Brotherswater, England, United Kingdom

Also known as:  Brothers Water, Broad Water, The Lake District

Surrounded by green fields, grazing sheep and scenic hillsides, Brotherswater is found in northwest England’s Lake District National Park. At 47 acres there is some controversy as to whether Brotherswater is one of the smallest lakes or largest tarns (mountain lake) found in the Lake District. Tucked into the Hartsop Valley and surrounded by the peaks of the Eastern Fells (mountains), Brotherswater is considered one of Lakeland’s…
Keep scrolling to read more.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Brotherswater! Article topics include:

Looking for Brotherswater cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Brotherswater, England

Surrounded by green fields, grazing sheep and scenic hillsides, Brotherswater is found in northwest England’s Lake District National Park. At 47 acres there is some controversy as to whether Brotherswater is one of the smallest lakes or largest tarns (mountain lake) found in the Lake District. Tucked into the Hartsop Valley and surrounded by the peaks of the Eastern Fells (mountains), Brotherswater is considered one of Lakeland’s prettiest lakes running, only 1/2 mile in length and less than 1/4 mile in width.

Located in Cumbria County, Brotherswater is one of the first places in the Lake District to be acquired by England’s National Trust. Broad Water was the original name of this glacially formed lake. At some point in the past the name was changed to Brotherswater, or Brothers Water, after two brothers tragically drowned in the lake. It is believed that the lake was once twice its current size, extending to the south toward Dovedale, a scenic valley with rushing waterfalls. Sediment flowing from mountainside tributaries may have filled over half the lake, creating the current one-mile shoreline. Brothers Water now drains into the southern end of Ullswater, a scenic lake lying three miles to the north.

Brotherswater draws anglers to it shore despite the lake’s limited access. Classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), no boats are allowed on the water, and fishing is restricted to the western shore. Brotherswater is one of only seven lakes within the United Kingdom that holds the endangered schelly fish, a member of the whitefish family. The lake also holds small populations of trout, perch and eels, and offers a pastoral scenic experience for any fisherman who wishes to cast a line in solitude.

Brothers Water has a maximum depth of 49 feet and an average depth of 24 feet. Reeds and water lilies cover much of the lake, providing habitat for the Canada goose, mallard duck and migrating birds. Brotherswater is not one of the more visited lakes, but the steep hillsides and surrounding craggy fells provide unrivalled panoramic mountain views sure to delight everyone passing this way. Looking south and southwest, three prominent peaks from the Eastern Fells fill the skyline. Hart Crag (2697 feet), Dove Crag (2598 feet) and High Hartsop Dodd (1703 feet) all offer spectacular scenery and a variety of hiking paths. Facing north, Brotherswater sits at the foot of Kirkstone Pass. At a height of 1,489 feet Kirkstone Pass is the highest pass open to motor traffic. From Brotherswater visitors catch a view of the valley of Patterdale and hills surrounding Ullswater.

Well marked paths criss-cross the fells and hills surrounding Brotherswater. Walkers can begin their treks at Cowbridge parking lot located off the northeastern shore of the lake. The two-mile trail leads south along the western shore, past working farms and medieval farm buildings. The path then loops around the southern shore where a grassy area and small beach (no swimming or camping permitted) make a pleasant picnic stop. After a peaceful respite, pick up the path as it skirts the eastern shore to the village of Hartsop before returning to Cowbridge. An old bridlepath has been paved by the National Trust and now accommodates wheelchair access to the shore of Brotherswater.

If you leave Brotherswater and continue walking two miles north, you will reach the village of Patterdale, a gathering place for extended hiking trips. One of the more popular and challenging walks is the Striding Edge path to Helvellyn. At 3,117 feet, the scenery is breathtaking but so is the challenge of climbing exposed ridges and rock towers to reach the peak. Other fells within easy reach of Patterdale and Brotherswater include Place Fell (2,156 ft.), High Street (2,718 ft), Fairfield (2,864 ft.), Saint Sunday Crag (2,759 ft.) and Glenridding Dodd (1,450 ft.).

Continuing north from Brotherswater, Ullswater lies less than a mile north of Patterdale. The setting of this lake is often compared to Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, and it is said that the beauty of the lake’s daffodils inspired William Wordsworth’s poem titled “Daffodils.” With a length of nine miles and width of 3/4 miles, Ullswater is a popular recreational lake. Scuba divers, motor boats, row boats, canoes and sailboats are often seen on the water. Yacht clubs and marinas lie scattered along the shoreline with rentals ready and waiting. Always a popular attraction, steamers depart from the village of Glenridding and cruise the long lake.

Brotherswater and Ullswater are among the more popular hiking destinations in England’s northwestern region. Peaceful lake shores, rocky fells and charming villages provide limitless opportunity for exploration and adventure. When it is time for rest, hikers and visitors will find an excellent selection of campgrounds, bed & breakfasts, holiday homes, self-catering accommodations and real estate properties among local villages. The tiny village of Hatsop sits off the northeast end of Brotherswater with Patterdale and Glenridding resting off the southern end of Ullswater. Come to Brothers Water and find your holiday accommodation where the lush green valleys give way to waiting hills and rocky crags.

Things to Do at Brotherswater

These are some activities in the Brotherswater, England area visitors can enjoy:

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Scuba Diving
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Waterfall
  • Birding
  • National Park

What Kind of Fish Are in Brotherswater?

Brotherswater has been known to have the following fish species:

  • Eel
  • Perch
  • Trout
  • Whitefish

Find Places to Stay at Brotherswater

If you’re considering a Brotherswater lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase. Read our full disclosure policy here.

More Sites to Book a Brotherswater Vacation

Our interactive Brotherswater lodging map above is an easy tool for comparing VRBO rental homes and nearby hotels with, but there could be times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodations. Here are some other lake lodging partners we recommend:

Check TripAdvisor
Check Expedia
Find a Campspot
All Travel Resources

Brotherswater Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 47 acres

Shoreline Length: 1 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 515 feet

Average Depth: 24 feet

Maximum Depth: 49 feet

Water Volume: 1,216 acre-feet

Water Residence Time: 21 days

Drainage Area: 5 sq. miles

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

More local lakes to explore in this area:

We strive to keep information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. If you’ve found something here that needs updating, please touch base by filling out our Content Correction form.

Shop Brotherswater Gifts

Custom Lake Tumblers

Create Your Own Captain / First Mate Custom 20oz Tumbler

Custom Lake T Shirt

Create Your Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

Custom Lake Coffee Mug - On Lake Time

Create a Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


More Brotherswater news from

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
  • The Brotherswater forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
  • New Brotherswater photos coming soon!
  • You’re invited to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!
  • Share this Brotherswater article with your fellow LakeLubbers: