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Kestrel Lodge Camping

· Keswick, Cumbria, England
4 acres hosted by Louise S.
10 tent pitches
Best tent sites: 2nd place
Named one of the best Hipcamps to visit in 2023.
Recent Hipcampers say this Hipcamp is great for families and kids.
Amazing views
Hipcampers say this spot has amazing views.
A family-friendly Lake District campsite, nestled between the quiet shores of Bassenthwaite Lake and the beautiful Cumbrian fells

Louise Smith and Andrea Bramhall seem to have found a winning formula – find an old farm in the most enviable location thinkable, give it a good make-over with a lawn-mower, a few sign posts and a spanking new block of showers, then open up the gates and let the campers roll in! Their first campsite in North Norfolk – that they took over 10 years ago – received a solid two thumbs up from all the Hipcamp clan – and it's no surprise that the same is true at Kestrel Lodge. And to top it off, they've been joined by Louise's parents Sue and Dave to make it a family-run campsite for all the generations.

Set in the shadow of mighty Skiddaw, climbing away to the south east, and a stone’s throw from sparkling Bassenthwaite Lake to the south west, Kestrel Lodge Camping is a traditional Lakeland campsite on an 18th-century farm. Grassy pitches enjoy stonking great vistas across the adjacent fields to where the hills rise and fall, speckled with woodland like barnacles on a whale's back.

There’s nothing formulaic about the welcome you receive though. Louise, Andrea and the three generations of family brought together to share the dream, are personable and friendly and just as in awe of the surroundings as most visitors. They can point you in the direction of each of the nine Wainwrights walkable from the campsite, as well as the nearest pub – a cosy little spot in Bassenthwaite with real ales on tap. It’s with fond memories that they too remember their younger days camping here and it’s clear they want to explore the surroundings of their new home as much as every guest. You almost feel guilty trekking off into the hills without them.

The ethos, they tell us, is “small, quiet, friendly, traditional, but with nice hot showers, and somewhere to clean your boots and dogs.” And the result is the very antithesis of a holiday park. For proper camping with proper views, Kestrel Lodge should be top of the list.

Kestrel Lodge is a quiet, family friendly, Lakeland campsite suitable for tents and trailer tents. We are a traditional camping ground with a modern shower block, situated in a quiet corner of the National Park. Sitting in an enviable position, below Skiddaw with views across the valley to Bassenthwaite Lake, Kestrel Lodge Campsite is surrounded by some of the best fell walking routes in the country. It’s a perfect base for exploring the Lake District and Northern Fells. For the Lake District, pitches are pretty flat, and the ground is well drained, so doesn't flood, but in the heaviest of weather, it will get a little muddy in parts like everywhere else. It's the Lake District! The camping field is also surrounded by well matured trees, which offer shelter from the worst of the wind and some shade from the sun. There is a secure fenced area for dog walking, a field where kids can kick there ball around and have a great time, and ample parking for 1 car per pitch, so please leave the second car at home, folks. Prices are based on a per person per night basis with a minimum of 2 people sharing a pitch. 
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129 Ratings · 129 reviews
Ciaran C.recommends
October 15, 2023
Grass Tent Camping Pitch
Great little spot!
Super little site in a great location, lots of nearby walks and really lovely staff... Great little ideas like an honesty shop to get snacks and wood from. Will definitely be back!
Gemma A.recommends
September 1, 2023
Grass Tent Camping Pitch
Great little campsite, owners couldn't be more helpful and were always on hand. Amenities were always clean, love that everyone gets their own firepit to add to the camping experience.
Michelle G.recommends
August 31, 2023
Grass Tent Camping Pitch
Beautifully in nature
A quiet, peaceful and beautiful setting, with stunning views, especially of Bassenthwaite lake and surrounding areas. A wonderful campsite with great facilities and a little shop with everything you need (if closed you can still get these items due to the honesty box). Friendly hens wondering around and you can buy their eggs which are delicious. Access to a freezer for your ice pack/cool bag needs. Friendly owners who are open for a chat and will help with anything. Access to many many walks/hikes and a short walk to a sweet little pub. Highly recommended. We loved it and hope to return again.
Liv M.recommends
August 30, 2023
Grass Tent Camping Pitch
I loved this campsite - if you're looking for a quiet and calm campsite then this is perfect for you. There was plenty of space for the families to have and the children to play about and also for just adult couples to be removed from it as well. We chose a pitch down the end to keep to ourselves and it was just perfect for what we were after. Having your own fire pit was the icing on the cake. Yes the toilets/showers are a bit cosy but we were never waiting or queuing at any point so never really bothered us at all. The little shop and honesty boxes were a lovely touch as well for those little things you may have forgotten or were just wanting a treat. Having a secure field to let my dog run about and sniff around was a lovely added bonus for us.
Catherine ?.recommends
August 29, 2023
Grass Tent Camping Pitch
Everything was bliss, the owners went out of their way to be accommodating and were so welcoming and friendly. The chickens were very welcome visitors. We even spotted a red squirrel and the milky way! Can't wait to visit again.
Ian And Amanda M.recommends
August 28, 2023
Grass Tent Camping Pitch
Camping with your 4 legged friends
We really enjoyed our stay at Kestrel Lodge. Sat just outside Bassenthwaite this charming campsite is hosted by very friendly and helpful hosts. Facilities are adequate but I must say the hot showers were fantastic! Would defo come back and recommend - brilliant thank you.
Keswick, 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 Louise S.Joined in December 2016
From the host
Kestrel Lodge started out life as High Close Farm, a working 18th century farm. Since then it has had many transformations. It’s been a clubhouse, a bunkhouse, a youth hostel, a retreat for local school children, an outward bounds centre, and now a family home and campsite. When we found Kestrel Lodge we were immediately smitten with the area. As a family of campers and outdoor enthusiasts we decided to bring good old fashioned camping back to this area of the Lake District with the addition of a few mod cons. Making Kestrel Lodge Campsite a place we hope you’d want to return to, time and time again. As campers we saw many sites becoming full of caravans and lodges. We wanted somewhere visitors would be able to camp, walk, and enjoy the natural area. And with this the idea was born. Our ethos is simple; small, quiet, friendly, traditional, but with nice hot showers, and somewhere to clean your boots and dogs. A covered area for rainy days, and a large space for camp fires. A campsite where campfires are allowed and where you can walk or cycle for days without needing to get in your car. A campsite where you can easily walk to a pub that offers good food, traditional ale, and a warm welcome. We're looking forward to seeing you soon!
Nearby attractions

Skiddaw looms on the horizon and therefore gets all the glory but there are nine other mighty mountains that can be tackled from the campsite. It's around 5 miles to the summit of Great Cockup, a 7 mile walk up Binsey or take on the strenuous 11 mile loop that takes in Bakestall, Carlside, Longside, Ullock Pike and Skiddaw itself. Louise and Andrea can help you plan the route if needed. It's 6 miles to Keswick and 7 to Cockermouth, both full of excellent eateries, shops and museums that all prove there's more to the Lakes than just walking and cycling. Derwent Pencil Museum (017687 73626) in Keswick, Honister Slate Mine (017687 77230) and Wordsworth House and Gardens (01900 824805) are all good examples.

Food and drink

There's a great pub in Bassenthwaite village, The Sun Inn (017687 76439), serving comforting pub food and with real ales on tap. It's a pleasant 20-minute or so walk (around a mile).

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