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The Top 5 Ullswater Campsites

The Top 5 Ullswater Campsites

The Lake District is recognised as one of the UK’s most exquisite natural beauty spots; home to England's highest mountain, Scafell Pike, and deepest lake, Wastwater. The Lake District has so many breathtaking spots to explore.

Often named one of the most beautiful lakes in the country, Ullswater is the next location you should be adding to your travel list. Situated in the northern area of the National Park, Ullswater offers a place to unwind, wander or backpack, depending on your preference.

Planning your next camping adventure? Get the Camping Essentials Checklist ready as we’ve handpicked five of the best places to camp in Ullswater.

Waterside House Campsite

Howtown, Penrith CA10 2NA

Ideal for: Adventurists

This family-run estate is ideal for adventurers looking for a taste of the wild. Waterside House is situated on the northern shores of Ullswater, by Barton Fell, a common spot for hiking, mountain biking, sailing, angling or kayaking.

Whatever your accommodation preference, this campsite has it all - hire a TiPi or wooden pod, pitch a tent or bring along your campervan or caravan.

Nearby attractions

Leave your car at home, as this campsite is within a one-mile walking distance of the nearby picturesque village of Pooley Bridge. The village has an array of amenities for you to stock up on camping supplies at local shops or have a bit to eat at the local cafes and inns.

You don’t need to travel far to feel exhilarated, as Waterside House campsite has on-site rowing boats, Canadian canoes and kayaks for hire. Adventurists can also try out paddle boarding and wake surfing on-site, or hire a mountain bike at the camp and explore Barton Fell.

Facilities and amenities

Onsite shop
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Glamping
power icon
Power hookup
caravan icon
Caravans allowed
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Disabled access
laundry icon
Laundry facilities

Hillcroft Campsite

Roe Head Lane, Pooley Bridge, Ullswater, Cumbria CA10 2LT

Ideal for: Families

Situated at the upper end of Ullswater Valley, Hillcroft Park provides waterside views of Ullswater lake and is available to reside at all year-round. Like Waterside House Campsite, this family-friendly campsite sits near the charming village of Pooley Bridge.

The tranquil setting is ideal for those who want to get back to nature and camp or those who prefer a more luxurious affair. The campsite offers traditional camping, pods, glamping pods, luxury lodges and holiday homes, self-catering cottages and a house.

Nearby attractions

Ullswater Valley is a walker’s paradise, if you’re looking to explore the sights of the lake, then a wander around Ullswater Way should fulfill your adventuring needs. This 20-mile walking route is easily accessible from the site too.

Alternatively, you can observe the magnificent lake via the award-winning Ullswater ‘steamer’ boat. You can also check out our blog for more information on the best walks in the Lake District.

Facilities and amenities

Disabled access
All year round
laundry icon
Laundry facilities
Showers
Onsite shop
WiFi access

Side Farm Campsite

Side Farm Patterdale, Ullswater, Penrith CA11 0NL

Ideal for: Quiet & relaxing stay

Nestled near the quaint village of Patterdale, Side Farm Campsite offers visitors a quiet and relaxing stay. Hikers also benefit from an ideal base for exploring as the site is located an hour’s walk away from a moor-covered hill and landscape feature, Place Fell.

Bikers, anglers and walkers will also feel at home at this site as there are plenty of areas to explore, along the scenic Ullswater waterside campsite. It’s worth noting that ​​the campsite takes no advance bookings, so during high season, it’s key that you arrive early to claim a pitch.

Nearby attractions

This hidden gem is sandwiched between two breathtaking landmarks: Ullswater lake and Place Fell, meaning there is so much of the area to scope.

Widely honoured as one of the finest walks in the Lake District, the Helvellyn via Striding Edge hiking trail is just over a mile’s walk away. Less strenuous nearby walks include one into the quaint valley of Martindale, by the Ullswater lake to Howtown or towards the Brothers Water northwards to Patterdale valley. You can also visit the neighbouring valleys containing Thirlmere and Windermere.

Facilities and amenities

Pets allowed
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On-site parking
Campervan friendly
Showers
Shop within 1 mile
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Laundry facilities

Gillside Camping and Caravan Park

Gillside Farm, Glenridding, Penrith CA11 0QQ

Ideal for: Hikers

Open during the extended peak seasons of March to mid-November, Gillside Farm Camping and Caravan Park sits in an idyllic position at the foot of the Helvellyn mountain and the fringe of the striking Glenridding village.

With 60 pitches, luxury holiday homes and practical bunkhouses, this campsite has accommodation for every kind of settler. The dog-friendly camp also benefits from a stream of hot and cold running water and the on-site farmhouse provides fresh milk and eggs.

Nearby attractions

With Helvellyn and a range of other fells on its doorstep, this campsite is the most ideal for hikers looking to explore the craggy mountain face. Stay entertained with the array of activities the nearby Ullswater lake has to offer including sailing, kayaking and watersports.

Facilities and amenities

glamping icon
Glamping
Power hookup
Pets allowed
Showers
Caravans allowed
laundry icon
Laundry facilities

The Quiet Site

Ideal for: An eco-friendly stay

Voted Cumbrian Campsite of the Year 2022, The Quiet Site is ideally situated just a 10-minute drive from the M6 and right on the Ullswater Way.

Eco-conscious visitors will feel at home at this carbon-neutral holiday park and campsite that is nestled amongst the majestic fells overlooking Ullswater lake.

Pitch up your tent, motorhome, campervan or caravan or find comfort at the park’s range of accommodation, including gingerbread houses, glamping burrows, luxury cottages, glamping cabins and camping pods.

Nearby attractions

The Quiet Site benefits from some of the Lakes’ finest attractions close by to its park, many just minutes away. Explorers can sightsee the magnificent Aira Force waterfalls, Ullswater lake, Helvellyn mountain and the historical Lowther Castle.

Facilities and amenities

Onsite shop
Pets allowed
glamping icon
Glamping
Showers
laundry icon
Laundry facilities
disabled icon
Disabled access

Wild Camping in Ullswater

If you prefer to be at one with nature, wild camping in Ullswater is an option, as it is allowed in the Lake District - provided that it is done responsibly.

Traditionally, wild camping in Ullswater and the Lake District has been a common practice for years. However, in more recent years, due to a surge in people wild camping here and the ecological issues that have risen, some directions have been proposed. This includes ensuring your camp is above the highest wall boundary on the mountain (usually about 400 metres), having no more than two tents in one spot and not lighting any fires or barbecues.

Everything you bring with you should also be taken with you so you leave no trace behind. For further information about wild camping in the Lake District, you can read our Wild Camping in the UK guide.

The ultimate camping experience in Ullswater...

Ullswater in the Lake District offers some of the most magnificent landscapes nature has to offer, as well as camping experiences for outdoor adventurers. Hopefully, this guide has inspired you and helped you decide where to pitch up or sleep in style. For more Lake District recommendations, check out our top five Lake District campsites.

Be prepared for your camping trips any time of the year with the right equipment. At Sea to Summit, we specialise in lightweight tents, sleeping bags and a wide range of camp kitchen essentials designed to make your trip as enjoyable as possible. Browse the entire collection and update your camping kit ahead of your next adventure.

Don’t forget to tag #seatosummituk in your social media posts when you’re exploring Ullswater so we can share your experience and see how your camping trip went.

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