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10 Top Lake District Sites


The Lake District has a vast array of wonderful places to pitch your tent, with sites in the area coming in all shapes and sizes. Here is a selection of 10 of the very best.







Great Langdale

At the entrance to the stunning Langdale Valley, in the village of Chapel Stile, you’ll find Baysbrown Farm Campsite. The site is located about seven miles from Ambleside on a working Lakeland farm where a large area has been set aside for camping. There are no designated pitches here, just lots of space on grass to set up your tent where you like. You can then sit back, relax and enjoy the views of the towering Cumbrian hills all around you. While the view from the campsite is spectacular you must make the most of the superb location for fell walking and climbing. Routes include Bowfell, Crinkle Crags, The Langdale Pikes and even Scafell Pike. There are also great low level walks through woodlands, valley bottoms and picturesque villages. Baysbrown is also a great base for exploring the larger villages nearby including Ambleside, Grasmere and Hawkeshead.

Great Langdale, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9JR
01539 437150
Open All year
Facilities: No electric. Basic toilets and showers, washing up room and drinking water. Cameras and phones etc can be charged for a small fee. Ice pack freezing.


St Johns-in-the-Vale

This is a traditional, family run campsite on a working famr in the valley of St-Johns-in-the-Vale. From some of the highest ground in England, to the loveliest walk on a disused railway line by the River Greta, this is one of the greatest places to take your boots. The surrounding mountains and peaks of Blencathra, Skiddaw and Helvellyn are asking to be explored but you might want to stay on site admiring the views from the camping fields. Burns Farm has 13 grass pitches with 6 amp electric hook-ups and views of Blencathra and Clough Head. There are also grass pitches with no electric which are ideal for larger family tents. These pitches offer 360 degree views of Skiddaw, Catbells and Grisedale Pike.  Fresh eggs are available from the farm, with the local village’s pubs and restaurants being one mile away and Keswick less than three miles.

St Johns-in-the-Vale, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 4RR
01768 779112
Open 14 March – 2 November
Facilities: 10 amp electric hook-ups. Heated showers and washrooms, facilities for the disabled, dishwashing and a laundry. Ice pack freezing. Chargeable WiFi.



Not only is this Camping and Caravanning Club site set in a beautiful part of the country but it’s a lovely site too. It’s pretty huge but is relaxed and welcoming, largely thanks to the friendly staff. Stone walls and bridges and sympathetic landscaping give the site a natural feel. There are lots of caravans and motorhomes but the camping fields are excellent and very popular. The amenities are first-rate too, a great new children’s playground and a superb backpackers’ facility in a log-cabin-style building that houses a cooking and eating. And there’s something else to set this campsite apart from the pack. The park has its own pub, the Whistling Pig, serving food in a cosy bar area and providing a pool table in a family room.

Ashes Lane, Staveley, Kendal, Cumbria LA8 9JS
01539 821119
Open: 12 Mar - 11 Jan
Facilities Heated showers and washrooms, backpackers facility, shop selling local produce, Wi-Fi, children’s play area, pub and family room



Chapel House Farm is the only owner-occupied farm in The Borrowdale Valley, and has been run by the same family for three generations. The campsite itself is over 40 years old and is a simple place consisting of a single field with amazing views.  To keep the place relaxed and safe, cars are not allowed on site and must remain in the car park. And once pitched up you don’t really need the car again – the Lake District is a place to come to explore on foot and there’s also a bus stop outside the site. There are many fell-walking opportunities here, but also miles of relaxing river and lakeside strolls. This site is very popular with young families too, with the nearby Stonethwaite Beck, and a place called Black Moss Pot (a dramatic little gorge) in Langstrath Beck, being ideal for splashing about in the shallow water, or swimming in the big, deep river pools. There are two pubs within easy walking distance of the campsite.

Borrowdale, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 5XG
01768 777256
Open: All year
Facilities: Toilets and hot showers (£0.50 charge) and dishwashing facilities. Please note: from Nov-Mar the showers are often switched off due to the threat of burst pipes in freezing weather.



This might seem a large Club site with its 252 pitches, but with just 10 tent pitches, set in wooded areas and surrounded by trees you do feel pretty secluded. Coniston Park Coppice is located in 63 acres of National Trust woodland, close to Coniston Water. A short walk of 400 yards will bring you to the lakeside and a launching point for dinghies, windsurfing and canoeing. Coniston Pier is just one mile away and offers steamboat rides on the Coniston Gondola and also boat hire. There are several cafés and pubs within walking distance with the Ship Inn being both child and dog friendly. You can easily walk or cycle into Coniston village too (about a 15-minute bike ride). This Club site is an excellently placed central point for exploring the whole National Park – the walking is matchless and birdwatchers will not be disappointed, especially in Grizedale Forest.

Park Gate, Coniston, Cumbria LA21 8LA
01539 441555
Open: 28 March – 3 November
Facilities: Electric hook-up, toilets and showers with baby changing facilities, a laundry, children’s play area and WiFi. Please note: the site accepts a maximum tent size of 5m x 5m and a maximum of four adults plus four children.



Lanefoot is located between Bassenthwaite Lake and Derwentwater with views of the surrounding fells. The campsite is divided into two fields, both of which are about two acres in size. The Meadow Field has some tree screening and is a more secluded camping area. The Open Field has views towards Skiddaw and Lord’s Seat and presents open camping with lots of room. Campfires are permitted on site and kindling and dried logs are available to buy. Lanefoot sits below the Whinlatter Forest Park and it a great site for bikers and walkers. Because it is a mountain forest the mountain bike trails are demanding and the views stunning. There’s also a play trail for children and a visitors’ centre. Bikes can be hired here and there is a café, picnic areas and viewpoints.

Lanefoot Farm, Thornthwaite, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 5RZ
01768 778097
Open: 1 March - 31 October
Facilities: Toilets and heated showers. Electric hook-ups. Also a drying room and a small shop stocking the essentials.



Keswick Club site is great for active campers. Set on the shores of Derwentwater the site boasts a prime location with views extending over the lake and to the hills beyond. This stretch if water is popular for canoeing and kayaking and you  can launch from site for a small charge. You can take your pick from numerous lake and hillside tracks and trails which can be explored on foot or on two wheels. For the more adventurous walker, Skiddaw, the fourth highest mountain in England, is easily reached. For a more relaxed pace of life why not fish on the lake – hire a boat from one of the marinas and head out into the lake’s centre to catch pike, bream and trout. Many passenger boats also operate around the lake with several drop-off points. Keswick town is within walking distance and offers provisions, outdoor gear, and places to eat and drink.

Crow Park Road, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 5EP
01768 772392
Open 19 February – 3 January
Facilities: Toilets and showers, with a parent and baby room, a laundry, battery charging and ice pack freezing, children’s play area and WiFi.



With direct access to the lakeshore and the convenience for getting around the Lakes, this National Trust campsite is a hit with walkers, cyclists and canoeists. Dogs love it too because of the open space and all that water to swim in! For those who fancy getting around Lakeland on two wheels or taking to the water but have come unprepared, there is bike and kayak hire available on site. Low Wray offers a choice of 120 bookable camping pitches (and 10 first come first served pitches) on the edge of Lake Windermere. Waterfont pitches are set right above the lakeshore, so you can step out of your tent and practically straight onto the water. The lakeview pitches are nestled in woodland and set a little way back from the lake. You can also choose from meadow pitches in open areas in the middle of the campsite or pitch up in the more secluded woodland glades.

Low Wray, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 0JA
01539 463862
Open 20 March – 1 November
Facilities: Three shower blocks, a laundry, washing up area, children’s play area and a shop.



There may be no electric hook-up at this National Trust Lakeland site but there’s mountain bike hire, a bouldering wall, an orienteering course and a calendar of activities like rock climbing and gorge scrambling to keep you busy! You’ll find the site at the head of the Great Langdale Valley, nestled below the Langdale Pikes in and area great for walkers and climbers. There are 140 bookable grass pitches on either side of a small beck and there’s also a family camping field. There is a well-stocked shop selling groceries, fresh bread and frozen goods and it’s five minutes’ walk to a pub serving food and also a bus stop with services to Ambleside. There are many fell walking routes in the area but also several walks starting from the campsite which are suitable for families – one being a short walk to Blea Tarn which is a great spot for a picnic. 

Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9JU
01539 463862
Open: All year
Facilities: Two separate toilet and shower blocks, children’s play area, a well-stocked shop, and a laundry.



Park Cliffe offers a tranquil retreat at the heart of the Lake District, close to Bowness-on-Windermere, in 25 acres of picturesque countryside. Campers arriving at the site can expect to see lake and fell views and lots of woodland wildlife. There’s lots to do around Park Cliffe especially in the town of Bowness and Windemere itself – walkers, climbers and watersports enthusiasts will be more than happy here. There are a choice of pitches at Park Cliffe; Fellside offers unallocated pitches on undulating hillside with great views, Moorhow pitches have electric grass pitches for tents located among the touring hardstandings, and then Ghyllside is an area across a minor road from the main touring park and these bookable pitches are available from Easter until the end of August.

Birks Road, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 3PG
01539 531344
Open 1 March – 8 November
Facilities: Heated toilets and showers, private bathrooms for hire, licensed shop, children’s play area, bar and restaurant.


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26/05/2015 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

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