Hidden in tiny Raydale, Semerwater is the largest natural glacial lake in this area and much loved by walkers and water sports enthusiasts. There's a circular footpath from the lake foreshore. Maps are available from Low Blean Farm.
Semerwater attracts countless photographers and artists, including Turner who visited and painted here in 1816.
Folk singers and poets have seized on some of the legends associated with the lake. Sir William Watson penned the Ballad of Semerwater. The story goes that a beggar visited a thriving city and asked for food and shelter but was rejected. He was finally given both at a small nearby cottage but in the morning he put a curse on the city: “Semerwater rise, Semerwater sink and bury the town all save the house where they gave me meat and drink.” It's hard to think which city this might have been for it's quite remote, but it is said that a village lays on the bottom of the lake and occasionally you may hear the sounds of bells ringing from its ancient church. The cottage in the story is reputedly at Low Blean. There are other stories of giants fighting the devil across the lake, throwing stones at each other.
Semerwater hosts a few events each year including the Semerwater Swim and Wensleydale Triathlon.
The River Bain, one of England's shortest named rivers meanders from Semerwater just three miles from here to join the River Ure. It's short but powerful enough once it arrives at Bainbridge to turn an Archimedes Screw and produce enough power for many of the houses in the village.