The United Kingdom has a wide variety of freshwater wetlands served by the plethora of rivers and streams that flow through the country. Many of these rivers flow through lakes, lochs or resevoirs. There are some parts of the British Isles which have more than their fair share such as the Highlands of Scotland and obviuosly the Lake District in England. Central Wales has a large number of man made resevoirs which were built to supply the cities of Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham with water.Where inns listed on the Fat Badgers guide are close to a Lake, Resevoir or Loch, we award a 'ships wheel' symbol.
Whether it be on boats, fishing or simply lazing on a lakeside quaffing a pint of ale, the Lakes and Lochs of Britain are some of the most scenic and restful places to be.

Lakes are a body of still water lying in depressed ground without direct communication with the sea. Lakes are common in formerly glaciated regions, along the courses of slow rivers, and in low land near the sea. The main classifications are by origin: glacial lakes, formed by glacial scouring such as those in the Lake District and the Scottish Lochs; barrier lakes, formed by landslides and glacial moraines; crater lakes, found in volcanoes; and tectonic lakes, occurring in natural fissures.

Loch Awe

Loch in Argyll and Bute unitary authority, Scotland. The loch, lying 36 m / 118 ft above sea level, is 37 km / 23 miles long (the longest in Scotland) and reaches a depth of 100 m / 328 ft. Fed in the northeast by the rivers Orchy and Strae, it empties to the northwest into the River Awe. Hydroelectricity is generated above the loch at the Cruachan Dam.

Kilchurn Castle, a stronghold of the Campbell clan with a keep dating from 1440, stands on a peninsula which is transformed into an island by high tide.


Lake on the River Derwent, Cumbria, England. Bassenthwaite is some 6 km / 4 miles long, and lies west of the peak of Skiddaw (931 m / 3,054 ft) on the northern edge of the Lake District.


Lake in the Cumbrian Lake District, England, southwest of Keswick; length 2 km / 1.2 miles. It is adjacent to Crummock Water, with which it once formed part of a much larger, single lake; they are now divided by a strip of alluvial deposits. The village of Buttermere lies on the northeastern shore of the lake.

On the western side of Buttermere lake there are several mountains: High Crag, High Stile, and Red Pike; on the northwestern side the Sour Milk Gill waterfall flows down from Bleaberry Tarn.

Coniston Water

Lake in the Cumbrian Lake District, England. It has a length of 8 km / 5 miles and a width of 1 km / 0.6 mi, which makes it one of the smaller lakes in the area. The village of Coniston (population 1,200; 1991) lies 14 km / 9 miles west of Bowness, between the lake and Coniston Old Man, which is 802 m / 2631 ft high.

Donald Campbell died while attempting to improve his world water-speed record on Coniston Water in 1967.

Peel Island, one of three small islands on the lake, is the `Wild Cat Islandī of Arthur Ransome's novel Swallows and Amazons (1931). Brantwood, once the home of John Ruskin, stands above the eastern shore of Coniston Water; Ruskin is buried in Coniston churchyard.

Crummock Water

Lake in Cumbria, in the northwest of the English Lake District; 4 km / 2 miles long and 1 km / 0.6 miles wide. Crummock Water is separated from Buttermere to the southeast by an area of marshland. The lake belongs to the National Trust.

Derwent Water

Derwent WaterLake in Cumbria, England, part of the Lake District. Derwent Water stretches for 5 km / 3 miles south of Keswick into Borrowdale.

Derwent Water was part of the area forming the core of the National Trust when it was founded. Derwent Water's especially attractive surroundings prompted Canon Rawnsley, Vicar of Crosthwaite, Keswick, and others to found the Trust in 1895, in order to make such areas of natural beauty accessible to all. The Ruskin memorial on Friar's Crag at Keswick was given to the Trust in 1900.

Loch Doon

Lake in southwest Scotland, 5 km / 3 miles south of Dalmellington, forming part of the border between East Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway unitary authorities. It lies nearly 210 m / 689 ft above sea-level, and covers an area 10 km / 6 miles long and 2 km / 1 miles wide. The loch, dotted with several small islands, is enclosed by mountains, and contains salmon and trout. Its surplus waters have been diverted south to the River Ken to augment supply to the Galloway hydroelectric scheme.

Loch Fyne

Sea-inlet in Argyll and Bute unitary authority, Scotland, extending about 65 km / 40 miles north and northeast from the Sound of Bute between the Kintyre peninsula and Argyll on the west and the Cowal peninsula on the east. It reaches a maximum depth of 200 m / 656 ft. Inverary stands on its western shore, about 14 km / 9 miles from the head of the loch.

Further south, the fishing port of Tarbert is renowned for its herring catches.


English lake and village in the Lake District, Cumbria, associated with many writers. William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy lived at Dove Cottage (now a museum) 1799-1808, Thomas de Quincey later made his home in the same house, and both Samuel Coleridge and Wordsworth are buried in the churchyard of St Oswald's.


HaweswaterLake on the eastern fringe of the Lake District in Cumbria, England; length 4 km / 2.5 miles. Haweswater lies 22 km / 14 miles north of Kendal, and is situated in less spectacular scenery than other lakes in the region. It acts a reservoir for Manchester, to which it is linked by an aqueduct 130 km / 81 miles long.

The village of Mardale was abandoned when Haweswater was enlarged into a reservoir, and now lies beneath the surface of the lake.

Loch Katrine

Lake in Stirling unitary authority, Scotland, 8 km / 5 miles east of Loch Lomond and 15 km / 9 miles west of Callander. The loch extends over a distance of 13 km / 8 miles and its width is less than 2 km / 1 miles at its widest point. Loch Katrine is situated in the heart of the Trossachs area, noted for its magnificent scenery.

Its waters discharge through the lochs of Achray and Vennachar into Eas Gobhain, which flows east for approximately 3 km / 2 miles and then joins Garbh Uisg to form the River Teith, and supply the city of Glasgow. Ellen's Isle is located on the lake, and the mountains of Ben Venue and Ben A'an rise either side of its outflow.

Loch Leven

Lake in Perth and Kinross, Scotland; area 16 sq km / 6 sq miles. The river Leven flows from Loch Leven. It has six islands; Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned on Castle Island until she escaped in 1568. The whole loch has been a National Nature Reserve since 1964. The loch is known for its trout fisheries.

St Serf's, the largest island in the loch, contains the ruins of an old priory.

Loch Linnhe

Sea-inlet on the west coast of Scotland, 56 km / 35 miles long and 2-8 km / 1-5 miles wide, forming part of the border between Highland, and Argyll and Bute unitary authorities. Fort William stands at the head of the loch , at the junction with Loch Eil and the beginning of the Caledonian Canal system.

Its waters are divided by the Corran Narrows, with Loch Leven entering the lower half. The island of Lismore lies within the mouth of Loch Linnhe as it joins the Firth of Lorn.

Loch Lochy

Lake in Highland unitary authority, Scotland, covering an area 16 km / 10 miles long and 1 km / 0.6 miles wide. It forms part of the Caledonian Canal system, linked to Loch Oich by Laggan Locks.

Loch Lomond

Loch LomondLargest freshwater Scottish lake, 37 km / 21 miles long, area 70 sq km / 27 sq miles. It is overlooked by the mountain Ben Lomond (973 m / 3,192 ft) and is linked to the Clyde estuary.

Loch Morar

Lake on the west coast of Highland unitary authority, Scotland, extending 19 km / 12 miles in length, with an outflow across a narrow bridge of land to the Sound of Sleat, 5 km / 3 miles south of Mallaig. It is the deepest loch in the British Isles, reaching a maximum depth of 310 m / 1,017 ft.

Loch Ness

Loch Ness Lake in the Highland unitary authority, Scotland, extending northeast to southwest. Forming part of the Caledonian Canal, it is 36 km / 22.5 miles long, 2 km / 1 miles wide (on average), 229 m / 754 ft deep, and is the greatest expanse of fresh water in Europe. There have been unconfirmed reports of a Loch Ness monster since the 15th century.

Loch Ness, Loch Lochy and Loch Oich are connected by the Caledonian Canal, and together provide the only navigable channel between the east and west coasts of Scotland.

Loch Rannoch

Lake in Perth and Kinross unitary authority, Scotland, lying 204 m / 669 ft above sea level, and extending over an area 15 km / 9 miles long and about 2 km / 1 miles wide. The River Tummel, a tributary of the River Tay, flows through the loch from west to east.

Rydal Water

Small lake in Cumbria, England, between Ambleside and Grasmere, situated beside the road from Ambleside to Keswick. From 1817 until his death in 1850, the poet William Wordsworth made his home nearby at Rydal Mount in Rydal village.

Loch Shiel

Narrow lake in southwest Highland unitary authority, Scotland, extending 27 km / 17 miles in length, and widening to less than 1 km / 0.6 miles. It marked the boundary between the former counties of Inverness and Argyll.

A monument stands at Glenfinnan, at the head of the loch, marking the place where Prince Charles Edward Stuart raised his standard on 19 August 1745 in his bid for the throne.


Lake in Cumbria, northwest England, in the Lake District national park, 6 km / 4 miles southeast of Keswick. It is 5 km / 3 miles long and 1 km / 0.6 miles wide. Thirlmere is surrounded by forests that were first planted when it became a reservoir for Manchester in 1894. The ridge of Helvellyn lies to the east of the lake.


Second largest lake in the Cumbrian Lake District, northwest England, on the east side of Helvellyn ridge; length 13 km / 8 mi, width 1 km / 0.6 miles. The former lead-mining and quarrying villages of Patterdale and Glenridding to the south of the lake now consist mainly of hotels and guesthouses for tourists.


Largest lake in England, in the Lake District, Cumbria, northwest England; length 17 km / 10.5 miles; width 1.6 km / 1 miles. Windermere is the principal centre of tourism in the Lake District. The town of the same name extends towards Bowness on the eastern shore of the lake.

Wholly in Cumbria since 1974, Windermere was formerly in Westmorland, with its southeastern shore and western shores in Lancashire. The shores are well-wooded, and the lake drains southwards into Morecambe Bay via the River Leven. The town of Windermere developed around the railway station which was built in 1847; combined with Bowness, it is a tourist resort. There is a car ferry service from Bowness across the lake to Sawrey.