How many lakes are there in the Lake District?

This is the age old trick quiz question. Well I say age old, it has been since 1974. Before 1974, the trick question was always to name the largest lake in Lancashire. Most people would answer Windermere. Well, this is pre the 1974 local government reorganisation when we did have Westmorland and Cumberland before they merged into Cumbria. Pre 1974 Lancashire was significantly bigger than today and included large parts of South Lakeland. So back to the trick question, Windermere was part in Lancashire and part in Westmorland and so the biggest lake in Lancashire was in fact Coniston.

Well even that is not true because of course Coniston is not a lake, it is a “water”. Which leads us nicely into the current trick quiz question, how many lakes are there in the Lake District – answer ONE. According to Wikipedia the only lake in the Lake District is in fact Lake Bassenthwaite (or even Bassenthwaite Lake!).

So what is the point of this blog post you may be asking.  Well, I was pulled up on Twitter for referring to Windermere as a Lake, and it was a fair cop.  I did know that Windermere is not a lake, but like may others, just got into the habit of saying “Lake Windermere”.  Being pulled up on Twitter is of course just a temporary thing, once tweeted, soon forgotten.  But my problem was of course that I did not restrict my mistake to Twitter.  The biggest culprit was my web site which has only recently been developed.  I would have liked but that has already been taken.

I could of course have just left things as they are, but I can’t do that.  So I have now registered and developed a new web site which is actually what our lodge is – on Windermere.  I have transferred all the content over from the other website and the new site is now live.

I will keep the old site live on the interweb, but I will no longer actively promote it via Twitter and Facebook and through my blogs.


One Response to How many lakes are there in the Lake District?

  • David Bllthen says:

    Hi, Very interesting and someone pulled me up too earlier about this fact that there is only one lake in the Lake District.

    What I would like to know is what is the difference between a “lake”, a “tarn”, a “mere” and a “water.” Is Lake Bassenthwaite any different to all the others or is it just the fact that that it is the only one with “lake” in it’s title?

    What actually is a lake that makes all the others not lakes?

    Would be very interesting to find out.

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