Lakes, Hills and Rivers in the North Lakes
and around Threlkeld

If you do not understand the four or six figure National grid references then click here


There are five main lakes in the area:

Bassenthwaite Lake (formerly Broad Water) between 2032 and 2327 (see grid system post)
Derwent Water between 2523 and 2619
Thirlmere (formerly two lakes, one being Leathes Water) between 3119 and 3213
Ullswater between 4624, 4420, 3919 and 3916 (it is dog-legged)
Hawes Water between 5016 and 4710

Thirlmere and Hawes water are major water reservoirs and have had their levels raised by dams.

There is a trick question which goes "How many Lakes are there in the Lake District?" Some will answer 16 or 17, but the "correct" answer is "1- Bassenthwaite Lake" because all the other are waters, meres or tarns.

The smaller waters include:

Buttermere 1815,
Brothers Water 4012,
Hayes Water 4312,
and many smaller tarns.


The hills can be considered in five main groups.

The Skiddaw/Blencathra group between Caldbeck315400 and Threlkeld 3225, Bassenthwaite Lake and Mosedale (village) 357323

The Helvellyn Range between Clough Head 3322 just south of Thrlekled and Grisedale Tarn 347120 (continuing south from our area)

The Fells between Bassenthwaite Lake and Buttermere which includes Grasmoor 1720 and Dalehead 2215

The Borrowdale Fells south of Derwent Water and east of Thirlmere which include Great Gable 2110, Glaramara 2410 KirkFell 1910 (with Sca Fell Pike - England's highest - just to the south)

The High Street fells to the east of Ullswater.

There is a great geological fault running north from Morecambe Bay and Windemere through Ambleside over Dunmail Raise along Thirlmere down St John's in the Vale up the Glenderaterra Valley between Blencathra and Lonscale Fell (2827) and splitting Skiddaw Forest - the great deserted area north of Blencathra and east of Skiddaw - by Great Calva and north past Caldbeck.

For those who would like to know more detail of the fells I can recommend the pocket books by A Wainwright which have been fellwalkers bibles since they first came out in the 1950/60s. There are seven and each describes one group in detail giving descriptions of all the walking routes to the tops and along the ridges - all illustrated by AW himself.


The rivers are few.

The Derwent rises in Borrowdale and flows north through Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake through Cockermouth to the Irish Sea.

The Glenderamackin and Glenderaterra both rise under Blencathra but the Glenderamackin, rising to the east, first flows NE to Mungrisdale then south and west to join the Glenderaterra which rises to the west and flows directly south. Actually they do not meet because the Glenderramackin flows under one arch of a bridge in Threlkeld while the St John's Beck, which rises in Thirlmere, flows in under the other; neither flows out because what flows out is the River Greta! It is the River Greta that collects the Glenderaterra before joining the Derwent near Keswick.

The other main river system starts as the Goldrill Beck in Patterdale flows into Ullswater and out as the River Eamont which flows east past Penrith to join the River Eden which flows into the Solway Firth at Carlisle.

Near Threlkeld we have no lakes but the massif of Blencathra is literally overlooking the village. Opposite, to the south, is Clough Head at the north end of the Hellvellyn range. Between them runs the Glenderamackin flowing from east to west. Off the face of Blencathra come several small and fast streams all running into the Glenderamackin. From east to west the main ones are Scaley Beck, Doddick Gill, Gate Ghyll, Blease Ghyll.