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The pretty Georgian town of Cockermouth is just 6 miles away from The Pheasant and is the gateway to the quieter Western Lake District.

This thriving market town with its 8,000 inhabitants is proud of the fact that in 1965 the Council for British Archaeology recommended Cockermouth for preservation by the State as part of the National Heritage, thus making it a national 'Gem' town.

Attractions & Activities

cockermouth market placeWithin Cockermouth itself, there are several visitor attractions including Wordsworth House and Garden. Cockermouth is the birthplace of the poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy and the National Trust offer daily tours around the house, garden, and it also has a café.

Tours are also on offer at Jennings Brewery with their award-winning ales and long heritage, and they finish with samples of their ales.

If you like history, seek out the mini museum in Banks Hardware store in Market Place or take the Civic Trust’s town trail. And if you’re an art fan, there are lots of creative places to browse, and high-end art is on show at Castlegate Gallery, which has a national reputation.

Further afield, and not far from The Pheasant, lies the Lakes Distillery, where you can find out how whisky is being made for the first time in hundreds of years.

Also nearby is the Lake District Wildlife Park. Wander around their beautiful 24-acre parkland and see over 100 species from Anaconda to Zebra. There is a café, picnic and play area and daily displays.

Visitors are also welcome at the Cockermouth Golf Club in nearby Embleton, an 8 hole, PGA rated golf course, fully equipped with a cosy and friendly clubhouse and easy parking.


Cockermouth's town centre is compact so easy to walk around and is host to a large number of independent shops. From butchers and bakers to toys and books, homewares, fine art and gifts, as well as clothes, shoes, hardware, fresh flowers, fish, fruit and vegetables, pet supplies and antiques.

There are also card shops, furniture stores, national supermarket chains (Sainsbury's, Aldi and Co-op) and car retailers, as well as historic hardware shops, interesting curios, pharmacies, banks and some luxury shops with clothes, shoes and lingerie. Why not browse the shops and then stop for some refreshment in one of Cockermouth's many coffee shops.


taste cumbria cockermouthThere’s always something going on in Cockermouth. The town's arts venue is the Kirkgate Centre, with its mix of music, comedy, theatre and exhibitions. Its Monday night cinema shows everything from subtitled arts films to recent blockbusters, while its Film Club has themed seasons. Many of the Main Street pubs have live music at weekends, and there are ad hoc events in some of the cafes, bistros and at Wordsworth House and Garden.

Annual events include Woolfest (the original British Wool Festival) in June, Northbound Music Festival and the Cockermouth Agricultural Show in August, Taste Cumbria Food Festival in September, and the annual riverside fireworks display in November.

It's also lovely to visit Cockermouth before Christmas. The shopkeepers light their doorways with candles, the fairy lights are magical, and there's even late night shopping, with mulled wine to keep away the chill.



Some frequently asked questions about Bassenthwaite Lake and area:

Where is Bassenthwaite Lake?

Bassenthwaite Lake lies in a glacially eroded valley in the northern Lake District. It sits north-west of the town of Keswick and 6 miles east of the market town of Cockermouth.

Why is Bassenthwaite the only ‘official’ lake?

It is said to be the only 'true' lake in the Lake District because all the others have the words 'mere' or 'water' in their title.

How big is Bassenthwaite Lake?

Bassenthwaite Lake is long and narrow, approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) long and 34-mile (1.2 km) wide, making a total of 5.128km² *

What does Bassenthwaite mean?

'Bassenthwaite' is "'Bastun's clearing', pers.[onal] n.[ame] plus 'þveit' 'clearing', also 'common', 'lake'. The 1st element is usually taken to be the Anglo-French nickname or surname 'Bastun', originally meaning 'stick', while the 2nd is ON 'þveit' 'clearing'. *

How deep is Bassenthwaite Lake?

Bassenthwaite Lake is extremely shallow, with a maximum depth of about 70 ft (21 m). *

What are the mountains near Bassenthwaite?

Overlooking Bassenthwaite Lake is Skiddaw (931m), the fourth highest mountain in England. On the other side are some smaller fells including Sale Fell (359m), Lothwaite (345m), and Rivings (335m).

Are there any waterfalls near Bassenthwaite?

Whitewater Dash waterfall is a total of 246ft. From A591 go up the east side of Bassenthwaite Lake and turn right to Orthwaite. Park near Peter House Farm and take the road that becomes a track.  It’s around a 5-mile easy circular walk. The postcode is CA12 4QX.

(* source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bassenthwaite_Lake)

Site Map

Win a nights dinner, bed and breakfast for 2 people

To enter, simply fill in your details below and sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with our latest news, events and offers.

Competition Rules:

  • The competition closes at midnight on Friday 10th July.
  • By entering the competition you agree to be added to our mailing list and be kept up to date with our latest news, events and offers.
  • The winner will be picked at random and emailed to the email address provided upon entry.
  • You must use your prize within 3 months of the win date and prize can only be used Sunday - Friday ( Saturday night is excluded).
  • Dinner for two will be provided in the Bistro up to the value of £80 in total and excludes all drinks.
  • There are no cash alternatives / substitutes.
  • The promoter holds the right to change competitions at any time.

Thank-you and good luck

Dog Friendly Hotel

Dog Friendly Hotel in Bassenthwaite


The Pheasant Inn is a dog friendly hotel by Bassenthwaite Lake near Keswick and Cockermouth in the Lake District. With an abundance of local walks and with Keswick voted the most dog-friendly town in the country by the Kennel Club, it is the ideal location for a holiday or short break with your pet.

If you are coming to stay, we now have 4 rooms that are pet friendly - our Garden Lodge rooms (Newlands & Orthwaite) are both dog friendly as are two of our standard rooms, Matterdale and Kirkstone.

If you are stopping by for afternoon tea or for a refreshing drink in the bar, we warmly welcome well-behaved dogs in the lounges and bar, just not in The Bistro or Fell Restaurant (special needs dogs excluded). The bar also serves light lunches from 12 noon every day. If you would like to enjoy a meal with your dog, please contact us to pre-book the lounge, or if it's a lovely day you can enjoy alfresco dining in our beautiful gardens.

Dogs are charged at £10 per night and there are lots of lovely woodland and lakeside walks from the door.

If you are bringing your dog, please check availability and book online direct with us for the Garden Lodge or call us on 017687 76234.


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Contact Us

The Pheasant Inn
Bassenthwaite Lake
CA13 9YE

Tel: +44 (0) 17687 76234
Email: reception@the-pheasant.co.uk

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