5 Amazing Campsites In The Lake District
The Lake District is one of the most beautiful and captivating areas in Britain and with over 2,362 square kilometres of it, there is plenty to explore.
Within the National Park, flora and fauna receive special protection ensuring they flourish and develop into complex habitats. Camping is a great way to experience nature up-close while having quick access to the lakes and trails.
Here are 5 of our favourite campsites that are a little bit special.
Waterside House Campsite (Ullswater)
- Price: mid-season £20 (one tent, two adults & car)
- Open season: 23rd March – 11 November
- Location: CA10 2NA
A working farm at the north end of Ullswater, the campsite backs directly on to the lake and comes complete with its own jetty. With views across the lake, it’s a great spot to relax and watch a sunset at one of the three camping areas which includes a family field.
The site has a good range of facilities including a shop, WIFI and most importantly modern shower and toilet facilities. From the shop, you can rent a canoe or rowing boat (and lifejackets) to use on the lake or if you want to take things a bit easier you can take a cruise on an Ullswater Steamer down to Aira Force Waterfall.
Away from the site, there is plenty to see and do. Whether it’s a stroll around the ruins of Lowther Castle, spotting birds of prey in Lakeland or mountain biking in Whinlatter Forest this is a great base from which to explore the Lakes.
Great Langdale National Trust Campsite (Langdale)
- Price: medium tent (4-5 berth) + 1 adult + 1 car £10 - £21 (extra adult £6, child £3)
- Open season: 1st January – 31st December
- Location: LA22 9JU
At the foot of Langdale Pikes, you’ll find this quaint and relaxing National Trust campsite. Set over a series of fields with plenty of trees acting as windbreaks, it lives up to National Trust’s reputation, delivering excellent facilities in beautiful surroundings that are well maintained.
On-site there is a well-stocked shop for all the bits and pieces you may have forgotten, shower/toilet block along with a bouldering wall, orienteering route and kid’s play area.
From the site, paths set you on walks to Bowfell and Blea Tarn or you can give the Langdale Cycle Trail a go. If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous you can try one of the nearby outdoor centres that offer rock climbing, gorge scrambling, canoeing, raft building and much more.
There are plenty of options when it comes to food with three pubs within 10 minutes (including the National Trust run Sticklebarn); the nearest village (Chapel Stile) is only a couple of miles away or you can use the on-site BBQ and enjoy the views.
Eskdale Campsite (Eskdale)
- Price: £10 - £13.40 PPPN (adult) £5.20 - £6.70 PPPN (child)
- Open season: 16th March - 27th October
- Location: CA19 1TH
Eskdale Campsite lies in the heart of Eskdale Valley just outside Boot Village. Located in the West of the Lake District, Eskdale is the perfect getaway if you want to avoid the crowds of Kendal and Windermere while having access to some of the best walking in the Lakes.
The site is spread across eight acres of flat grassland backed by trees and a brook. You get the choice of three pitching areas, Standard Grass (Family friendly), Grass with Electric Hook-Up (motorhomes only no caravans) and a Car Free Area (adults and small tents only).
All the facilities across the site are wonderfully maintained including the on-site shop that sells local farm produce/beer, has a DIY breakfast station, free WIFI, rent a BBQ and all the other essentials you could think of.
At the edge of the site, you have two excellent country pubs serving hearty food along with real ale and the miniature Ravenglass & Eskdale Steam Railway. Stopping at over seven destinations along the track you can bring the dog along or take your bike and cycle back to site through the beautiful valley.
If you are after a walk you have Scarfell Pike, Pillar and Great Gable a quick drive away and for something different, you have Wastwater (England’s deepest lake) close by for, SUP, kayaking, rock climbing, canyoning and more.
Kestrel Lodge (Bassenthwaite)
- Price: high season £9 PPPN (adult) £4.50 PPPN (child)
- Open season: 4th March – 8th October
- Location: CA12 4QX
Near to Cockermouth and Keswick, this peaceful and relaxed campsite sits below Skiddaw with views over to Bassenthwaite Lake.
You pitch your tent on a large open grass area that doubles up as a playing area but don’t worry about noisy neighbours as this site has a quiet after 10 pm – 8 am rule. The site’s facilities are rather basic with only a shower block, cleaning area and covered shelter but with doorstep access to the fourth highest peak in England (Skiddaw) you soon make-do.
Leading out from the site there are road and mountain bike routes along with Bassenthwaite Lake, a short (15min) walk away. At the lake, you can go sailing, wild swimming or fishing before having a picnic and trying their photography walk. There is also a couple a couple of great dog-friendly pubs in the village for a bite to eat and a drink.
Back at the site, you can see the evening in with a campfire and some toasted marshmallows as the sun set over the valley.
Low Wray Campsite (Windermere)
- Price: Medium tent, Mid-season, Lake view - £23 PN (Depends on the size of tent, season
- Open season: 29th March - 29th October
- Location: LA22 0JA
A beautiful campsite, situated right on Lake Windermere and surrounded by woodland it is the perfect base for a host of activities. You have the option to pitch next to the lake (for the views) or in the woods (where there is more shelter).
The on-site facilities are of a good standard with all the normal amenities you would expect including a little shop, for any basics and a reception area. It’s from the reception that you can hire a mountain bike or kayak/canoe.
There are numerous bike trails and walks that start directly from the site and you also have access to the jetty to launch. As it is a National Trust campsite they also offer bird watching, orienteering and bat detector kits for your little ones to have a go at.
When dinner time comes around you can have a BBQ, walk to one of the local pubs or enjoy a wood-fired pizza at the on-site pop-up restaurant.
About the Author:
Pete Fletcher - Ski Tech & Outdoor Expert
Pete grew up hiking most of the trails in the Lake District before being introduced to skiing. A few decades later and you're most likely to find him snowboarding, skateboarding, fixing your skis like no one else or making mean coffee.