Campsites in Ullswater, Cumbria

44 bookable campsites within 15 miles of Ullswater Sorted by distance

Why visit Ullswater?

Villages around Ullswater

As it’s located in a national park, the second-largest lake in England feels very rural and is not built up all the way along the shore. Several traditional Cumbrian villages are dotted around Ullswater though, and many of them are worth visiting for the day. Pooley Bridge is a great place to start and is home to boat hire, tea rooms, cafés and shops. Patterdale, meanwhile, is popular with walkers heading to and from the fells, while Dacre has a ruined 14th-century castle and historic church to admire.  

The Ullswater Way

The 20-mile Ullswater Way is a waymarked walking trail that encircles this prettiest of lakes. Pick a campsite in the local area and start and finish wherever you like – feel free to split the route into two or more days, or take advantage of the fact that the western side of the lake is well-served by local buses to complete the loop using public transport. If you start at or pass through Pooley Bridge, there’s also a scenic circular loop to Lowther Castle to explore. Keep an eye out for red squirrels – with a bit of luck, they can be spotted pretty much everywhere around the lake. 

Steamer tours of the lake

One of the most iconic attractions in the Lake District, Ullswater Steamers runs well-preserved heritage vessels around the lake all year round. Cruises last for up to two hours and take in Ullswater’s prettiest villages along with views over some of the highest mountains in England. 

Waterfalls near Ullswater

The Ullswater area also has some of the best waterfalls in the Lake District. Camp near here for easy access to Aira Force, a gorgeous waterfall just shy of Ullswater, or take day trips to Stock Ghyll Force or the Lodore Falls by Derwentwater. 

Ullswater’s best attractions

  • Live the high life at Lowther Castle and Gardens, a gorgeous 19th-century estate just to the west of Ullswater 

  • Discover Dalemain Mansion and Historic Gardens, a Grade I-listed building just to the north of the lake that’s well-known for its speciality marmalade shop 

  • Hire a canoe in Glenridding or Pooley Bridge and set off on the Ullswater Canoe Trail, a one- or two-day route with plenty of places where you can stop off to admire the scenery along the way

  • Trot along to Rookin House, a Lakeland equestrian centre just to the west of Ullswater that can arrange pony trekking for guests over the age of eight

  • For more animal encounters, come and see hawks, falcons, eagles and other raptors from around the world at the Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre, a few miles to the east of the lake 

  • Climb to the top of Helvellyn from Glenridding – expect the circular hike up and down to take roughly five hours 

Want an even bigger selection of things to do? Feel free to peruse our regional guide to Cumbria and the Lake District at your leisure. 

Unexplored Ullswater

The Lake District Ski Club

Skiing, in England? It’s true – you can ski in the Lake District, but don’t expect to find a fully-fledged Alpine resort. The Lake District Ski Club is located high up in the hills just to the west of Ullswater and caters for winter sports enthusiasts with good enough fitness and navigation skills to carry their kit to the top of Helvellyn. No tuition is offered on the mountain, but you can book lessons at the dry ski slope in Kendal, roughly 40 minutes’ drive to the south.

Angle Tarn

Described by Lake District guru Alfred Wainwright as one of the best lakes in Cumbria, Angle Tarn is a hidden gem located two miles from the village of Patterdale, just south of Glenridding. The tarn is on a totally different scale to Ullswater and has a feel all of its own, with spectacular views over England’s highest mountains. 

Ancient stone circles

The woods and dales around Ullswater have been inhabited for thousands of years, and the area’s earliest inhabitants left behind a lot of relics of their now lost civilisation. Stone circles around the lake like Cockpit and Castlerigg are among the most impressive pre-Roman sites in the north of England and are well worth a visit, even if it’s just for an atmospheric photo of the stones against the hills. 

Here’s how

Camping in Cumbria is a popular business, so we recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment. Start the search for your ideal place to stay by deciding whether you're after a tent campsite, a motorhome or caravan pitch or a cosy glamping site. Then use the tick-box filters on this page to browse by themes, facilities and nearby leisure options, or take a look at some of our most popular categories below:

Not found a site that pushes all the right buttons? Check out what’s on offer across Cumbria and the Lake District, or try top local towns like Keswick and Cockermouth to see what’s available for your dates. 

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