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Loweswater is the least known of a series of three lakes in the north of the Lake District. Although of the three it is the nearest to the coast, due to the lie of the land its outlet, Dub Beck which after a short distance merges with the stream coming down from Mosedale and changes name to Park Beck, does not flow coastwards but back east. The way to the west is blocked by glacial debris from the end of the last ice age. Like Buttermere it therefore becomes a source of water for the largest and central of the three lakes, Crummock Water. From there the River Cocker flows out through the Vale of Lorton, later to join the Derwent on its journey to the Irish Sea.

Loweswater 1978 - Photo David Murray
Photo by David Murray (1978)

In size Loweswater is a little larger than Buttermere, at one and a half miles in length and half a mille wide. At around sixty feet maximum depth it is not one of the deep lakes. Its surroundings are more green and pastoral than the other two, although in places it does have steep slopes coming down fairly close to the water's edge. There is woodland on the southern shore, climbing up the slopes to Burnbank Fell and Carling Knott. Unlike the more recent forestry plantations elsewhere in the region, much of Holme Wood near to the lake is old and substantially deciduous, giving a much more gentle feeling to the area.

Between Loweswater and Crummock Water there are Roman archeological remains, and also some believed by many to date from the period when the hill dwellers were struggling to hold off the invaders from northern France during the decades following the Battle of Hastings in 1066. (This was the last time, almost a thousand years ago now, that Britain was successfully taken over by military force - in spite of repeated plans and attempts in the centuries since then). Nicholas Size tells the story of this hill country's successful resistance in his book, The Secret Valley, which although it may inevitably after almost a millennium mix some conjecture with known fact, captures well the atmosphere of those times.

The road along Loweswater's northern margin follows close to the water for most of its length, and at various points it is possible to get down to the water's edge, sometimes finding a cooler spot in the shade of trees and bushes on a hot afternoon. Much of the immediately surrrounding land, and the lake itself, is owned by the National Trust. Fishing is available with a permit from the Trust. Pike and perch are said to be plentiful. Loweswater is also popular with waterfowl.



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