Written on 03/05/21 by Paul Oldham

Camping in the Lake District

This was a real problem in the Lake District last summer as everyone wanted to come here and camp. So camp sites got full. In addition people were irresponsibly wild camping and leaving a mess behind including whole tents, bags, rubbish and ... sadly ... poo.

We don't see this season being any different so if you're planning to come here to camp then here's the deal.

Wild Camping

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 with Jake below Long Top
Wild camping with Jake below Long Top on Crinkle Crags

Wild camping anywhere else caused real problems last summer because people were being very irresponsible and leaving a great deal of mess so we had Cumbria police along with Lake District National Park Authority, United Utilities, and National Trust rangers all working together to clampdown on anti-social wild camping. So don't wild camp below the intake wall.

Camp Sites

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 when camping is allowed 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 post.

The Scotland Effect

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.

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WalkLakes recognises that hill walking, or walking in the mountains, is an activity with a danger of personal injury or death.
Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions.