Campsites near Windermere

Explore England’s largest lake and more on a camping trip to this tourism hub in South Lakeland.

96% (430 reviews)
96% (430 reviews)

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Campsites near Windermere guide

Overview

Sharing its name with England’s largest natural lake and set close to its shores in Lake District National Park, the modest town of Windermere mainly functions as a gateway to wider Lakeland exploration, along with its shoreside neighbour, Bowness-on-Windermere. From here, adventurers can cruise the open water, setting up camp somewhere along her banks, or head further inland to scale England’s mountainous midlands or sleep beneath the stars in remote rural spots. Seafaring folk can head south or west to the Irish Sea coast, where holiday parks and water sports centres host family-friendly activities, while long-distance trails such as the Coast to Coast Walk or Cumbria Way cut a scenic path through the Lake District’s top outdoor attractions. With so much natural beauty around, camping is quite simply the best ways to stay—choose camping in Windermere to find yourself immersed in scenery from sunrise to sunset.

Where to go

South Lakeland and the Furness Peninsula

Glamp sites, campgrounds, and luxury retreats line the banks of Windermere and her sister lakes, while Morecambe Bay and the Furness Peninsula boast seaside parks within an hour’s drive. From South Lakeland, the Cumbria Way guides hikers north via lakes, pikes, and waterfalls, while the nearby Arnside & Silverdale AONB hosts cycle-friendly routes and wildlife trails.

Copeland and Allerdale

Encompassing much of the Lake District’s western reaches, plus a vast stretch of Irish Sea shoreline, Copeland and Allerdale offer all manner of outdoor adventure. From scaling Scafell Pike and the Southern Fells to sailing on Derwentwater or embarking on the Coast to Coast Walk, there’s plenty to fill your days, while nights are catered for in coastal touring parks, rural campsites, or lakeside lodges.

Eden Valley and the North Pennines

Living up to its name, this idyllic region northeast of Windermere is a destination for hikers, bikers, boaters, and horse riders, thanks to a protected landscape of waterfalls, fells, and lakes. Several long-distance trails pass through the area and the adjacent national park, including the Pennine Way, with overnight options ranging from back-to-basics farm sites to luxury countryside glamping.

Howgill Fells and the Yorkshire Dales

East of Windermere, the Lake District’s dramatic landscape rolls through the Howgill Fells into another of England’s iconic national parks, the Yorkshire Dales. Best known for their wiley, windy moors and boating natural landmarks such as the Cautley Spout, the Dales are a rambler’s paradise, with hill-top camps, no-frills field sites, and luxury pods providing plenty of spots to rest weary legs.

When to go

The Lake District is among England’s wettest regions, so be prepared for rainfall at any time of year. The tourist season starts in April, when Wordsworth’s famous daffodils spring to life, though early arrivals can still enjoy relatively secluded views along the lake shores.

Know before you go

  • The closest major train station is Oxenholme Lake District, which connects directly to London, Glasgow, and Edinburgh.
  • The area is relatively well connected with public transport, though if you plan to travel to more remote spots it’s worth bringing your own vehicle.
  • Bike, boat, and camping gear rental can be found in Windermere and Bowness-on-Windermere, as well as on some campsites.
  • Not all sites take walk-ins, especially in high season, so it’s worth booking in advance.
  • A mile north of Windermere is Ambleside, the starting and ending point for lots of walks and a good spot for hikers. At the far south of the lake is the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway, a heritage steam railway with a restored station and short section of lakeside track.

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