Arguably the centrepiece of the Lakeside development, and certainly the feature from which it takes its name, the large lake lies to the south of the main pumping station building.
Originally the cooling pond, the lake was constructed in 1871 and like the rest of the site had to meet the approval of the then Duke of St Albans, on whose land Bestwood Pumping Station was built. As a result, the lake has an informal outline and an island at its southern end, both elements designed to provide a more ornamental feel. This continues around the perimeter, with extensive planting of trees and shrubs softening the landscape.
Today, this ornamental garden-style is just one of the features that makes Lakeside such a special place. Over the centuries the planting has matured giving beautiful vistas across the water; a riot of colour in springtime and dappled shade during the summer months.
As part of the refurbishment project the lake has received particular attention. The aim was to not only restore it to its former grandeur but give it a new lease of life, making it a key part of a Lakeside visit whether for relaxed drinks on the terrace, an elegant wedding or a family stroll.
After years of neglect there was much work to be done. Silt and sludge had built up at the bottom and overhanging trees obscured the edges and hid the attractive shape. Now, following dredging and some extensive pruning, the water is becoming clearer again. Shiny green lily pads bob on the surface and dragonflies dart here and there while, in the depths, koi carp can be seen silently gliding to and fro, occasionally breaking the surface with a soft splash.
There are new additions too – the fish have been joined by some more exotic companions in the form of European turtles, which can be seen periodically bobbing up for air and occasionally resting on the edge of the island. Slightly less exotic but stunning nonetheless are three new fountains which sit across the lake. Sending water tumbling from high in the air onto the surface, the droplets shine and glisten, sparkling in the light. Each fountain can have the spray adjusted and they can also be lit with coloured lights making it possible to co-ordinate with special events and occasions throughout the year. It will even be possible to match the colours to your wedding theme!
At the north end of the lake is a large terrace, which has been completely re-laid and gives spectacular views across the water and gardens. It’s the most wonderful backdrop for some seriously stunning wedding photographs and is set to be the perfect place to sit and while away the hours with friends over a coffee or light lunch.
For more information on the refurbishment and planned opening times keep an eye on our website and social media.
September 22nd, 2020