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Campsites and Holiday Parks in The Lake District and Cumbria

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56 bookable sites in The Lake District and Cumbria

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Camping in the Lake District: brill breaks in the UK's biggest national park

 

Been camping in the Lake District yet? No? Well, there’s no time like the present. In fact, we’d urge you to grab your walking boots and start making your way to the UK’s biggest – and most visited – national park right now.

But why are we raving about this Cumbrian destination? Quite simply because it’s a cracker of a place. Home to the mighty Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain, it also has some of the country’s deepest and longest lakes (hello Wastwater and Windermere).

And when we say ‘camping’ we don’t necessarily mean settling in under canvas. If you’re not up for taking a tent on a hol with you, there are lush log cabins and lodges in the Lake District as well as caravan sites, holiday parks and glamping options.

Here are the top spots for camping in the Lake District, along with where to wander in romantic poet William Wordsworth’s most beloved national park – whether lonely as a cloud or in a group.

The best areas for camping in the Lake District

OK, let’s start with where to stay. Lakeland is actually pretty sizable, so it’s best to pick a spot near the sights you want to see. Some of the top choices include:

Ambleside

This teeny village is close to the centre of the national park, so it’s a prime place for camping in the Lake District. It’s also on the northern banks of Lake Windermere, perhaps the most popular body of water in the whole region (and definitely the biggest – it’s actually the largest natural lake in England).

Traipse uphill out of town on a walk called The Struggle, all the way up to Kirkstone Inn, and pat yourself on the back for making it to the top by indulging in a beer or two. Scale the 323-metre Black Fell as well before eyeing up the Stock Ghyll Force waterfall.

Choose from campsites near Ambleside.

Eskdale

This is an ace area for moseying around first-rate Lakeland destinations like the Catbells fells and Skiddaw mountains.

As it’s a bit more rural round here, it’s a good spot for settling in at long-stay touring caravan sites in the Lake District. The Eskdale valley, with its clear-water river pools, is just the place for finishing off a wander with a wild swim.  

See our camps around Eskdale.

Keswick

Keswick is one of the largest towns in the Lakes, so it’s got pubs aplenty for an evening out. It also, slightly more unexpectedly, has a whole museum dedicated to pencils.

Try not to have too late a night (or overexert yourself looking at writing implements) as you’ll be using Keswick as a base for visiting Derwentwater, preferably while kayaking or windsurfing from one of the jetties. The Theatre by the Lake is also well worth a look when there's a play on.

Wander around Whinlatter Forest, dropping by the Red Squirrel Sanctuary to see the rare woodland animals, and keep an eye out for deer, ospreys and red kites as well.

Check out our campsites and caravan parks in the Lake District close to Keswick.

Penrith

Penrith is actually a touch outside the national park, just off the M6, so it’s a first-rate option for a swift stopover. It’s also top-notch if you need nifty access to a touring caravan site in the Lake District for your rolling home.

Once you’ve dropped your van off, mosey over to Ullswater and jump on an old-school steamer boat before chugging across to the Aira Force waterfall.

Find places to camp in the Lake District around Penrith.

Glamping in the Lake District: lovely lodges, log cabins and huts

Look for lodges in the Lake District for a glamping trip – there are also shepherd’s huts looking out over the North Pennines, luxury wooden cabins set above lakes, and casual camping pods on working farms. Have a gander at each option to see what’s included; some are basic while others come with the whole shebang (kitchens, beds, living areas and outdoor dining spaces).

Log cabins in the Lake District are ideal for cool-weather trips as they often come with a woodburning stove to gather around after chilly walks. And who could turn their noses up at glamping with a hot tub in the Lake District when there’s a nip in the air?

If you fancy sleeping in a tent but don’t want to have to put it up take a peek at our rental options. There are exotic-looking yurts and kitted-out safari tents to pick from.

How to find the right camping site in the Lake District

Go straight to the filters on the left-hand side of our page to find the best campsites in the Lake District. You could search based on the people (and pets) you're bringing with you, browsing for family-friendly spots that make travelling with the kids easier or parks that allow dogs.

Rather be away from the towns (and the people in them)? Pick pitches in a walkers’ paradise, a peaceful place or with spectacular scenery. These are also your top options if you're eager to embrace the experience of wild camping in the Lake District (but free from the fear of a farmer chasing you off their land…). 

 

Looking for sites chock-full of facilities? Have a gander at holiday parks in the Lake District with indoor pools, play areas, bars and restaurants. You could also consider nearby activities: when you’re in the Lakes, you’ll surely want to have a go at kayaking on the various bodies of water, climbing steep crags or mountain biking down huge fells.

Each listing on Pitchup also outlines nearby local attractions, as well as other useful info like access to cycle trails, hiking routes and – perhaps most importantly – pubs. Cheers to that.