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The campsites in the Lake District are among the most beautiful and varied anywhere in the British Isles. From caravan parks to boutique glamping spots, here are our favourite Lake District campsites.

Campers parked with flowers in foreground and mountains and sunset in background - Castlerigg Hall Campsite, Lake District
Photo: Castlerigg Hall Campsite

Whether you're wanting to try water sports on Lake Windermere, hike up Catbells or scramble up to peak of Helvellyn via Striding Edge, there's no shortage of things to do in the Lake District National Park

In high season however, finding accommodation in the Lake District can often be an issue—which is where these campsites come in. Camping in the Lake District is a great way to explore the National Park, offering maximum flexibility, at minimal cost. Of course, as it's part of England, you can't go wild camping. But the sheer number of caravan parks and campsites in the Lake District means there are still plenty of options to choose from.

Pack your camping gear and you can decide where to go, when, depending on the weather. Plus, your average camping park or caravan site won't get booked up nearly as quickly as hotels. From family friendly camping spots with space for massive, four-man tents, to climbers' favourites better-suited to small two-man models, here are the best campsites in the Lake District.

Photo: Gillsdale Campsite

Gillsdale Farm Campsite

Situated on a traditional Lake District farm that has been worked by the same family, the Lightfoots, for over 60 years, the Gillsdale campsite has a lovely relaxed and unpretentious vibe that's made it a one of the most popular campsites in the Lake District among climbers and hillwalkers. Its proximity to Helvellyn is another big plus.

Open from March to mid-November, the campsite has space for 60 pitches, as well as a couple of more luxurious glamping options, and a bunkhouse that's open year-round. There are toilets, hot showers and laundry facilities, but best of all, you can buy eggs and milk fresh from the farmhouse. They also operate a breakfast van selling baps and the like on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

For availability, bookings, and further information, check out the Gillsdale Farm website.

Photo: Waterside House Campsite

Waterside House Campsite

If proximity to the water is your priority, then this is one of the very best campsites in the Lake District—it backs right onto Ullswater, and boasts its own jetty. There are modern toilets and showers, a campsite shop, and free WiFi. The site also offers various watercraft for rental, including canoes, and rowing boats.

Ullswater is a great jumping off point for many of the Lake District's best walking routes, but it's also an easy lake to visit for those who are less active, or able, thanks to the famous Ullswater Steamers, which cruise up and down at a pace that hasn't changed much since they were first launched in 1855.

Check out the Waterside House website for availability, bookings, and further information. 

great-langdale-campsite-tents-and-pods - National Trust, Great Langdale Campsite, Lake District
Photo: National Trust

Great Langdale Campsite, Langdale

Lake District campsites don't come much better than this. Surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Great Langdale valley, this offers access to many of the best walks in the Lake District and a whole host of other attractions.

Owned and operated by the National Trust, it's well organised, with 175 pitches for tents, motorhomes and caravans, plus a selection of camping pods if glamping is more your thing. There's a recently refurbed toilet and shower block, electric hook ups for campers, a camp shop and even a laundry. BBQs and dogs are allowed.

Visit the National Trust Great Langdale website for bookings and more info.

Camper van parked up with lake and mountains in background - Castlerigg Hall Caravan Site, Lake District
Photo: Castlerigg Hall

Castlerigg Hall Caravan Park, Derwentwater

Located on a flat field overlooking Derwentwater, the Castlerigg Hall Caravan Park boasts one of the best views of any Lake district camping site. There are a range of options, from pitches with electrical hook ups for touring caravans and campers, to full-serviced static caravans, to glamping pods and, of course, an area reserved for tent camping.

The tented site is reserved for families and couples only, so there's no danger of sharing the quiet site with a stag or hen do. And the location is brilliant—quite apart from the incredible views, it's a great jumping off point for many classic Lake District walks, including the climb up Haystacks

Check out the Castlerigg Hall website for this year's season opening dates, details and bookings.

    Campers parked up with mountains in background - Keswick Camping & Caravanning Club Site, Lake District
    Photo: The Camping and Caravanning Club

    Keswick Camping & Caravanning Club Site, Derwentwater

    This is of the UK Camping and Caravanning Club's most popular campsites, right on the shores of Derwentwater. There are a whole range of different pitch types, including hardstanding pitches, grass pitches with electric hook ups, and simple pitches for tents, or you can book a night in one of their camping pods if you prefer.

    Facilities wise, there's everything you'd expect from a caravanning club site, including washing facilities, hot showers, a shop, and a kids play area. If you're looking for a central point from which to explore the Lake District National Park, this is a great option.

    Check out the camping and caravanning club site for more details

    View from campsite over green pastures with blue sky and trees in background - Syke Farm Campsite, Lake District
    Photo: Syke Farm Campsite

    Syke Farm Campsite, Buttermere

    Although it has space for as many as 50 tents, Syke Farm campsite, which also has yurts and a shepherd's hut, has the feel of a boutique glamping operation. Located in the village of Buttermere, close to Cockermouth, Keswick and Borrowdale, it's a great jumping off point for exploring the Lake District National Park.

    There's great walking to be found in the surrounding area, including Lake District classics like the climb up Haystacks. The quiet site has toilets and hot showers, and campers can use the car park for free. It's also dog friendly.

    You can book your pitch and find out more at the Syke Farm website.

    Coniston Hall Campsite, Coniston

    Located on the shores of the eponymous lake, the once grand Coniston Hall is now primarily used by the local sailing club, but its grounds are home to one of the loveliest campsites in the Lake District.

    There are no marked pitches here, so it's only really suitable for motorhomes and tent camping, but with a shower and toilet block, that also includes coin operated washing machines and tumble-dryers, this isn't a wild camping spot by any means either.

    If you're a water sports enthusiast, the proximity Coniston Water, one of the most famous lakes in the Lake District, is obviously a huge plus. Coniston is perfect for a boat trip and you can pretty much launch your canoe, kayak or SUPs right next to your tent.

    Find out more on the Coniston Hall Campsite website.

    Purple flowers growing on bank with mountains in background - Seatoller Farm, Lake District
    Photo: Seatoller Farm

    Seatoller Campsite, Borrowdale

    If you're looking for quiet Lake District campsites where you can truly kick back and relax, then look no further. The Seatoller campsite is located on a farm at the head of the Borrowdale valley, offering incredible 360-degree views of the surrounding fells. It's pretty much slap bang in the middle of the Lake District National Park, making it a great place to base yourself if you're looking to tackle many of the classic Lake District walking routes, including the climb up Scafell Pike.

    There are toilets and washing up facilities on the site itself, and hot showers in one of the farm buildings, just 200m away. The vibe is relaxed and rural. On Fridays, they have pizza night up at the farm, with wood-fired pizzas sold to campers and locals alike, and the owners will be happy to point you in the direction of the excellent pubs that are within easy walking distance.

    The site is too small for campervans, and the owners don't take bookings from stag or hen do parties, so the site is pretty much guaranteed to be chilled. There's also no mobile phone reception, making it one of the best campsites in the Lake District to head for if you want a full digital detox.

    Visit the Seatoller Farm website for more info on this most chilled-out of Lake District campsites.


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