For budding artists, writers or those who just want to sample the quiet life, you have the opportunity of a lifetime, provided you have a few hundred grand in the bank. For the lake that was the inspiration for the poet William Wordsworth and the children’s author Beatrix Potter is going to auction.
Esthwaite Water and its stunning surroundings have been put on ebay, and is likely to attract bidders from across the world.
The owner of the lake, Nigel Woodhouse, describes the 280-acre Lake District attraction as “a once in a lifetime opportunity” and says the reason he put the lake and the surrounding area up on eBay because he wanted to “broadcast it to the world”.
Mr Woodhouse, 64, said yesterday: “The literary and natural importance of the lake is likely to attract an international audience so what better way to get the message out?”
And lucky bidders will be pleased to know that not only is the lake and the 280-acre attraction up for auction, but Mr Woodhouse is including his established leisure business alongside it, because, after 32 years of running the business, he wants to retire.
The location of Esthwaite Water lies between the villages of Near Sawrey and Hawkshead, between Windermere and Coniston Water, and is actually talked about in a poem by Wordsworth called Expostulation And Reply and is the location for Lines Left Upon A Seat In A Yew-Tree.
Beatrix Potter often used the lake for inspiration when she created characters for her children’s books, and thought up Jeremy Fisher the frog whilst sitting on the banks, describing it as her “favourite lake”.
Around the lake you can see various homages, dedicated to these literary characters, with a themed cafe, a studio displaying Potter images and a nature trail. You can also visit the old farmhouse where Potter used to live, and for poetry fans there is the Wordsworth Trust centre in nearby Grasmere.
If you are not interested in the literary connections, but are more concerned with fishing, then check out these facts: Esthwaite Water is a trout fishery, attracting thousands of fisherman every year, as it is the largest stocked fishing lake in the North-west, in fact, one clever angler landed England’s largest pike from the lake, which weighed more than 46lb.
Mr Woodhouse is hoping for offers over £300,000 but for that you get a 15 year lease which includes the entire water and land on the south-west shore, a Victorian boathouse, fisherman’s lodge, shop and cafe. Also featured is a handy slipway and jetty for boats, which also includes disabled facilities.
Mr Woodhouse said: “It is of European importance and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It also has Ramsar status, which commends wetlands of international importance. We have had ospreys for 13 years and now offer a self-driven electric boat ride safari around the lake, taking in six different locations,” he added: “I will be sad to see it go because it has been my life.”
The auction will work on who makes the best offer, and buyers should be reminded that they are buying the lease for 15 years, not the actual land.