Lancashire, UK - A lake which inspired the poet - William Wordsworth and children’s writer Beatrix Potter is up for sale on the auction website eBay.

Esthwaite Water is the first lake in the world to be offered on the site with owner Nigel Woodhouse hoping for bidding to top £300,000. He describes the chance to own the 280-acre Lake District attraction as “a once in a lifetime opportunity” and says he chose eBay because he wants to “broadcast it to the world”.

Mr Woodhouse, 64, said yesterday: “The literary and natural importance of the lake is likely to attract an international audience so what better way to get the message out?”

Esthwaite straddles the villages of Near Sawrey and Hawkshead between Windermere and Coniston Water.

Mr Woodhouse has put it on the market along with its established leisure business because, after 32 years in charge, he is approaching retirement.

The lake is mentioned by Wordsworth in his poem Expostulation And Reply and is the location for Lines Left Upon A Seat In A Yew-Tree. Beatrix Potter dreamed up Jeremy Fisher the frog on its banks and described it as her “favourite lake”.

The area now pays homage to the literary figures in the form of a nature trail, a studio displaying Potter images and a themed cafe.

Visitors also flock to Potter’s old farmhouse home, Hill Top, as well as the Wordsworth Trust centre in nearby Grasmere. Esthwaite Water is the largest stocked fishing lake in the North-west and acts as a trout fishery attracting thousands of fishermen each year.

One angler there landed England’s largest pike, which weighed more than 46lb.

Included in the 15-year lease from the Graythwaite Estate are the entire water and land on the south-west shore, a Victorian boathouse, fisherman’s lodge, shop and cafe. There is also a slipway and jetty for boats as well as facilities for the disabled.

Mr Woodhouse said: “It is of European importance and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. “It also has Ramsar status, which commends wetlands of international importance. We have had ospreys for 13 years and now offer a self-driven electric boat ride safari around the lake, taking in six different locations.” He added: “I will be sad to see it go because it has been my life.”