6 Must-Experience Road Trips Around Lake District in a Campervan
6 Must-Experience Road Trips Around Lake District in a Campervan

6 Must-Experience Road Trips Around Lake District in a Campervan

Escape to the Natural Beauty of Lake District with These Scenic Campervan Routes

If you’re a nature enthusiast and an adventure seeker, then embarking on a road trip around Lake District in a campervan is the ultimate getaway you’ve been longing for. The Lake District, located in the northwest corner of England, is renowned for its stunning landscapes, serene lakes, and picturesque villages. What better way to explore this natural wonderland than in a campervan, where you have the freedom to roam and experience the beauty of the Lake District at your own pace?

The Lake District, also known as The Lakes or Lakeland, is a stunningly picturesque region located in the northwest of England. It is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, which includes a combination of serene lakes, majestic mountains, rolling hills, lush forests, and charming villages. Here are some key details and interesting facts about the Lake District:

  1. Geography and Location: The Lake District National Park covers an area of approximately 2,362 square kilometers (912 square miles) in the county of Cumbria. It is situated in the region known as North West England and is bordered by Scotland to the north and the Irish Sea to the west.
  2. Lakes and Waters: The Lake District is home to 16 major lakes and numerous smaller tarns and waters. Some of the most famous lakes in the region include Windermere, Ullswater, Derwentwater, Coniston Water, and Buttermere. These lakes are surrounded by stunning landscapes and are perfect for boating, kayaking, and simply enjoying the scenic beauty.
  3. Mountains and Fells: The Lake District boasts a collection of impressive peaks and hills, known locally as “fells.” The highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike, is located here, standing at 978 meters (3,209 feet) above sea level. Other notable peaks include Helvellyn, Skiddaw, and Great Gable, all of which offer fantastic hiking and climbing opportunities.
  4. Outdoor Activities: The Lake District is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities, including hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, water sports, fishing, and birdwatching. There are numerous well-maintained trails and paths catering to all levels of experience.
  5. Literary Connections: The Lake District has inspired many famous poets and writers, including William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Beatrix Potter. William Wordsworth, in particular, is closely associated with the region and is known for his poems celebrating the area’s natural beauty.
  6. Charming Villages and Towns: The Lake District is dotted with picturesque villages and small towns, each with its own unique character. Some popular places to visit include Ambleside, Keswick, Grasmere, Hawkshead, and Windermere. These villages offer quaint architecture, local shops, and cozy pubs.
  7. Lake District National Park: The Lake District was designated as a National Park in 1951, making it the largest National Park in England. Its protected status ensures the preservation of its natural beauty and biodiversity.
  8. Wildlife: The region is home to a variety of wildlife, including red squirrels, ospreys, buzzards, otters, and red deer. Birdwatchers will find the Lake District an excellent place for spotting various species of birds.
  9. Tourism: Tourism plays a significant role in the Lake District’s economy. Visitors from all over the world come to experience its beauty, engage in outdoor activities, and explore its cultural and historical attractions.
  10. Conservation and Sustainability: Efforts are continually made to protect the delicate ecosystem of the Lake District. Sustainable tourism and conservation initiatives are in place to preserve the natural environment for future generations.

The Lake District’s unique combination of natural beauty, outdoor adventure, cultural heritage, and literary significance makes it a must-visit destination for nature lovers, hikers, history buffs, and anyone looking to escape into a world of stunning landscapes and tranquil lakeshores. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll along the lakes or an adrenaline-pumping mountain hike, the Lake District has something to offer every type of traveler.

In this article, we’ll take you on a virtual journey through six must-experience road trips around the Lake District in a campervan. We’ll provide you with route details, key stops, and suggestions for places to stay with your campervan, ensuring you make the most of your adventure. So, pack your bags, fuel up your campervan, and get ready for an unforgettable road trip!

1. The Lakes and Fells Expedition

Route Overview:

  • Starting Point: Windermere
  • Total Distance: Approximately 80 miles
  • Duration: 3-4 days

Key Stops:

  1. Windermere: Kickstart your journey in the bustling town of Windermere, known for its stunning lake of the same name. Explore Bowness-on-Windermere and enjoy a cruise on the lake.
  2. Ambleside: Drive up to Ambleside, a charming village nestled in the heart of the Lake District. Visit the Bridge House and enjoy a hike to Stock Ghyll Force.
  3. Grasmere: Head to the tranquil village of Grasmere, famous for its connections to poet William Wordsworth. Don’t forget to try the delicious Grasmere gingerbread.
  4. Keswick: Continue your journey to Keswick, where you can explore the vibrant market town and visit the Keswick Pencil Museum.
  5. Honister Pass: Take a detour through the Honister Pass, a breathtaking mountain pass with stunning views and opportunities for adventure activities like Via Ferrata.

Places to Stay:

  • Park your campervan at the Low Wray Campsite, offering picturesque lakeside pitches and facilities for campervans.

Link: Low Wray Campsite

2. The Coastal Explorer’s Trail

Route Overview:

  • Starting Point: Barrow-in-Furness
  • Total Distance: Approximately 120 miles
  • Duration: 4-5 days

Key Stops:

  1. Barrow-in-Furness: Begin your journey in this coastal town, known for its shipbuilding history. Visit the Dock Museum and explore the Barrow Park.
  2. Ravenglass: Drive along the Cumbrian Coast to Ravenglass, where you can take a ride on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, also known as “La’al Ratty.”
  3. Wasdale: Explore the remote and awe-inspiring Wasdale Valley, home to England’s deepest lake, Wastwater, and its towering peaks, including Scafell Pike.
  4. Eskdale: Continue to Eskdale, a charming valley with beautiful hiking trails and the historic Boot Inn.
  5. Coniston: End your journey in Coniston, where you can visit the Coniston Water and explore the village, including the Ruskin Museum.

Places to Stay:

  • Park your campervan at the Eskdale Campsite, which offers a serene and scenic location in the Eskdale Valley.

Link: Eskdale Campsite

3. The Literary Tour

Route Overview:

  • Starting Point: Kendal
  • Total Distance: Approximately 90 miles
  • Duration: 3-4 days

Key Stops:

  1. Kendal: Begin your literary tour in Kendal, where you can explore the Kendal Castle and the Quaker Tapestry Museum.
  2. Hawkshead: Head to Hawkshead, a charming village associated with William Wordsworth. Visit the Beatrix Potter Gallery and enjoy a stroll through the village’s cobbled streets.
  3. Tarn Hows: Drive to Tarn Hows, a picturesque beauty spot favored by Beatrix Potter. Take a leisurely walk around the tranquil tarn.
  4. Coniston: Continue to Coniston and visit the Brantwood, former home of John Ruskin, and the Coniston Water.
  5. Grizedale Forest: Explore Grizedale Forest, an inspiration for many authors, with its art installations and scenic trails.

Places to Stay:

  • Park your campervan at the National Trust campsite in Great Langdale, offering easy access to the surrounding literary landmarks.

Link: National Trust Campsite

4. The Wildlife Safari Route

Route Overview:

  • Starting Point: Carlisle
  • Total Distance: Approximately 100 miles
  • Duration: 4-5 days

Key Stops:

  1. Carlisle: Begin your wildlife safari in Carlisle and visit the Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery before heading to the Lake District.
  2. Bassenthwaite Lake: Drive to Bassenthwaite Lake, a prime location for birdwatching and home to the ospreys at the Lake District Osprey Project.
  3. Kirkby Stephen: Explore Kirkby Stephen and its nearby wildlife reserves, such as Smardale Gill and Nateby Common.
  4. Ullswater: Head to Ullswater, where you can take a Ullswater Steamer Cruise and spot wildlife along the shores.
  5. Haweswater Reservoir: Discover the remote beauty of Haweswater Reservoir, home to a variety of wildlife, including red deer and golden eagles.

Places to Stay:

  • Park your campervan at the Sykeside Camping Park, a campsite situated near the Haweswater Reservoir, providing an ideal base for wildlife enthusiasts.

Link: Sykeside Camping Park

5. The Adventure Seeker’s Expedition

Route Overview:

  • Starting Point: Penrith
  • Total Distance: Approximately 70 miles
  • Duration: 3-4 days

Key Stops:

  1. Penrith: Kick off your adventure-filled journey in Penrith and visit the Penrith Castle and Beacon Hill.
  2. Blencathra: Take on the challenge of hiking Blencathra, a prominent fell offering panoramic views of the Lake District.
  3. Threlkeld: Explore the charming village of Threlkeld and visit the Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum.
  4. Buttermere: Drive to Buttermere and enjoy a hike around the stunning Buttermere Lake.
  5. Cockermouth: End your adventure in Cockermouth, the birthplace of William Wordsworth. Explore Wordsworth House and enjoy a brewery tour at Jennings Brewery.

Places to Stay:

  • Park your campervan at the Castlerigg Hall Caravan and Camping Park, nestled in the scenic surroundings of Keswick.

Link: Castlerigg Hall Caravan and Camping Park

6. The Waterfall Wanderer’s Trail

Route Overview:

  • Starting Point: Ambleside
  • Total Distance: Approximately 60 miles
  • Duration: 3 days

Key Stops:

  1. Ambleside: Begin your waterfall adventure in Ambleside and explore Stock Ghyll Force, a stunning waterfall within walking distance from the town center.
  2. Rydal: Visit Rydal Hall and explore the beautiful Rydal Waterfalls and the historic Rydal Mount, once home to William Wordsworth.
  3. Grasmere: Drive to Grasmere and hike to Easedale Tarn, a serene mountain tarn surrounded by waterfalls.
  4. Glenridding: Head to Glenridding, located at the base of Helvellyn, and take a hike to Aira Force, a breathtaking waterfall in the Ullswater Valley.
  5. Patterdale: Conclude your waterfall exploration in Patterdale and visit the stunning Lanty’s Tarn.

Places to Stay:

  • Park your campervan at the Side Farm Campsite, which offers a peaceful lakeside location near Patterdale.

Link: Side Farm Campsite

Essential Tips for Your Campervan Adventure

  • Campsite Reservations: It’s advisable to book your campsite in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. Many campsites in the Lake District can get crowded, so securing a spot in advance ensures a hassle-free experience.
  • Weather Preparedness: The Lake District is known for its changeable weather, so be sure to pack clothing suitable for all conditions, including rain gear and warm layers.
  • Leave No Trace: Practice responsible camping and leave no trace of your presence in the natural environment. Follow the Leave No Trace principles to protect the Lake District’s pristine beauty.
  • Local Cuisine: Don’t miss the opportunity to savor the local cuisine, including Cumberland sausage, Grasmere gingerbread, and Kendal mint cake. Many villages have excellent pubs and restaurants offering regional specialties.
  • Wildlife Watching: Keep your eyes peeled for the diverse wildlife of the Lake District, including red squirrels, buzzards, and herons. Binoculars and a camera with a good zoom lens can enhance your wildlife-watching experience.
  • Navigation: While GPS can be helpful, it’s a good idea to carry a physical map of the Lake District and familiarize yourself with the routes and landmarks in advance.
  • Waste Disposal: Dispose of your waste responsibly. Most campsites provide facilities for disposing of waste water and chemical toilet waste. Follow their guidelines for proper disposal.

The Lake District

Embarking on a campervan road trip around the Lake District is an adventure like no other. The combination of breathtaking landscapes, charming villages, literary history, and opportunities for outdoor activities make it a dream destination for travelers seeking both relaxation and excitement. Whether you choose to follow the Lakes and Fells Expedition, the Coastal Explorer’s Trail, the Literary Tour, the Wildlife Safari Route, the Adventure Seeker’s Expedition, or the Waterfall Wanderer’s Trail, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable experience in one of England’s most beautiful regions. So, pack your sense of adventure and hit the road in your campervan to discover the wonders of the Lake District.