Over Water was a natural tarn, but in 1903 a dam was built at the northern end, and it now provides water to Wigton.
The name of the tarn was recorded in 1687 at 'Orre Water', which could have developed from the Old Norse 'Orri's lake'. Orri was Old Norse for grouse, and also a personal name.
The ownership of Over Water is rather odd. The lake shore is privately owned, with several different land owners involved. The lake itself is owned by the National Trust, but is a rare example of a trust property with no public access, partly because of the land ownership and partly because it is an SSSI. Good views of the lake can be found from the roads to the north and south of the water.
Grid Reference of centre: NY 251 350
How to Reach
There is a small car park just to the east of the lake. To reach it from the A66 turn onto the B 5291 at the northern end of Bassenthwaite. Follow this road to the A 591 at Kilnhill. Turn right and then immediately left here and follow this minor road for two miles. Turn right here (leaving the first road just before a steep climb). Follow the new road east past Over Water, and find the parking area at a T-junction at the eastern end of the lake.
None of our walks visit Over Water
The tarn is fed by several nameless tarns that flow into it from the west, including one that comes from Little Tarn to the south.
A short nameless beck flows east out of Over Water, but quickly flows into the River Ellen.