Located at the north west region of England, it’s hard to imagine a better place for the perfect road trip holiday. With its glorious scenery of stunning mountains, abundant wildlife, ancient woodlands and shimmering lakes, the National Park attracts over 12 million tourists every year. That’s not surprising as The Lakes offers a range of attractions from fell walking, climbing and sailing to mountain festivals and theatre by the lake. Not to forget the famous paddle steamers which prove so popular with tourists from afar.
Towards the northern end of the park the scenery is at its most rugged with the town of Keswick being surrounded by the numerous fells of the Skiddaw mountain rage. It’s a great place for the more adventurous of you to set up camp. Perfect for fell walkers and hikers!
Keswick is at the tip of Derwentwater and taking the A66 north leads you to Bassenthwaite Lake, renound for its wildlife, particularly the ospreys which can regularly be seen swooping the lake in search of their next tasty meal.
Back down to Keswick and joining the A591 south past the forest lined Thirlmere Lake towards Grassmere. This pretty little village in the centre of the park is as quintessentially English as it’s possible to get. It sits in a valley with Dunmail Raise on the one side and Helm Crag on the other and is surrounded by some of the most stunning scenery anywhere to be found in the UK.
Continuing down the A591 leads you to Lake Windermere, and at 17km, the longest and largest of the lakes in Lakeland. At the top of Windermere is Ambleside, once and important commercial and farming centre but today one of the main tourist attractions of the area. Its central location and undoubted charm make it an ideal base from where to park your campervan and explore the magic of the Lake District. It’s around here you’ll find Hill House cottage where Beatrix Potter spent much of her early writing career. It’s possible to tour the cottage or take one of the many local tours that celebrate her life and influence on the region.
A little further down the road, your arrive at Windermere. If “mucking about on the water” is your thing, you’ve just arrived at the right place. There’s plenty of water sport activities to be found and the world famous Windermere steamers for your lake cruise. The towns of Windermere and Bowness give direct access to the water and provide some magnificent panoramic views across the lake and towards the mountains beyond.
From Windermere, point your van in the direction of Ullswater and join the Kirkstone Pass. This is one of the highest mountain passes in the park and apart from the views, there’s the Kirkstone Pass Inn where it’s definitely worth parking up for a pint in England’s 3rd highest pub. Just make sure you don’t get snowed in!
Back in the van and onwards towards Patterdale. When arriving at Ullswater, the view is truly magnificent. This has to be one of the most inspiring places in the whole of the UK. If you do nothing else, check out the footpath from Glencoyne Bay to Aira Force Waterfall.
We’ve just touched on a few of the special places the Lake District has to offer. There are many more, far too many to mention here. You’ll just have to jump in that van and find out for yourselves. Happy campervanning.
Where to Park Up:
Low Greenside Farm – Howgill Fells – Upper Eden Valley
Camping as it used to be. Small, friendly campsite with spectacular views of surrounding countryside. This working sheep farm provides a few campervan pitches, with the emphasis being on back to basics camping with the offer of campfire hearths and seasoned logs for that authentic outdoor experience.