By now it is a truth universally acknowledged that Great Britain is not a country in want of natural beauty.
You don’t need to travel far to see natural beauty spots. Here’s Hallmark Hotels’ insider guide to the marvellous lakes of Britain for you to add your bucket list!
Lakes to the North – The Lake District
We can’t very well discuss lakes in the north of England without an enthusiastic recommendation for the glorious Lake District.
The Lake District National Park is a magical place that incorporates both lakes and hills in abundance so it’s the perfect spot to start your discovery of great lakes in Britain. In fact, it’s the home of England’s deepest lake.
Wastwater, the deepest lake in England is 258 ft deep and three miles long and surrounded by a backdrop of mountains, so walks along and around this lake are an awesome adventure. The lake shore views are stunning and there is an altogether mystical feeling about this lake that has been enchanting visitors for centuries. No surprise that it’s been the inspiration of so many paintings, poems and stories throughout history.
Another notable lake in the Lake District is of course Lake Windemere – which is 5.69 square miles and the largest natural lake in England. Windemere is an extremely popular tourist spot offering great walks, boating, water sports and lake swimming. Elsewhere in the Lake District, you have gorgeous Bassenthwaite Lake and Ullswater lake (which is the second largest lake in the Lake District) which are both well worth a visit.
Let’s not forget the smallest lakes of the Lake District but such pretty ones; Grasmere lake and Rydal Water. Grasmere is only 70ft deep and covers an area of just 0.24 square miles. The adjacent picturesque Grasmere village is a well-known tourist spot as it was the home of poet William Wordsworth who described it as “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found”.
Just a 35-minute drive from the Lake District, you’ll find the ideal place to stay during your visit to the lakes, at Hallmark Hotel Carlisle. Relax under the high ceilings and large bay windows that are typical of regal Victorian buildings and enjoy a perfect night’s sleep in one of our elegant yet comfy suites, after a long day of walking. You can also download our free guide to Carlisle and the local area which is packed full of ideas on how to make the most of your time in the area, with activities for every season.
Lakes to the North – The Pennines
It isn’t all peaks in the Peak District, as you will also come across many picturesque lakes and reservoirs in this area that you can explore at your leisure on foot, by bike or by car. Ladybower Reservoir is probably the most photographed due to its sheer prettiness and is situated in the Upper Derwent Valley, right in the heart of the Peak District national park.
Upper Derwent Valley is home to a series of three dams, named the Derwent Dams which form three reservoirs (Ladybower, Howden and Derwent reservoirs). The area is extremely picturesque and often dubbed the Lake District of the peak district so it’s well worth a visit when you’re exploring the area!
While you’re in this part of the country, it makes sense to stay with us at one of our three Derby hotels, each within just over an hour’s drive from the glorious Peak District. Relax in sumptuously comfortable surroundings and get a blissful night’s sleep after your day of devouring the peaks.
Lochs of Scotland
In the glorious and ancient lands of Scotland, you are utterly spoilt for choice in terms of lakes, hills and mountainous terrain. Scotland is after all where you will find the spellbinding Highlands and the famously mythological Loch Ness.
If you wished to do a loch tour of Scotland, it would probably take years for there are 31,460 freshwater lochs.
Loch Ness actually has double the volume of water than all of the lakes in England and Wales combined – and its deepest point is 230m (or 755 ft), but it’s technically not Scotland’s biggest or deepest loch!
The water is extremely cold and very dark (due to the peat from the surrounding hills entering the Loch) so it’s not a favourite with divers- except the thrill seekers searching for the elusive ‘Nessie’.
The myth of the Loch Ness Monster has been around for over a thousand years. In fact, the earliest report of a monster sighting at this lake was in 565! Though there has never been any confirmed truth in these sightings, the possible presence of a deep water beast certainly gives this lovely loch some mystique and tourist appeal.
Loch Lomond is the largest lake in Great Britain in terms of surface area- it’s 22.6 miles long and between 0.62 and 4.97 miles wide.
Loch Morar is officially the deepest freshwater body in the British Isles as its deepest point is 310m (or 1,017 ft deep).
The lochs are so breath-taking that they feature in songs, poems, paintings, books, films and more, showing their cultural significance. There are countless walks, cycle paths, railway routes, perfect picnic spots, gorgeous shores, surrounding landscapes and plenty of boating activities to enjoy across the main lochs, so you would never run out of things to do.
Hallmark Hotels Glasgow is not far from Loch Lomond but the best place to stay if you are exploring all of the Highlands is Hallmark Hotel Aberdeen where you can rest, recharge and refuel with exquisite food and comfortable accommodation before your next day of Highland discovery.
Lakes of Wales
Like the rest of the UK, Wales is home to exceptionally beautiful landscapes that everyone should visit at least once.
Brecon Beacons national park is home to 140 miles of rivers, 35 miles of canal, nine reservoirs and Wales’ largest natural lake: Llangorse Lake.
Up in north western Wales you will find sprawling Snowdonia, a mountainous area and national park that deserves to be seen. There are a great number of beautiful lakes across Snowdonia; the biggest and deepest of which is called Llyn Llydaw. This natural lake is on high ground at an elevation of 1430 ft, spreads over 110 acres and is around 190ft deep.
Another incredible Snowdonia lake is Glaslyn – high up at 2000ft above sea level. Glaslyn has a depth of 127ft but was once believed to be bottomless, according to welsh folklore. In fact, in Arthurian legend, Sir Bedivere was made to throw Arthur’s sword Excalibur into the mighty lake Glaslyn.
It’s also the supposed home of lake monster from Welsh mythology, called an afanc. There are many other delightful folkloric myths surrounding this lake which makes it all the more interesting to visit!
When in Wales, lay your head down in a magnificent 19th century villa at Hallmark Hotel Wrexham Llyndir Hall, which is only an hour’s drive from Snowdonia National Park. It’s the perfect base while you explore the landscape.
Lakes offer incomparable tranquillity, quiet and exquisite views so start planning your Discover Your British Lake Tour right now!
There are 387 lakes larger than 2.5 acres in Great Britain – which is a high number for a comparatively small island, but plenty to add to your list. Take advantage of our special offer of a two-night getaway package at one of our 26 nationwide hotels. This offer is perfect for short breaks or if you’re hopping from place to place exploring the sights!