Destination Downtime teamed up with Lake District local Emily, from Emily Lives Lakes, to find out about the best campsites in the Lake District and to provide an insiders’ guide of one of Britains favourite staycation destinations, beautiful Cumbria. There is nothing more valuable than local knowledge when you are planning to visit somewhere new. Build your trip around local knowledge and recommendations and you can’t go far wrong.
BEST CAMPSITES IN THE LAKE DISTRICT
Can you recommend any great campsites and cabins in the Lake District?
I’m a huge fan of camping and alternative accommodation to hotels. There are so many options for camping up in the Lakes. Here’s a few to consider!
Kicking off the best campsites in the Lake District this is a great one if you want a lakeside spot. The campsite has glamping pods and Tipis as well as lots of tent pitches right on the North side water’s edge. As well as having everything you would need on site, it is a slightly quieter part of the lakes and so peaceful. The little village of Pooley Bridge is a mile away and has pubs and cafes. You really feel like you have a little bit of the lakes to yourself when camping here! It’s also the perfect spot to launch kayaks and SUP’s! Raised and carefully supervised firepits are also allowed at this campsite, and there’s really nothing better than a getting a fire going at the water’s edge.
Another lakeside campsite here (just because I love them). This is a large field on the water, and it does what it says on the tin. The big perk with this one is its proximity to the busy village of Coniston. A tourist hotspot with plenty going on. The main waterside in the village is home to a popular boating centre where you can hire kayaks, SUPs, canoes, and rowing boats. It’s the perfect spot if you’re a beginner wanting to try something new!
For some different views, the West coast is always great! I’ve only just returned from my stay at this campsite and it was lovely! The glamping pods here are nestled in a gorgeous West Cumbrian farm overlooking the dramatic West coast with the backdrop of the fells behind you! Our pod overlooked the horses field that always came over for a stroke! It’s a much quieter spot then the busy lakes but has some great local spots to visit. Walks along the coast are always blustery and if you want a good day out, Muncaster Castle isn’t far at all. The ancient (and supposedly haunted) castle sits in beautiful grounds with amazing views. It is also home to a Hawk and Owl centre that flies the birds daily for visitors. Autumn is my favourite time to visit if you wrap up warm, the colours as you look across the land from the castle really are amazing!
What advice would you give people booking a staycation in the Lake District?
It’s easy to know great spots in the Lakes when you’re a local, so for people coming to visit I’d say DO YOUR RESEARCH! Here’s my tips on where to start:
When you’re looking for beautiful views or amazing food, Instagram is a great place to start. Scroll through National Parks pages and Lake District hashtags and find places that you think look great! From there, locate where these places are, and narrow down the area/areas you would like to stay to get to them. I’m old fashioned, but I’d say look on a map! It’s fool proof and prevents Satnavs sending you up a farm track!
Sort out your accommodation! Campsites and hotels alike get booked up quick! Book well in advance. Always be aware of the seasons when booking too. There are things to do all year round in the Lakes but bear in mind that attractions are sometimes seasonal and often dependant on the weather. I recommend booking meals and attractions in advance anyway to avoid disappointment.
Pack for comfort. Chances are you will be outside a lot. Our weather is so changeable and can go from glorious sunshine to windy downpours in minutes. Don’t let this put you off at all, just always make sure you have a range of clothing you can layer for all weathers. And be comfy; high fashion in the lakes is walking boots and fleeces!
Be adventurous! As a tourist hotspot, we inevitably get a lot of people coming to relax in our beautiful hotels, bars and restaurants, which is great! However, I do think it’s a huge shame to miss out on all the excitement that the Lakes has to offer. I think to really make the most of your visit, come with an open mind and a sense of adventure. You might not be up for a long hike, consider a shorter walk with stunning views instead! Try something new, and maybe a little bit out of your comfort zone for a staycation to remember!
What essentials do you need to pack for your staycation in the Lake District?
Walking Boots – They’re a must for comfort, support, dryness and let’s be real style! (I’d take a pair of walking boots over Louboutin’s any day!!). I’m a massive Cumbrian cliché and do wear mine everywhere, once you start wearing them, you refuse to wear anything less comfy!
OS Maps – they are genuinely really important. They are the most comprehensive walking maps, a really easy way to plan a route and they’re lightweight and waterproof!
A good raincoat! It is the Lake District after all! We do get good days I promise, but it’s always a good idea to carry a lightweight coat that you can layer a good fleece underneath in the cold, and pack away when the sun comes out!
A firepit! (when permitted) Please be safe and respectful of the local area and communities by only using raised firepits in campsites that allow them and supervise them at all times! They are a much safer option to campfires, and nothing can beat sitting around a fire pit after a good day out with good company, watching the sun go down behind the mountains.
Best campsites in the Lake District – Have your say in the comments below and recommend your favourite campsites in Cumbria.