A three-dimensional numerical model has been developed to study wind-induced circulation patterns in a shallow homogeneous lake with a complex bathymetry. The governing equations are the unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes equations in which the non-hydrostatic pressure distribution has been included. The model was tested against analytical solutions and laboratory data for wind-induced currents and then applied to Esthwaite Water, a small lake in Cumbria, UK. The model was used to study the main model parameters and to generate typical circulation patterns for a variety of conditions in the lake. Simulations showed that a non-hydrostatic pressure distribution did not have any noticeable influence on the overall circulation pattern in the lake. However, comparisons with field data at some measurement stations in the near-shore region with sharply varying bottom topography showed that the hydrodynamic pressure component had some influence on the vertical velocity profile. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.