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Camp Eden

Penrith, Cumbria, England
1 acre hosted by Will O.
Summer camping and glamping in the grounds of a castle in the Northern Lakes

Want to hear about a campsite in a part of the Lake District that’s peaceful even in the height of summer? Of course you do – who wouldn’t? With England’s highest mountains, largest lakes and some of its most scenic campsites, the Lake District National Park is understandably, undeniably and sometimes frustratingly busy in the school holidays. But up in its northern reaches, there’s a kind of campers’ paradise; a place that’s family friendly, easy to get to and appropriately called Eden. If you like sleeping under canvas, eating woodfired pizza and supping local drinks round the campfire, this place is heaven-sent.

Camp Eden is a summer-only pop-up camping and glamping site five miles south of Penrith, in the grounds of Lowther Castle. Head here from the south and you can whizz by Windermere; arrive from the north and you’ll stop before you get to its often busy shores. The nearest lake is the relatively peaceful Ullswater, with its scenic paddle steamers and lovely lakeside walks. For walkers, scramblers and climbers, the dizzy heights of Blencathra and Helvellyn are near enough to scale and, as you’re camping in the grounds of Lowther Castle, it’d be rude not to explore.

While this is a peaceful part of the national park, it’s not a tiny site. This place has 100 off-grid pitches and more than 120 glamping tents ranging from basic bring-your-own-bedding bell tents to fully-furnished, Arabian Nights’-style shikar tents. It’s a sociable sea of canvas but there’s plenty of room and event-style facilities for everyone; all set up by the experienced team behind Kendal Calling music festival. The festival is a separate entity on a separate site but it’s existence means Camp Eden is in the very capable hands of a team who are used to hosting events and campers on a much larger scale than this.

The slick operation of it all and the communal area, with its woodfired pizza cafe and pop-up bar, has a touch of a festival feel but the vibe couldn’t be more different. While a festival is its own destination, this place is very much a base camp. Don’t be surprised to find it deserted in the day as campers scale mountains, take to the lakes and see the sights. The only music you’ll hear will be acoustic, not amplified and the food stalls are more about easy dinners for the kids, rather than fuelling the night’s adventures. In fact, as the stars come out, the place quietens down until the last campfire crackle signifies the end of another day in this Lake District idyll.

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Penrith, Cumbria, England, United KingdomTraditional, ancestral territory of various First Nations according to To respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Will O.Joined in April 2021
From the host
Camp Eden is the gateway to the Lake District National Park, your base to explore the Lowther Estate and the stunning surroundings on our doorstep. By day, take in the cycle trails, fell running routes, wild swimming spots and famous hikes. By night relax by the campfire with woodfired pizza, local-brewed craft ale and a spot of stargazing.
Nearby attractions

Camp Eden is within the Lake District National Park with all the fell walking and running, wild swimming and sailing, climbing and cycling opportunities you could wish for. The campsite is also within the Lowther Castle Estate (01931 712192). The castle itself is a beautiful ruin with lovely gardens that you can visit just five minutes down the road. It's Lost Castle Adventure Playground is one of the biggest in the country and will be a sure-fire hit with kids. The nearby River Lowther is the perfect place for a spot of wild swimming and Ullswater is the closest lake to site (five miles to its northern shores at Pooley Bridge). Ullswater Steamers (01768 482229) offers a relaxing way to see the scenery and/or combine with a lakeside walk. For something more active on the water, there's always Ullswater Paddleboarding (07810 880932), based at Watermillock, six miles from site. Further around the lake's edge is Aira Force waterfall (01768 482067), which has a National Trust car park, refreshments kiosk and signposted walk. Blencathra is one of the closest high fells to explore.

Food and drink

With a campsite café on site, there's little need to head further afield if you don't fancy cooking. Breakfasts and wood-fired pizzas are the speciality. There's also a bar serving cocktails and beers from the Lancaster Brewery. To stock up on supplies, Penrith (six miles up the road) has everything you could ask for with a mix of big supermarkets and independent hops. Try J&J Graham in the pretty centre of town for Cumbrian produce that's perfect for picnics and presents.

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