The Lake District Guide

Welcome to your guide to camping and caravanning in the English Lake District

What better way to experience the natural beauty and character of The Lake District than to pitch your tent at the foot of England's highest mountain or moor your caravan beside the tranquil waters of one of the county's famous lakes?

Each season in The Lake District brings with it a new landscape and yet another reason to stay that extra day. You can step outside your tent or caravan and experience the balmy sunny haze of a summer's morning, the romantic red and golden hues of an autumn afternoon, the snow capped mountains and sparkling frosts of winter, and the nodding daffodils and newborn lambs of spring.

Here's a link to a great search engine for campsites in the Lakes: Campsites.co.uk

A comprehensive listing of camping and caravanning sites in the Lake District can be found in the Cumbria Tourist Board Caravan and Camping Guide, which you can get by phoning any of the Tourist Offices listed on this page of the website.

The Camping and Caravanning Club in Lakeland

According to the club's literature: "The Camping and Caravanning Club has 5 quality, award-winning sites in Cumbria. Windermere Site, situated in the heart of the Lakes, has a reputation as being the most environmentally friendly camp site in the UK and, in 2005, became the AA's Overall Best Campsite of the Year. Also winner of the best Caravan Holiday Park in the Cumbria for Excellence Awards 2004, Windermere has a range of quality amenities, including a backpackers' facility, and offers access to some of the area's best attractions.

"Perfectly positioned on the banks of picturesque Derwentwater, two of the Club's most popular sites in Keswick have unrivalled views and access to some of the best outdoor activities and rambling opportunities in the region. The Club's Kendal Site provides a great base for exploring the Lakes. Offering a different perspective on Cumbria, the Club's new site at Ravenglass is a coastal site which lies on the edge of a pretty fishing village and is set in five acres of mature woodland.

"You don't need to be a member to stay on these and other sites in the Club's network but you could get more from your holiday by joining The Camping and Caravanning Club, which exists to give its members the widest choice of sites, friendly service and value-for-money camping. Find out more at: www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk."

The National Trust camp sites in Lakeland

The National Trust have made great efforts to preserve the Lakes' landscape over the years, and together with the Lake District National Park Authority have established some wonderful camping sites. This means you can enjoy the freedom of the countryside when you pitch your tent on a National Trust campsite, but you will also be helping to conserve the area. They have a variety of campsites - in the mountains at Wasdale, by the shore of Windermere at Low Wray, and in the stunning beauty of Great Langdale. They are peaceful and quiet sites, with no frills, and basic but well cleaned facilities. Cars are parked away from the tents, and the sites blend into the surrounding area. Of course there are shops nearby but even so each campsite has an outlet which sells essential items and provides laundry facilities so you can stay comfortably for a long break if you wish. Of course, having the mountains on your doorstep (or tent flap) means you can walk right from your base - there doesn't have to be any driving at the start of the day.

If you've ever stayed on a site with rowdy group, then you may be pleased to learn that the NT sites operate a strict no-noise policy between 11 pm and 7 am, and there are limits on groups, whether single sex or mixed. Special provision is made for scouts and other organisations.

The only drawback is that there is no booking system, which seems like a big flaw to me; however, that's the way it is - first come, first served. The campsites at Wasdale and Great Langdale are open all year round - a boon for the winter mountaineer.

More information about the National Trust Lakes camping sites can be found on the website: www.ntlakescampsites.org.uk

A listing of some of the best camping and caravanning sites in the Lake District

The list below contains information about some of the best sites in the Lakes - that is to say, in the opinions of the editors of this guide! The list below is all about touring caravans and tents, but there is another for permanent mobile home sites: Click here for holiday home parks.

This is not a complete list of Lake District Caravan and Campsites, so if you can't get in at one of these, check the Tourist Board guide mentioned at the top of this article. And note that facilities vary considerably - we've listed a selection of sites for all tastes! In general, the higher the number of stars from 1 to 5 (or, in the AA's case, "pennants") the higher the quality. But all sites have either been inspected or agreed to maintain certain minimum standards, so you should never find anything unacceptable. As always, we'd like feedback on all these sites and any others you stay at that you think deserve to be listed here.

Also, don't forget to check out camping barns. These may be a good alternative for you!

In alphabetical order of location:

Ambleside

The National Trust Campsite at Low Wray
AA rating: 3*
Ambleside, Cumbria. Open April to October. Tel:
015394 32039
www.ntlakescampsites.org.uk
How to find us: By car, take the A593 from Ambleside, turn left at Clappersgate onto the B5286. Turn left at the sign for Wray. The site is less than 1 mile on the left. By bus, The Coniston Rambler (service 505) from Ambleside or Windermere can drop you within a mile of the site. *5 Premium charged for lakeshore pitches. New arrival time of 1 pm - 8pm.
Size of site: 40 acres. Takes 200 tents (no caravans).

Skelwith Fold Caravan Park
Visit Britain rating: 5*
Skelwith Fold Caravan Park Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 OHX
Tel: 015394 32277. Fax: 0 15394 34344
How to find us: Leave M6, junction 36 towards Kendal & Ambleside. Follow A5075 then A593 then 85286 all signposted Hawkshead. 1 mile along 85286.
Open: 1 March - 15 November.
Size of site: 130 acres. Units: 150 caravans.

Borrowdale

Low Manesty Caravan Club Site
Manesty, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 SUG Tel: 017687 77275
Contact: The Warden Open: March - November
Website: www.caravanclub.co.uk
Set in National Trust woodland, this is a site with lovely fells and wild flowers. There are many walks from the site - forest trails, nature trails guided walks and farm walks. Nearby Derwentwater is busy with boats and a marina. Size of site: 12 acres. Units: 60 caravans. No toilet block.

Bowness on Windermere

Braithwaite Fold Caravan Club Site
Glebe Road, Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria LA23 3GZ
Tel: 015394 42177 Contact: The Warden
Open: March - November
Website: www.caravanclub.co.uk

Buttermere

Syke Farm Cottage Camp Site http://sykefarmcampsite.wordpress.com/.
Buttermere, Cockermouth, CA13 9XA
Book in at Farm Cottage, just below the church. The campsite is to the right of the Fish Hotel. Tel: 017687 70222. Contact: Mrs Anne Kyle

Coniston

Coniston Hall Campsite
Tel: 015394 41223 Contact: Mr B Wilson
How to find us: One mile south of Coniston village, turn left off A593, opposite Catholic Church, towards the lake. Open: March to October
Size of site: 30 acres. Units: 300 tents.

Crake Valley Holiday Park
Visit Britain rating: 5*
Water Yeat, Blawith, Via Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 8DL
Tel/Fax: 01229 885203 Contact: Nadine Chesters
Open: March-January Tents: Easter - September.
Website: www.crakevalley.co.uk

How to find us: On the A5084 between Ulverston and Coniston, 0.5 mile north of Water Yeat on left opposite Coniston Water.
Size of site: 2 acres. Units: 6 tents. Units for Hire: 10.

Park Coppice Caravan Club Site
Visit Britain rating: 5*
Coniston, Cumbria LA21 8LA
Tel: 015394 41555
Contact: The Warden Open: March - November
Website: www.caravanclub.co.uk

Kendal: see Windermere/Kendal

Keswick

Castlerigg Farm Camping & Caravan Site
Castlerigg Farm, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 4TE
Tel: 017687 72479 Fax: 017687 74718 Contact: Mrs D Harrison
Open: March - November
Website: www.castleriggfarm.com.
How to find us: A591 leaving Keswick towards Windermere. 1.5 mile out of town turn right at the camping sign on the top of the hill. We are on the left of the lane.
Size of site: 3 acres. Units: 30 tents & 3 caravans.

Castlerigg Hall Caravan and Camping Site
Visit Britain rating: 4* AA rating: 4*
Keswick, Cumbria CA 12 4TE
Tel: 017687 74499 Contact: Mr David Jackson Web: www.castlerigg.co.uk
How to find us: Castlerigg Hall lies 1.5 miles south east of Keswick off the A591. After leaving Keswick turn right at the brown tourist sign indicating Castlerigg Hall. We are the first site on the right just past the Heights Hotel.
120 tents and 53 caravans.

Dalebottom Farm Caravan & Camping Park
Naddle, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 4TF
Tel: 017687 72176 Contact: Messrs Kitching Open: March - November.
How to find us: 2 miles south of Keswick on the A591 Windermere Road.
Size of site: 7 acres. Units: 30 tents and 30 caravans.

Scotgate Holiday Park
Visit Britain rating: 4*
Braithwaite, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 5TF
Tel: 017687 78343 Contact: Mr Stuart www.scotgateholidaypark.co.uk

How to find us: Just off A66, 2.5 miles west of Keswick, on B592 entrance to Braithwaite village.
Size of site: 9.5 acres. 150 tents, 15 caravans, 28 holiday homes for hire.

Ullswater

Gillside Caravan & Camping Site
Glenridding, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 OQQ. Tel/Fax: 017684 82346
Contact: Mary Lightfoot Open: March to November.

Website: www.gillsidecaravanandcampingsite.co.uk
How to find us: On the A592 to Glenridding then follow signs for Gillside Farm Camping.
Size of site: 10 acres. Units: 60 tents & 5 caravans.

Park Foot Caravan & Camping Site
AA rating: 3*
Park Foot, Howtown Road, Pooley Bridge, Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2NA
Tel: 017684 86309 Open: March - November. Website: www.parkfootullswater.co.uk
How to find us: M6 J40 - A66 Keswick/Ullswater. At roundabout take A592 Ullswater. Left T-Junction. In Pooley Bridge, right at mini roundabout and right at crossroads onto Howtown Road. 1 mile on left.
Size of site: 20 acres. Units: 350 tents & 32 caravans.

Sykeside Camping Park
AA rating: 3*
Brotherswater, Patterdale, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 0NZ Open: All Year!
Tel: 017684 82239 Website: www.sykeside.co.uk

How to find us: From Windermere take A592 over Kirkstone Pass. On left at bottom next to Brotherswater Inn. From Ullswater direction follow signs for Windermere. Site is on right after Brotherswater Inn.
Size of site: 20 acres. Units: 80 tents 5 caravans.

Ullswater Caravan Camping & Marine Park
Watermillock, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 OLR
Tel: 017684 886666 Fax: 017684 86095 Contact : Mrs Dobinson
Open: March to November. Website: www.uccmp.co.uk
How to find us: M6, junction 40, A592 Ullswater. Turn right at Lake, 2 miles turn right at telephone kiosk, 1/2 mile on right.
Size of site: 13 acres. Units: 120 tents, 58 caravans.

Waterfoot Caravan Park
Visit Britain rating: 5* AA rating: 3*
Pooley Bridge, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 0JF
Tel: 017684 86302 Fax: 017684 86728 Contact: Ian & Sheila Hewartson
Open March to November.
Website: www.waterfootpark.co.uk

How to find us: From junction 40 M6 take the A66 for one mile, left onto A592 approx 4 miles, Waterfoot Park is on the right just before the Lake.
Size of site: 22 acres. Units: 38 caravans.

Waterside House Campsite
Visit Britain rating: 4*
Waterside House, Howtown Road, Pooley Bridge, Penrith, Cumbria CA 10 2NA
Tel/Fax: 017684 86332 Contact: Mrs J Lowis Open: March - October
Website: www.watersidefarm-campsite.co.uk
How to find us: junction 40 off M6. A66 Keswick road for 1 mile. A592 to Pooley Bridge. Right at church. Right again along Howtown Road. 1 mile on right.
Size of site: 14 acres. Units: 90 tents.


Ulverston

Blackbeck Caravan Park
Bouth, Ulverston, LA12 8JN
Visit Britain rating: 5*
Tel: 01229 861274 Fax: 01229 861041 Contact: Mr P Kay www.blackbeck.com/

How to find us: M6 junction 36, A590 for Barrow and South Lakes. After Newby Bridge and Haverthwaite Steam Railway turn right, then left, first right. Disabled facilities. Open 1st March - 1st November.
Size of site: 38 acres. Units: 48 Caravans.

Wasdale

Church Stile Farm Holiday Park (Camping and motor homes)
Visit Britain rating: 4* AA rating: 3*
Wasdale, Seascale, Cumbria CA20 1ET Tel: 019467 26252
Contact: Ruth Knight. Open Mid-March to end of October
Web: www.churchstile.com
How to find us: Take the A595 to Gosforth, follow signs for Wasdale, then signs for Nether Wasdale. Farm/site entrance by church. Size of site: 0.4 acres. Units: 50 tents and motor homes.

The Old Post Office Campsite (and Caravans)
AA rating: 2*
Santon Bridge, Holmrook, Cumbria CA19 1UY Tel/Fax: 019467 26286
Contact: Brian or Marcia Thwaites. Open: 1st March to 15th November.
How to find us: A595 to Holmrook 2.5 miles to Santon Bridge, over bridge from Bridge Inn. Size of site: 2.25 acres. Units: 35 tents and 5 caravans.

The National Trust Campsite
AA rating: 3*
Wasdale Head National Trust Campsite, Wasdale Head, Seascale, Cumbria CA20 1EX
Tel: 019467 26220 Contact: The Warden. Open: All Year.
Website: www.ntlakescampsites.org.uk

How to find us: From the south travel on the A595, turn right at Holmrook for Santon Bridge and follow signs to Wasdale Head. From the north - A595 turn left at Gosforth. Disabled facilities. Units: 120 tents

Windermere/Kendal

Camping Club site (Caravans and Camp Site)
Visit Britain rating: 5* AA rating: 4*
Ashes Lane, Staveley. This is actually a little way out of Windermere - see the Lakes map for location of Staveley.
Phone: 01539 821119 Bookings: 0870 243 3331
Web: www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk
How to find us: just off A591, 2 miles north of Kendal, 5.5 miles south of Windermere. Nearest village is Staveley - 1.5 miles. Easy access from M6 junctions 36. Non-members welcome. Special deals for families and back-packers. Size of site: 22 acres. Units: 250 tents and caravans.

Hill Of Oaks Caravan Site
Visit Britain rating: 5* AA rating: 3*
Windermere. Phone: 015395 31578
Web: www.hillofoaks.co.uk

How to find us: Exit M6 at junction 36, travel towards Newby Bridge A590, turn right at roundabout A592 towards Bowness for 3 miles. Size of site: 31 acres. Units: 43 caravans.

Park Cliffe Caravan and Camp Site
Visit Britain rating: 5* AA rating: 3*
Birks Road, Windermere. Phone: 015395 31344
Web: www.parkcliffe.co.uk

How to find us: M6 junction 36, Take A590 to Newby Bridge. Turn right onto A592, after 4 miles turn right into Birks Road. Park is 0.5 miles on right. Size of site: 25 acres. Units: 70 caravans, 100 tents.


Holiday home permanent caravan sites in the Lakes


You can rent a holiday home at the following sites. Please phone for details.

Broughton in Furness

Thornthwaite Farm
01229 716340 Contact: Jean Jackson. 2 units sleeping up to 5 for hire.

Coniston

Scarr Head Caravans
Scarr Head Bungalow, Torver, Nr Coniston Cumbria LA21 8BP
Tel: 015394 41576 Contact: Jane Halton
Open: Mid-March - end October
Website: www.scarrhead.co.uk
How to find us: From south (A5084) opposite Wilson Arms turn right (A593). Pass church and turn left up narrow lane to Scarr Head Bungalow. Size of site: 1/2 acre. Units for Hire: 3, sleeps 1-4.

Crake Valley Holiday Park
Visit Britain rating: 5*
Water Yeat, Blawith, Via Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 8DL
Tel/Fax: 01229 885203 Contact: Nadine Chesters
Open: March-January Tents: Easter - September
Website: www.crakevalley.co.uk

How to find us: On the A5084 between Ulverston and Coniston, 0.5 mile north of Water Yeat on left opposite Coniston Water.
Size of site: 2 acres. Units: 6 tents. Units for Hire: 10.

Grizedale

Crook Farm, Bouth, near Haverthwaite
Tel: 01229 861481 Contact Mrs Armistead. 1 unit for hire sleeping 6.

Keswick

Castlerigg Hall Caravan and Camping Site
Visit Britain rating: 4* AA rating: 4*
Keswick, Cumbria CA 12 4TE
Tel: 017687 74499 Contact: Mr David Jackson Web: www.castlerigg.co.uk
How to find us: Castlerigg Hall lies 1.5 miles south east of Keswick off the A591. After leaving Keswick turn right at the brown tourist sign indicating Castlerigg Hall. We are the first site on the right just past the Heights Hotel.
7 units for hire, sleeping up to 4.

Dalebottom Farm Caravan & Camping Park
Naddle, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 4TF
Tel: 017687 72176 Contact: Messrs Kitching Open: March - November.
How to find us: 2 miles south of Keswick on the A591 Windermere Road.
Size of site: 7 acres. 5 units for hire, sleeping up to 4.

Herdwick Croft Caravan Park
Bassenthwaite, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 4RD
Tel: 017687 76241 Contact: Stuart Wilson Open: March - November.
www.herdwick-croft.co.uk

How to find us: M6 J 40 onto A66 west. Bypass Keswick on A66, continue 6 miles turn right at Dubwath, right again 0.5 mile right, Herdwick Croft is on left.
Size of site: 40 acres. 15 units for hire, sleeping up to 8.

Scotgate Holiday Park
Visit Britain rating: 4*
Braithwaite, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 5TF
Tel: 017687 78343 Contact: Mr Stuart www.scotgateholidaypark.co.uk

How to find us: Just off A66, 2.5 miles west of Keswick, on B592 entrance to Braithwaite village.
Size of site: 9.5 acres. 150 tents, 15 caravans, 28 holiday homes for hire.


Staying in London? Visit our London Guide for information on London hotels, activities and things to do.

Great prices on hotel rooms in the Lakes!
Check out the special low price offers at
Late Rooms.com