Discover family-friendly attractions, famous lakes, and charming campsites through this Gateway to the Lakes.
Easily reached from the M6 but also perfectly placed for national park access, this tourist hub just outside the Lake District offers easy access to the fells, woods, lakes, and peaks the region is known for. Campers on limited time can tick off iconic Lake District landmarks such as Windermere, Skiddaw, or Scafell Pike without having to travel far, while those looking for something a little different can travel into nearby Lancashire in search of less famous outdoor destinations. Glamping and camping remain popular ways to soak up the Lake District atmosphere, with a range of holiday parks, luxury pods, and backpacking campgrounds offering options for all manner of Hipcampers.
Home to iconic attractions such as Windermere, Hill Top, and the Arnside & Silverdale AONB, South Lakeland is a destination for any Lake District newbie, particularly those with kids. Closer to Kendal, rural holiday parks and working farms provide plenty of overnight options, while coastal camps and glampsites can be found in their dozens down on Morecambe Bay.
Discover coast, mountains, lakes, and cascades across these two diverse districts to the west of the park. The soaring peaks of Skiddaw and Scafell Pike are great for climbers and keen hikers, while Derwentwater or Bassenthwaite boat rides offer a more relaxed view of the scenery. The famous Coast to Coast Walk begins on the Saint Bees Head Heritage Coast in Allerdale, crossing the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, and North York Moors on the way to Robin Hood’s Bay on the east coast, and is lined by no-frills field sites and luxury grounds along the way.
Just east of Kendal, the Howgill Fells roll their way into the Yorkshire Dales, another of England’s must-see national parks. Moors, coves, peaks, and waterfalls draw climbers and all-terrain amblers, while the region’s back-to-basics sites and luxury grounds provide options for backpackers and glampers alike.
If you’ve somehow had enough of the Lake District, this ancient region of moorland and fells remains one of England’s hidden gems. About 90 minutes' drive from Kendal, the area is known for its diverse flora and fauna, hiking and biking trails, and dark skies, with quiet campsites and glamp sites offering ideal spots to soak up the stars.
As one of the wettest regions in England, Kendal and the Lake District enjoy year-round rain, though this is at its lowest around April. Like many of the region’s tourist towns, Kendal is busiest during the summer and school holidays, so skip these times if you’re after a more sedate experience.