Bassenthwaite is the only body of water officially called a lake in the Lake District; the others are known as "meres" or "waters." Bird-watchers know this less-frequented lake well because of the many species of migratory birds found here, including ospreys (check out www.ospreywatch.co.uk). The shoreline habitat is the best preserved in the national park—in part because most of it is privately owned, and also because
motorboats are not allowed. Posh accommodations and good restaurants dot the area, and popular walks include the climb up Skiddaw (3,054 feet), which, on a clear day, has panoramic views of the Lake District, the Pennines, Scotland, and the Isle of Man from its summit.