The small village of Bassenthwaite is just under one and a half miles east of the northern tip of Bassenthwaite Lake, in an impressive location at the foot of Skiddaw. The village is built around a village green now dominated by modern houses and by an avenue of lime trees planted to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Despite the new houses the population of Bassenthwaite parish has actually dropped since 1841, when the area supported two corn mills and two mines as well as a good selection of shops and services. The main survival now is the Sun Inn, a cosy and low ceilinged pub in the centre of the village.
The parish has two churches. St. John's church was built in 1878 to replace a chapel of ease of 1470. The Norman church of St. Bega's is located two miles to the south of the village on the shores of the lake, and is best accessed along a footpath that runs from the Dodd Wood car park past Mirehouse towards the lake.
Mirehouse was built in 1666 and has a number of literary connections - Tennyson, Wordsworth and Southey all stated in the house.