Camping & Caravanning
Camping and Caravanning in The Lake District National Park have become more popular recently with many sites upgrading their facilities to meet the higher demands of the modern outdoor enthusiast. The majority of sites allow motorhomes, caravans, and tents.
For those who prefer their food alfresco, their days in the open air (weather permitting ... this is the Lakes), and enjoy the social aspects of campsites, there is a huge variety to choose from.
From fields at the back of pubs to Caravan Club run sites, and everything in between, you'll find something to suit your requirements and budgets.
If you've never spent time on a campsite before, be aware that facilities vary greatly between sites, and that you are likely to experience a little unwanted noise from other users, whether late at night, or early in the morning. The strictness with which noise restriction "policing" occurs can also vary greatly, from fanatical insistance on the rules being followed to zero monitoring. Most Lake District and Cumbria campsite owners have enough experience to tread a diplomatic line, allowing reasonable social activity to take place, provided that the enjoyment of other guests is not unduly compromised.
We've stayed at a number of the sites, more than once, so we'll highlight what you can expect during your stay.
If you're on a tight budget or just want a taste of the outdoors, camping in the lakes could be your perfect solution.
There are numerous lake district camp sites and your choice will depend upon a) the area that you want to be based in, and b) the type of campsite that suits you. Actually there is a third consideration for me - is there a decent pub nearby offering shelter and refreshment if the lake district weather turns grim?
In this first article of our Camp Sites In The Lakes series we'll broadly cover your choice of area.
Your search for campsites in the lakes should begin with geographical location. Although small in area, it can be difficult to get from A to B in the lake district, especially if there's a mountain in the way. What at first appears to be an ideally located campsite, might on close inspection be more isolated than first appears. Check your map carefully before deciding.
Roughly, The Lakes can be divided into four areas:
The North West Lake District: In this area you find Scafell Pike, Wast Water, Ennerdale, Eskdale, Crummock Water and Buttermere. Further North, the only true lake (by name) in the Lake District - Bassenthwaite Lake, and the town of Cockermouth.
The North East Lake District: Taking out Keswick, the much visited "tourist town" of this area, the North East is probably the least commercial quarter of the lakes. here you'll find Skiddaw and the Helvellyn Range, Ullswater and Pooley Bridge, Haweswater and Shap.
Neatly bisecting West from East is the Borrowdale Valley, home of one of our favourite camping sites in the lakes at Stonethwaite.
The South West Lake District: Here you'll find the very popular locations of Conston and the Langdales with lots of campsites to choose from. Further West, Broughton in Furness and the Irish Sea, and to the North of the area Ravenglass with it's minature railway.
The South East Lake District: Home of the most visited towns in the Lake District in Bowness on Windermere and Ambleside. Stray further East however and you'll find the delightfully isolated kentmere, whilst to the South, the delights of Kendal and the Lythe Valley await you. Just outside the South East fringe of the Lake District National Park you'll find Arnside on the shores of the Morecambe Bay estuary, and the pretty village of Cartmel with it's historic Priory and National Hunt Race Course.
Tent (with poles and pegs)
Sleeping bag or duvet
Air bed or sleep mat & don't forget a pump
Torch (check batteries)
Disposable barbeques (the sun must shine surely?) and lighter
Stove and gas