Thirlmere is 6km long and 1km wide canoeists’ paradise, a reservoir rather than a lake, and serves Manchester, therefore no swimming allowed—so try not to fall out of your boats, people.
After all, it’s deep and it’s cold, and there are no rescue boats, but there are lots of interesting bays to explore and several islands—the islands are nature reserves so please don’t land on them.
The scenery is reminiscent of the Canadian Rockies with Helvellyn looming up over you, and landing is allowed in most places. Launching and parking (pay and display) is easy and you don’t need a permit to do so. No motorboats though, and very few other users to be fair.
Because it’s a reservoir levels vary, avoid this one during dry spells as there is a wide expanse of muddy bank to traverse in this situation. Not the most pleasant of start or finishes to your day. Armboth car park on the west side offers convenient parking, launching, toilets, and explanatory notice boards. Top tip for getting on the water. Sailing is also permitted on the water.
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