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Bassenthwaite Lake is one of the largest water bodies in the English Lake District. It is long and narrow, approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) long and 34-mile (1.2 km) wide, but is also extremely shallow, with a maximum depth of about 70 ft (21 m).

It is the only body of water in the Lake District to use the word “lake” in its name, all the others being “waters” (for example, Derwentwater), “mere” (for example, Windermere) or “tarns” (for example, Dock Tarn). It is fed by, and drains into, the River Derwent. The lake lies at the foot of Skiddaw, near the town of Keswick. Some maps dating from the 18th century do in fact mark this lake with the name Bassenwater, and the use of the name Broadwater for this lake is also attested.

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