5 of the Best: Top Caravan and Camp Sites in the Lake District

05 Feb 2013

A long-time favourite of hill walkers, climbers, mountain bikers and outdoors aficionados, the Lake District (or ‘the Lakes’) is a stunningly picturesque area of the UK that’s best experienced al fresco.

Heading to this area of Cumbria with your camping gear or caravan in tow is a fantastic way to experience the fells and escape the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Here are our top 5 suggestions on offer in the Lake District for your camping and caravan pitch needs.

Park Foot

Howtown Road, Pooley Bridge, Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2NA, 017684 86309


There are two fields available within the Park Foot camping and touring site. The first is located just below the shop and has electrical hook ups, with the second situated underneath the club and is for tents and motor homes.

There’s also a camping field beside the lake (Ullswater) which is perfect when the heat is on during summer. This is where you’ll find toilets and showering facilities.

Park Foot is especially welcoming of families and couples – they unfortunately don’t allow single sex groups.

Facilities – Drinking taps are conveniently placed around the site, modern and clean showering and toilet facilities are available. Onsite shop. Electrical hook ups.

Open – March  to November

Cost – Prices start at £14 (includes tent, car and 2 adults), motor home (includes 2 adults), caravans (includes 2 adults, car, awning and electric).

Skye Farm Camping Ground

Buttermere Village, Buttermere, Cumbria, CA13 9X, 01768 770222

(image courtesy of The Guardian)

It’s nice to know there are still places in the world where you can completely get away from it all. Even in such busy tourist hubs as the Lake District, campsites like Skye Farm still exist – a minimalist place where you can totally unwind and enjoy the natural surroundings.

Skye Farm has very basic amenities – no reception or shop – instead you’ll have to source your provisions from the farmhouse in the village, which are scant.

Having said that, sitting there taking stock of your stunning environment or idly listening to the babbling beck flow past while sucking on a locally made ice cream is pure self-indulgence.

Facilities – Minimal but sufficient.

Open – Unknown, give the site a call for opening times.

Cost – Adults £7 per night, children £3 per night. Cars are free.

Gillside Farm, Glenridding

Glenridding, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 0QQ, 01768 482346


Standing in the intimidating shadow of Helvellyn, Gillside Farm offers some of the best views across the Lakes – all from the comfort of your tent or caravan.

Local wildlife such as rabbits and sheep roam freely so don’t be too surprised to be roused from your slumbers by the early morning sound of a ewe snacking on grass outside your tent or ‘van.

The farmhouse is where you’ll be able to stock up on fresh milk and eggs or you can take a short walk down a track to a small hut that serves hearty English breakfasts. Chowing down on bacon and eggs with such picturesque views for company is the perfect start to your day.

Gillside Farm is low-key camping and caravanning at its finest.

Facilities – Minimal facilities, but there’s a farmhouse selling milk and eggs.

Open – Unknown, Give the site a call for opening times.

Cost – Pitches cost £1, plus adults £7.50, children £3.60 and vehicle £1 per night.

Park Cliffe

Birks Road, Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 3PG


Featuring 25 acres of picture postcard scenery, Park Cliffe has won numerous awards and nestles on the eastern shores of Windermere Lake.

A family owned site, the park is a tranquil and peaceful haven boasting fans such as TV botanist David Bellamy. He in fact presented Park Cliffe with the prestigious Golden Conservation Award for its continued environmental work.

The site offers a warm welcome to all kinds of camper – its modern facilities are enough to tempt even the most discerning of visitor.

For those looking towards different experiences then Park Cliffe offers the option of camping pods; quaint timber framed huts with a wraparound roof. If you fancy this then bring all your camping gear just not your tent.

Facilities – First rate facilities are available for campers including electrical hook ups and ample shower/toilet amenities.

Open – March – November

Cost – Low season – £26, high season – £31

Hawkshead Campsite

Hawkshead Hall Farm, Hawkshead, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0NN, 01539 436221


You’ll find the Hawkshead campsite extremely close to Windermere and Coniston, right in the heart of Beatrix Potter country – ideally placed for exploring the whole of the Lake District National Park.

With an unrivalled mix of historical and picturesque, Hawkshead is a scenic part of the Lakes that boasts a fabulous community spirit with fantastic pubs offering local ales and exquisite culinary delights.

The campsite boasts great washroom and toilet facilities with a separate utility room and a daily milk delivery!

Although there isn’t a kiddie’s play area on site, the village playground, football pitch and tennis court are a short stroll away.

Hawkshead is a working farm that allows dogs but insists they are tethered at all times to not spook livestock.

With plenty to see and do close by Hawkshead is great choice for those seeking the easily accessible.

Facilities – Great shower block with continuous hot water and plug sockets. Daily milk delivery. The farmhouse is available for mobile phone charging during the day.

Open – March – October

Cost – Tents, caravans and motor home pitch prices are £16.50 throughout low season and £17 during high. Electrical hook up pitches are £18 in low season and £20 in high season. Car £3, extra adult £2.50, child £1 and one person with small tent and no vehicle is £10.

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