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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.
Amazing views
Hipcampers say this spot has amazing views.
Recent Hipcampers say this Hipcamp is great for families and kids.
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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133 Ratings · 133 reviews
Edward P.recommends
April 7, 2024
Grass Tent Camping Pitch
Staff were friendly, the campsite was quite, clean and in a great location.
Amy N.recommends
April 3, 2024
Grass Tent Camping Pitch
Lovely campsite , beautiful views, clean amenities and a little shop on camp for essentials should you need them.
Chris B.recommends
April 1, 2024
Grass Tent Camping Pitch
Booked a grass tent pitch for three over the weekend and the whole experience was great. Beautiful location just a short walk to Skiddaw. The owners were nice and made us feel very welcome. They have an honesty shop which is handy if you run out of bacon on a morning. It's got good facilities and the showers are nice and hot. Also you can have a campfire on your tent pitch which is a bonus. Will definitely return :)
Kelsey T.recommends
April 1, 2024
Grass Tent Camping Pitch
Definitely recommend!
Really great campsite. Everything you could need - good shower/toilet block, great pitches with fire pits at every one, shop with all essential camping food items, fire food and eggs from the on-site chicken. Would definitely recommend! Thank you Louise :)
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.
Keswick, Cumbria, England, United KingdomTo 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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