Just a short journey from Bath you can lose yourself in a magical forest world, a hidden lake and you might even hear the lions roar.
Bath is a beautiful city, but sometimes you might want to get wild and explore a different landscape full of beauty and intrigue but still within ear shot of civilisation.
The Longleat Estate in Wiltshire is famous for it's safari park and themed events, such as the Festival of Lights at Christmas, though there's another part of this ancient landscape which can seem like the modern world has disappeared for a moment.
Shearwater Lake covers a length of around 650 metres and is nestled within the giant Longleat Forest, full of ancient broad leaved trees and pine plantations. The lake itself is a wildlife mecca and is also a great angling location, there's even a small sailing club which use the man-made lake as a perfect secluded location to practice and train.
Conveniently placed car parks enable visitors of all abilities to easily access the waters edge and depending on the season, a tea room on the banks of the lake provide much needed refreshments after an afternoons visit.
Though it's not just the lake that's worth visiting - Throughout the forest a network of easily mastered tracks and routes cross the landscape and take you on a journey though the trees surrounding the neighbouring Center Parks resort. For the adrenine seeker, a plethora of cycle routes take you through some challenging slopes and ascents between the towering trees above.
Best time to visit:
Two times of the year stand out as particularly worthy of a visit to Shearwater Lake:
Summer - a later afternoon stroll leading into the evening is ideal, as the light turns golden over the lake and in the distance you might hear the lions roaring from the safari park.
Autumn - Without a doubt - a real highlight as the trees on the northern bank turn glorious golden colours as the leaves turn. If there's mist settling on the waters' surface then you're in for an even more magical treat.
Accessed from the A350 at Crockerton village, Shearwater is easily found on Clay Street, past the Bath Arms pub, about 20-25 minutes from Bath.