All over Britain, particularly in our fantastic National Parks, you can find some truly beautiful lakes. Often setting the scene for local stories and legends, the beauty of Britain’s lakes have been a source of inspiration for writers and artists for centuries. Many also make an appearance in popular movies and television programmes.
With the varied British seasons, these stunning locations put on an ever-changing performance, with something different to experience all year round. Here at Parkdean Resorts, we’ve put together a selection of some of our favourite British lakes that we think really shine during the winter months.
Lake Windermere, Lake District
At 10.5 miles long and a mile wide, Lake Windermere wins the title of the largest natural lake in England, and is one of the most popular locations in the scenic Lake District National Park.
There’s lots to do around the shores of Lake Windermere and the surrounding area, with the small but bustling towns of Ambleside, Bowness and Windermere just a stone’s throw away.
There are plenty of opportunities for walking, with everything from a rugged hike in the wooded hillsides to a gentle stroll along the lakeside. The western shore is also particularly good for bikes. Windermere is a paradise for water sports lovers, and there are daily steamer rides offering up a tour of the lake and regular ferry crossings to help you get around with ease. You can also hire motor and rowing boats from various locations around the lake.
Windermere is a stunning location to visit all year round, but on a crisp, clear winter’s day it can feel like another world. With the snow-capped hillsides and the low winter sun reflecting off the surface of the lake, the colder months are the perfect time to visit.
Located minutes from Fallbarrow Holiday Park, you won’t have to venture far to discover all that Windermere has to offer.
Video sourced from Skytour
Fleet Lagoon, Dorset
Although not technically a lake, Fleet Lagoon is one of a kind - as there is no other lagoon like this in the UK and few others in Europe. Created by a large bank of pebbles arching around Lyme Bay, the Lagoon was separated from the sea to become its own body of water. The waters of the Fleet are tidal, filled and emptied twice a day by the flow of the sea. It’s also fed by fresh water streams, making the water neither fresh nor salty, but a mixture of the two.
The Fleet is home to lots of wildlife, including migrating birds, such as Brent geese and tufted ducks - that make the Fleet their home during the winter months every year. It’s also home to the largest mute swan population in Britain, and the only managed nesting colony in the world. Seals can also be seen on the stretch of sand, and hares have also been spotted running along the beach. To explore the Fleet’s marine life, look out for the glass bottomed boat that runs regular trips.
Video sourced from EagleVista
Lake Bala (Llyn Tegid), Wales
The waters of Lake Bala, the largest lake in Wales, are notoriously deep and clear. A setting for many folk tales and local legends, it lies nestled in the mountains in the district of Snowdonia, sometimes referred to as the Welsh Lake District.
If you’re up for a challenge, then don’t forget your hiking boots as a walk around the lake is a real highlight of the area. At 14 miles it’s no easy feat, however, you can hop aboard the Bala Lake Railway steam train to split it into two separate and more leisurely strolls.
For nature lovers, Lake Bala boasts a huge variety of wildlife, including some freshwater species such as the gwyniad, a type of whitefish that can only be found here. The lake is a Ramsar Wetlands Site of International Importance, and is an important breeding site for birds such as the hen harrier, peregrine falcon and merlin.
A beautiful setting at any time of the year, Lake Bala is well worth the one hour drive from Ty Mawr Holiday Park. You can also spot otters here all year round, so be sure to bring your cameras and look out for buzzards swooping across the reflective water, hunting for food.
Video sourced from Glyn Jones
Loch Ness, Scotland
At over 23 miles long, Loch Ness contains more fresh water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined.
This Loch might be famous for the mysterious creature rumoured to hide in its deep waters, but it isn’t just known as an area of myth and legend. Loch Ness is also celebrated for its beauty and, whilst we can’t promise you a glimpse of Nessie, we can promise long-reaching views and spectacular scenery.
Alleged sightings of the Loch Ness Monster date back to the 1930s, however, rumours of a unknown creature hiding in its depths have been there since the 7th century. If you’re hoping for a sighting of the monster be warned, as the peat-filled waters are especially dark and murky, making it feel like a real place of mystery. On very cold days the surface of the lake can even give off steam, which adds to the other-worldly atmosphere of Loch Ness.
To discover the secrets and history of the Loch, a visit to one of the two interactive Nessie exhibition centres is a must. There are also regular boat tours running throughout the year to help boost your chances of seeing the elusive monster.
Around 50 minutes from Nairn Lochloy Holiday Park, no trip to this area of Scotland would be complete without a visit to these legendary waters.
Video sourced from Skytour
Have you visited any of Britain’s lakes during the winter months? We’d love to hear all about it on our Twitter page.