Having inspired painters, poets, and explorers for millennia, it has always been a very popular camping spot, and we have a range of campsites that you can find here to make the most of it. Before you decide where to stay, however, it’s good to have an idea of what you want to do there, too. For that reason, here are nine of the best things to do when camping in the Lake District.
Sit beneath the sky at Low Gillerthwaite
If you want to see one of the best views of the stars you will have in your lifetime, then making the trip to the Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre, situated in Ennerdale Valley, is a must. This location is a Dark Sky Discovery Site, meaning that there are few clearer skies in all of England from which to see the stars. You might even be lucky enough to catch the Aurora Borealis in the right season.
If you’re camping near Hill Top, then it’s a must that you take a visit to the lush and lovely home of Beatrix Potter, one of the nation’s most beloved children’s authors. Here home has since been made a property of the National Trust and serves a museum and memorial to the writer. The home itself has thousands of her personal effects and objects, casting a new light on her life, while the garden has become famous in itself. You can even follow the Beatrix Potter trail for one of the best guided walks the District has to offer.
When it comes to the lakes of England, there are very few indeed that can even hope to hold a candle to Windermere. You don’t have to settle for admiring it from afar, either. There are plenty of tours you can find that takes you over the waters, offering you the best vantage point to admire the phenomenal mountain scenery surrounding you in every direction. You might even be able to make a stop or two at one of the little secluded islands or hidden bays.
If you’ve brought the bicycles, then get them ready. If not, a walk can work just as well if you want to burn some calories. The Langdale Valley is a famous spot for some of the best vantage points over scenes such as the Crinkle Crags and Bowfell. The iconic Blea Tarn awaits those who make it to the other side of the valley as well. If you’re making the trip, be sure to bring a camera, as breathtaking vistas await at practically every turn you take.
Enjoy the view from Scafell Pike
If you’re looking for something a little more challenging than a fell, then Scafell Pike, the 978m peak, is certainly going to offer just that. This is the highest point in all of England, and it is certainly not for those who aren’t equipped or prepared for a highly demanding climb. If you can stick the blisters and the weather that gets rougher the higher that you get, however, then you’re going to enjoy one of the best views in all the country, without a doubt. Plus, you get to brag about it when you come home.
Stop in at Blackwell House
After enjoying the glorious natural beauty offered by the Lake District, a Victorian-era holiday home can feel like quite the departure, but this Arts and Craft home over Windermere is far from unwelcome. Designed by 19th-century world-famous architect, M H Bailey Scot, this stately home served as the holiday spot for a brewer from Manchester before it was opened up to the public. It’s said that the Whtie Drawing Room at the top of the house offers one of the best sunset views over Windermere, as well, so consider making your visit later in the day if you can.
Spend a night in the UK’s most haunted castle
With over 70 acres of gorgeous woodland gardens and a view over the isolated village of Ravenglass, the imposing Muncaster Castle has a sombre history, leading to it being known as the most haunted castle in the country. For that reason, it’s no surprise that it has also become one of the most popular historic spots in all of the Lake District. Spend a night here if you feel inclined to enjoy some spookiness amongst its halls, first built in the 18th century, and then enjoy getting back to the comfort of your tent.
If the Lake District is famous for one thing (outside of lakes, of course) it has to be the fells. These hills overlook the vast majority of the region, and the most popular of all of them has to be Orrest Head, which is just overlooking Windermere and close to its relatively small but highly popular lakeside town. It won’t take more than an hour to make the trip to the top of the Fell, but there are ones that are smaller and bigger, so you can find precisely the level of challenge that you want.
The Castlerigg Stone Circle might not be as mightly as Muncaster Castle nor as lovely as Beatrix Potter’s home, but it is one of the oldest sites of civilization found in the whole of the UK. This Neolithic period construction is thought to have been erected around the time of Stonehenge, though it’s significantly lesser-known. However, it does become the sight of a lively midsummer celebration at the summer solstice. There are few better places to feel connected to the ancient history of the island.
Ben deals with all things design, working on the visual design of our annual guides, Destinations magazine, information leaflets, social media and email campaigns, and much more across the Alan Rogers, Rallies and Worldwide brands. He also produces written content for our blogs alongside our other contributors.