10 Beautiful UK Lakes - The Camping and Caravanning Club
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10 Beautiful Lakes to Explore in the UK

Lakes in England | Lakes in Scotland | Lakes in Wales | Lakes in Northern Ireland

There are over 40,000 lakes in the UK, offering a plethora of breathtaking sights and opportunities for endless outdoor adventures. We’ve handpicked the finest selection of UK lakes to explore, all of which are either directly accessible from or near to our lakeside campsites.

Lakes in England

1. Derwentwater, Cumbria, Lake District

Derwentwater Lake

The picture-perfect Derwentwater is one of the principal lakes in the Lake District National Park. Views here are unrivalled, so you’ll want to spend your time either on the water or looking at it. Activities are endless and everything form a leisurely cruise to wild swimming and kayaking is on the cards. The market town of Keswick, just a five-minute walk from Derwentwater’s Foreshore, is a major tourism hub in the Lake District, with plenty of restaurants, shops, and attractions to keep the whole family fed and entertained.

Our popular Keswick Club Site sits directly on the shore of Derwentwater with direct boat launching available. If you can’t find a pitch on Keswick, as it gets booked up quickly, our Derwentwater Club Site is just a few minutes away on foot.

2. Windermere, Cumbria, Lake District

Windermere Lake

Windermere and surrounding towns are the most popular areas in the Lake District and it’s not hard to see why. Lake Windermere itself is England’s longest natural lake, with several islands and surrounding fells adding to the magic. There are plenty of water-based activities available and ways to enjoy the water at a leisurely pace, too. Wray Castle, The World of Beatrix Potter, the Lakes Aquarium and the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway are just some of the attractions you can enjoy away from the water.

Our Bowness-on-Windermere Club Site is right on the eastern shore of Windermere, giving you direct access to explore.

3. Kielder Water, Northumberland

Kielder Water

Kielder Water is the largest man-made lake in the UK. There’s plenty to do both on the water and dry land when visiting Kielder Water and Forest Park, from surfing and stand up paddleboarding, to cycling and wildlife spotting. Osprey, red squirrels, and roe deer are just some of the regions inhabitants to look out for during your visit. This part of Northumberland is well known for having the darkest skies in the UK, making it a fantastic place for stargazing.

Our Bellingham Club Site is the perfect base for exploring this part of Northumberland with Hadrian’s Wall and Alnwick Castle among attractions to visit.

4. The Loe, Cornwall

The Loe

Also known as Loe Pool, The Loe is Cornwall’s largest freshwater lake. This beautiful site is popular with walkers and wildlife spotters, but it’s not considered safe for swimming. Separated from the sea by a shingle bank named Loe Bar, with Porthleven Beach on the other side, this is a really unique place to visit.

Our Sennen Cove Club Site, on the Land’s End peninsular, is a good option for those who want to be within reach of some great areas of Cornwall, including St Ives and Penzance.

5. Slapton Ley, Devon

Slapton Ley

The Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve has the largest lake in South West England. The freshwater lake is separated from the sea by a narrow shingle bank and is a great place for walkers and wildlife lovers. Lots of the diverse wildlife at Slapton Ley is hard to spot but the nature trail is a great way to see flora and fauna and enjoy bird spotting.

Our Slapton Sands Club Site is just a few minutes’ walk away from the beach of the same name, so the perfect base for exploring Slapton Ley, which sits just behind the beach.

Lakes in Scotland

6. Loch Ness, Scottish Highlands

Loch Ness

Discover the mystery of the elusive Loch Ness Monster during a visit to Scotland’s most famous loch. There are many ways to enjoy the water and landscape surrounding Loch Ness, including boat trips, kayaking, cycling tours, fishing and much more. The Loch Ness Centre is a place to learn all about the lake and its surrounding legend.

Our Loch Ness Shores Club Site sits on the loch's south shore, near the village of Foyers. This is a truly magical site to pitch up on, with plenty to do nearby and Inverness just over a 30-minute drive away.

7. Loch Lomond, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond is a sight to behold. Surrounded by mountains, including Ben Lomond, it is a walker’s paradise. Part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, it offers varying landscapes, charming villages, and wonderful activities.

Our Milarrochy Bay Club Site sits on the east shore of Loch Lomond with boat launching from the campsite possible. Sitting along the West Highland Way, this is a popular campsite for walkers and has plenty of nearby attractions for the whole family.

Lakes in Wales

8. Bala Lake, Gwynedd

Bala Lake

Also known as Llyn Tegid, Bala Lake sits within the beautiful Snowdonia National Park (Eryri). Given this location, Bala Lake has picture-perfect mountainous surroundings. Bala Adventure and Watersports Centre offers a range of activities for those wanting to enjoy outdoor pursuits. Bala Lake Railway and the Ffestiniog Railway both make a great day out.

Our Bala Club Site is within easy reach of the main attractions in North Wales and is near Llandudno, Harlech and Colwyn Bay and their wonderful sandy beaches.

9. Elan Valley Reservoirs, Powys

Elan Valley

The Elan Valley is characterised by its reservoirs which were built to supply water to Birmingham. The tranquil waters are surrounded by a beautiful backdrop of hills and forests which makes it a popular destination. From incredible walking routes to varying grade mountain bike trails, there’s plenty of ways to spend your time in the Elan Valley.

You can walk to the Elan Valley from our Wyeside Club Site which is perfectly situated to enjoy the Wye Valley.

Lakes in Northern Ireland

10. Strangford Lough, County Down

Strangford Lough

Strangford Lough is the largest sea lough in the British Isles and is almost entirely enclosed by the Ards Peninsula. Connected to the Irish Sea by a long, narrow channel, Strangford Lough is one of the three places in the UK to be designated a Marine Nature Reserve. This means it’s got a complex ecosystem that includes marine life, mammals, rare flora, and fauna. Wildlife spotters will revel in the excitement of Strangford Lough with seals, otters, porpoises, sea birds, red squirrels and many other creatures to keep an eye out for.

Our Delamont Country Park Club Site has incredible views over Strangford Lough towards the Mourne Mountains, From the Giant’s Causeway to Belfast and the fairytale worthy castle of Killyleagh, you won’t be short of things to do while camping in this part of County Down.

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