Firstly this is becoming a real problem in the Lake District as everyone still wants to come here. So camp sites are getting full. In addition people are irresponsibly wild camping and leaving a mess behind including whole tents, bags, rubbish and ... sadly ... poo.
So if you're determined to come here to camp then here's the deal.
Generally speaking wild camping is for the experienced because the only place it's tolerated in the Lakes is above the "intake wall" on the high fells ... so long as you are responsible. The National Trust have a web page about wild camping which is well worth a read. Note in particular what it says about fires and, in particular, litter which as they say:
includes all human waste. If you need a bin or a toilet, this kind of camping isn't for you.
It's also worth pointing out that this means that you are going to have to hike, with all your kit, including everything you need, some distance from the nearest road as the intake wall is the start of the high fells. You also need to be prepared for activity like doing number 2s responsibly (which means taking a spade for the solids and also burning or bringing back with you the used loo paper, none of which is much fun).
Wild camping anywhere else is causing real problems because people are being arseholes so we're now in the situation with Cumbria police along with Lake District National Park Authority, United Utilities, and National Trust rangers are all working together to clampdown on anti-social wild camping. So don't wild camp below the intake wall.
There are lots of camp sites around the Lakes ranging from very basic (farmer's field with a toilet block in a corner) to very fancy. They're all busy but ring around and you should find somewhere. Here's the ones we're aware of. Contact us if you know of any others and we'll add them to this page.
The National Trust also has four camp sites scattered around the Lake District at:
In closing it's worth noting that a lot of people from the Scottish central belt, especially Glasgow, come south to the Lakes to holiday. Scottish schools holidays are at different times to England and Wales and you may find there's slightly less pressure on camp sites if you go when they're at school and vice versa.