep a copy of the email permit you receive, either digitally or printed out, so you can show it to our ranger patrols on your visit. Your email will also have a copy of the Bassenthwaite Lake map.

▼ Buy a permit for fishing or boating

Boating zones and byelaws

The map below shows the two no boating zones on Bassenthwaite, areas of the shore that are privately owned, public access areas and visitor facilities. Please ensure you're aware of the Small Lakes byelaws that apply to anyone on the water at Basssenthwaite and the National rod fishing byelaws that apply to all fishing at Bassenthwaite

Protecting Bassenthwaite's wildlife

All visitors can help prevent the spread of freshwater invasive species by following a simple three step process every time we leave any pond, stream or lake…. Check, clean and dry. Find out more about biosecurity for boat users, anglers and swimmers.

Conditions and access for all users

  1. Permits are required for fishing and the use of pleasure craft on the lake.
  2. Permits must be purchased in advance of going on the water or fishing, either online or at one of the local shops. They are not available to buy at the lake shore.
  3. You are required to produce your permit at the request of a Lake Warden or Ranger Service.
  4. The permit may be withdrawn from anyone failing to comply with the regulations of the permit.


  1. An Environment Agency rod licence is required in addition to this permit to fish.
  2. The use of freshwater fish as live or dead bait and the transfer of live fish are not permitted. All current EA byelaws apply. For more information see EA regional rod fishing byelaws: north-west region
  3. No camping, bivouacs or fires at any time.
  4. Night fishing by 12 month permit holders only.
  5. The river section at Ouse Bridge is closed to all fishing during the salmon closed season.
  6. All coarse fish are to be returned to the lake with careful handling.
  7. The use of single or double barbless hooks and landing mats are preferred.
  8. All coloured salmon are to be returned and the catch and release of salmon is encouraged.
  9. In the interests of conservation please make a return of your pike and salmon catch.

Launching / boats

  1. Peel Wyke is available for launching boats, canoes and kayaks. There are no other public launching points for trailered boats.
  2. Petrol engines are not permitted. The use of electric outboards is permitted for 12 month permit holders only.
  3. No boating zones are marked by white topped posts on shoreline and shown on map overleaf.
Map of Bassenthwaite map showing activity zones

Map showing sailing areas, no boating zones and visitor facilities around Bassenthwaite Lake.

Buy a permit for Bassenthwaite Lake

Fishing permits

You will need a fishing permit for fishing from the shore or on the water. You will also need one of the boating permits below if you want to fish from a paddle craft or boat. Under 16s are allowed to fish for free without a permit.

1 day:  £7
7 days: £20
3 months: £40
12 months: £50

Under 16s are free.
50% discount for blue badge holders.

Buy a Bassenthwaite Lake fishing permit online

Boat permits

You will need a permit to take a rowing boat, sailing boat, dinghy, canoe, kayak, windsurfer, paddleboard or any kind of unpowered pleasure craft onto Bassenthwaite lake. You will need a fishing permit as well if you want to fish from your boat.

1 day:  £7
7 days:  £20
3 months: £50
12 months: £100

Under 16s are free.
50% discount for blue badge holders.

Buy a Bassenthwaite Lake  boat permit online

Boat stand and boat season permit

We have boat stands available at Peel Wyke and Beck Wythop. Send us your details and we'll contact you to discuss your needs and issue your stand and licence.

Apply for a boat stand and season permit