Lake District: Caravan & Motorhome Touring Guide
The Lake District is the perfect UK holiday destination, with breathtaking views and pretty villages to discover. It’s home to some of the tallest peaks and largest lakes in the country so it's no surprise that many artists, poets and writers have found inspiration in the spectacular scenery.
While it’s a popular destination for walkers, there are plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained for weeks on end. From climbing some of the highest peaks in the country to relaxing boat trips. It makes for a great caravan or motorhome holiday, the freedom that comes with touring fits the huge expanse that the Lake District covers.
In this guide we’ll be covering some of the best caravan and motorhome friendly touring campsites. We also run down our favourite things to do in the Lake District when you’re on a caravan or motorhome holiday, and, most importantly, some unmissable places to eat in the area. By the end of this guide you’ll be ready to make the most of your Lake District holiday.
Motorhome, Campervan & Caravan Campsites in the Lake District
The Lake District is perfectly primed for caravan and motorhome holidays, with lots of campsites across the region. We've picked a list of the top campsites in the Lake District with facilities for motorhomes, caravans and campervans.
Keswick Motorhome & Caravan Campsites
Burns Farm: This quiet campsite in Keswick is situated on a working farm, it is actually the oldest working farm campsites in the Lake District. It features 30 fully serviced pitches, located on their Lowrigg and Highrigg Fields, which are perfect for caravans, motorhomes and campervans.
Castlerigg Hall Caravan and Camping Park: Again, this campsite is located close to Keswick and a great choice for those looking for a base for walking and hiking in the north of the National Park.
Gill Head Farm: Close to Penrith, this campsite is located on a working farm and enjoys beautiful views of the Northern fells. The location means that there’s easy access to both the high and low fells, making a great base for a walking trip.
Ambleside Motorhome & Caravan Campsites
Skelwith Fold Campsite: The beautiful Skelwith Fold campsite is located just outside of Ambleside and offers much more than just to park your caravan or motorhome for a few nights. Within their 130 acres you’ll find plenty of walking paths where you can find mystical tarns and incredible views across the Langdale Pikes.
Low Wray Campsite: Great for those looking to be close to the action near Windermere and Ambleside. You can also hire canoes, kayaks and paddleboards if you fancy a splash about on the lake. There are pitches for tents and motorhomes but the site is not suitable for caravans.
Ullswater Motorhome & Caravan Campsites
The Quiet Site: If you’re planning most of your activities in the Ullswater area, The Quiet Site is a 5 star campsite with a wide range of facilities, including a pub. There are wonderful views, yet the site is only fifteen minutes from the M6, making it easily accessible for those who aren’t confident navigating the narrower country lanes in the Lake District.
Cove Park: Cove Park is located in the hills above Ullswater, giving guests unbeatable views across the lake. You’ll find the motorhome and caravan pitches at this quiet campsite located at the top of the park, where you get the best views.
Park Foot: Another Ullswater campsite is the family friendly Park Foot. Made up of three fields, each with their own toilet and shower blocks. Motorhomes, caravans and campervans are welcome here alongside campers. Those travelling with little ones will be thrilled to see the play areas (and the bar)
Wasdale/Scafell Pike Motorhome & Caravan Campsites
Wasdale Campsite: This is perfect for the more adventurous camperss, and a great base for exploring Scafell Pike. Set in a remote valley near Wastwater and surrounded by mountains, the scenery is truly spectacular and much quieter than the area around Windermere. There are facilities for tents, campers and motorhomes but not caravans.
Church Stile Farm: Located at the opposite end of Wast Water Lake is Church Stile Farm campsite. There’s plenty of hard standing pitches for motorhomes and campervans (unfortunately no caravans), breathtaking views of the Screes mountain range, play areas for children and two country pubs within a two minute walk from the site.
Things To Do In The Lake District
Explore Windermere and Ambleside
The largest lake in the National Park, Windermere tends to be quite busy with visitors and it’s easy to see why. The lake is 10 miles long, stretching from Ambleside to Newby Bridge and there are boat trips that allow you to enjoy the beautiful scenery from the water. If you want to escape the crowds, try one of the trails on the quieter western shoreline around the lake.
Hit the water at Coniston
If you’re keen to get out on the water and try your hand at some watersports, head to Coniston where you’ll find more boat tours on offer and the opportunity to hire a motor boat as well as kayaks, rowing boats and paddleboards. There are also some lovely walks in the area.
Enjoy the scenery at Ullswater
Ullswater is a particularly beautiful lake surrounded by mountains to the south and rolling hills to the north. It’s the second largest lake in the country and there’s a 20 mile ‘Ullswater Way’ which takes you around the whole thing. There are stopping points for boats and buses along the way so you can walk as much or as little of it as you like. However you tackle it, you’ll be rewarded with some truly spectacular views.
Relax as you explore the lake on the Ullswater Steamers or, if you’re feeling adventurous, book yourself on a kayak tour from Glenridding village. Make sure you stop off to see the spectacular Aira Falls while you’re there. A 21m waterfall with several bridges which give you excellent views of the cascading water.
Explore Keswick and Derwentwater
The bustling market town of Keswick is located at the north end of Derwentwater and is a great place to spend an afternoon shopping and enjoying a coffee in one of the cafes. There are plenty of outdoor equipment shops here, so if you are missing a piece of kit or you want to have a go at a new activity, this is the place to go.
Explore the fells around Grasmere and Rydal
While Grasmere and Rydal are two of the smaller lakes, they are also some of the most beautiful. They are located just north of Ambleside and are surrounded by spectacular fells. They also have the advantage of being quieter than the Windermere area and Grasmere village is well worth a visit. Make sure you visit the famous gingerbread shop and you can also see Wordsworth’s grave in the churchyard. Grasmere Water and Rydal Water are good places to do a bit of open water swimming or do some kayaking or paddleboarding as there are no motorboats on these lakes.
Visit the Beatrix Potter Gallery
The Lake District was loved by Beatrix Potter and the landscapes will be familiar to those who read her stories when they were children. The Beatrix Potter Gallery, located in Hawkshead, has some of her original artwork on display. The Gallery is located in a 17th-century house which was used as an office by her husband and there’s a walk to Hill Top and Near Sawrey where she lived.
Where to eat on a caravan or motorhome trip to the Lake District
There are some fantastic restaurants, cafes and pubs in the Lake District so you’ll find yourself completely spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a bite to eat. From friendly cafes tucked away in the rambling streets of pretty villages to Michelin-starred restaurants. We've rounded up our top recommendations below.
L’Enclume: No list of best places to eat in the Lake District would be complete without this restaurant which holds two Michelin stars. Located in Cartmel, head chef Simon Rogan takes inspiration from the surrounding Cumbrian countryside and the restaurant produces many of its ingredients on its own farm.
Punch Bowl Inn: For some top-notch pub food, head to the Punch Bowl Inn which is a renowned gastropub in Crosthwaite.
Mason’s Arms and Wheatsheaf Inn: These sister pubs are known for their hearty pub food and welcoming atmosphere. For a comforting meal after a long day on the fells, head to either of these.
Fellini’s Ambleside: Vegetarians are well catered for in Ambleside with Fellini’s serving up delicious and creative dishes.
Drunken Duck: Located at the top of Hawkshead Hill, the Drunken Duck is a delightful mix of fine-dining restaurant and historic pub. Think home-brewed ale and luxurious food. Understandably, it’s very popular, so make sure to book in advance.
Grasmere Gingerbread Shop: Finally, if you find yourself in Grasmere, make sure to stop off to buy some Grasmere Gingerbread. This unique gingerbread was invented by Victorian cook Sarah Nelson in 1854 and is delicious, sweet and spicy.
The Lake District holds a special place for many people, there is so much to see and do here that we really have only scratched the surface with this list. Let us know in the form below anywhere you think we’ve missed off that we should add.
If you want to own your own caravan or motorhome to explore places like the Lake District and beyond check out our range of new and used caravans, or get in touch with us to find out more.