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Things to do: Lake District camping
A walker’s paradise, the Lake District is just 40 miles across and approximately 100 miles in circumference with over 1,800 miles of well-signed footpaths for all levels of ability to choose from.
For a contrast from the peace and tranquillity of the Lakeland landscape, there are many vibrant towns and villages to visit, nestled by the side of a lake or in a valley basin. Spend time in the many independent shops and galleries sampling local produce and craftsmanship, or try out the delicious delicacies in the famous tea shops that are liberally sprinkled throughout the region. With plenty on offer here to suit all tastes and budgets, there has never been a more perfect opportunity to come camping in the Lake District!
Explore the Lakes
Although there’s only officially one lake, Bassenthwaite Lake, there are plenty of reservoirs and bodies of water to explore. Here are a few recommendations:
- Derwentwater – South of the town of Keswick, Derwentwater is around 3 miles long. Walking, cycling and exploring the water on a boat trip are popular activities. Stay on our Keswick Club Site for direct access to the water.
- Windermere – Surrounded by mountain peaks and pretty villages to explore, Windermere is a busy hub in the Lake District. Take a boat trip, try out water sports or walk one of the many scenic trails around the water and town.
- Coniston Water – With shops to explore and cafes and pubs to grab a bite to eat, Coniston Water is just half a mile from the pretty village of the same name. Coniston Water is great for walkers and anyone wanting to visit the Tilberthwaite Slate quarries.
- Ullswater - At approximately 9 miles long, Ullswater has plenty of scenic walking routes and is a great location for anyone wanting to try out sailing.
Sightseeing in the Lake District
With complex natural landscapes and a long history, there are plenty of scenic areas to explore.
- Scafell Pike – As the highest mountain in England, this is a great challenge for avid walkers.
- The Castlerigg Stone Circle – Dating back to 3000 BC, Castlerigg makes a lovely dog walk and gives an insight into the Neolithic and Bronze Age past.
- Grasmere – The entire village of Grasmere offers picture-perfect scenery. Make sure you visit Faeryland Café for incredible views of Grasmere Lake.
- Ambleside – The town of Ambleside is a great base for walkers looking for great views. The walk to Stockghyll Force, a small waterfall, isn’t too strenuous but takes you through lovely woodland. Alternatively, Jenkins Crag offers spectacular views over Windermere.
- Wastwater – The glacial lake, also the deepest in England offers what was voted Britain’s Favourite View in 2007 at the south-western end of the lake.
Outdoor activities in the Lake District
- Walking – If you’re an experienced walker some of the most popular peaks include Scafell Pike, Skiddaw, the Old Man of Coniston and Catbells. Do your research and go prepared as some of these climbs can be challenging in poor weather. There are plenty of shorter walks around the lakes, towns and villages that all come with beautiful views and surroundings.
- Watersports – With some of the largest bodies of water in Britain, there are plenty of direct access points to launch small boats. For sailing, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing you’ll be spoilt for choice.
- Cycling – Both mountain bikers and those preferring a more gentle, scenic ride will easily find a trail to take on.
- Adventure activities including climbing, caving and abseiling are also popular in the area with plenty of activity centres offering instructors and equipment for hire.
More Lake District attractions
Campsites in the Lake District offer plenty of activities and major attractions within easy reach including a variety of museums and galleries, castles, historic houses and family attractions.
- Honister Slate Mine is the last working slate mine in England. Take a tour to learn all about the history of the underground tunnels or, opt to climb the mine led by an experienced guide.
- Muncaster Castle and its gardens which stretch over 70 acres of woodland make for a great day out. Explore the rooms and corridors once inhabited by the Pennington family or take your dog to roam the scenic grounds.
- Take a cruise on Windermere. Sit back and enjoy the sounds of gently lapping water accompanied by the stunning surroundings.
- Visit the home of Beatrix Potter, Hill Top which is owned by the National Trust. The 17th-century farmhouse houses a collection of objects left in the house by Beatrix Potter including works on paper and original artwork.
- William Wordsworth bought Dove Cottage in 1799 after falling in love with the building when he visited the Lake District. A guided tour shows what everyday life would have been like for William and his sister Dorothy.
- The Lakes Distillery offers tasting tours of the working facility producing gin, whisky and vodka. You can also book in to meet the alpacas that live on the grounds.
- Take a cruise with Ullswater Steamers and marvel at the spectacular views including Wordsworth’s daffodils in the spring.
Family Days Out
- The Lake District Wildlife Park is home to over 100 species including monkeys, birds of prey, zebras and many more. The family-friendly park makes a great day out and the café sells homecooked locally sourced food.
- The World of Beatrix Potter brings to life the famous stories we all know and love. The self-guided exhibition and gardens follow the stories of your favourite characters. Hop on board a lake cruise which stops off near the attraction or park nearby.
- The Puzzling Place is full of puzzles and illusions to keep the entire family entertained. In the centre of Keswick, this makes a great activity for a rainy day and the shop sells all kinds of puzzles and gadgets to keep kids entertained back at camp.
- The Lakes Aquarium is home to local wildlife as well as animals from around the globe. Diving ducks, clownfish, otters, piranhas and more are all waiting to meet you. The fully accessible aquarium makes a great day out for the whole family.
With a plethora of activities available and fabulous attractions to visit, camping in the Lake District is the perfect holiday choice!
Glamping Lake District
We have a range of glamping options at our Lake District Campsites. If you don’t want to pack and pitch a tent one of our range of glamping offerings is bound to suit you.
Three of our campsites offer camping pods in the Lake District. These are Keswick, Windermere and Ravenglass.
If you want easy camping with minimal setup time, Ready Camp glamping tents are available at two of our campsites in the Lake District. Ready Camp gives you a, fully kitted out tent with kitchen, bedroom and dining area.
Camping with dogs in the Lake District
Many of our campsites in Cumbria allow dogs and have a range of facilities and walks to accommodate you both. Read about camping with dogs in the Lake District to see where you can stay and which facilities you can expect to find.
Lake District tent camping
All of our campsites offer grass pitches for tents. We also offer grass pitches with electric hook-up at several campsites. Backpacker facilities come in handy for some and are available at some campsites.
Caravan sites in the Lake District
Caravan owners are offered a good range of campsites of different sizes and with a variety of facilities. Hardstanding pitches can be found at most campsites. Hardstanding with electric hook up is also available at many locations. Storage and seasonal pitches are available at some of our campsites across Cumbria.
Motorhome and Campervan Pitches
The Camping and Caravanning Club offer motorhome stop off points to our members for a small fee. Some of these can be found across the Lake District and allow motorhomes and campervans to use the facilities for a few hours.