Thirlmere is a large, beautiful, isolated lake about six miles from Keswick
, near the foot of Helvellyn
. Surrounded by spruce trees in a silent valley and with no village nearby, it is free from the tourist trappings of most of the Lake District
's lakes. You can see red squirrel
s here, and rare birds in spring. If you like quiet, mysterious places, it's a good lake to visit.
The lake is nearly four miles long and was constructed from two smaller lakes by Manchester City Corporation in 1894 to provide water for Manchester. There is a magnificent Victorian dam at one end from which you can look out across the dark water which lies over two drowned villages, flooded in October 1894 when they brought the river Derwent in to cover them. Nothing remains of the village of Armboth; of the village of Wythburn only the church remains standing, a small and simple church dating from 1640.