It’s just not camping without a campfire. So for camping in the Lake District done right, we’ve picked out our favourite campfire-friendly sites in the national park.
The Lake District is a landscape quite unlike any other. Magnificent Cumbrian mountains, like Skiddaw, Helvellyn, Blencathra and Scafell Pike; vast waters like Winderemere and Ullswater; and quaint rural settlements like Keswick, Grasmere and Ambleside, all combine to create scenes that have inspired artists for centuries. It’s undoubtedly one of the finest camping locations in all of England, a place where lovers of the outdoors will be in their element.
After a busy day out discovering what the national park has to offer, the roar and crackle of a well-built campfire – one of the many joys of camping – is extremely enticing. What could be more appealing than cosying up around the coals, sharing stories, and munching on gooey s’mores?
To help campers find a site that’s just right for them, we’ve picked six fabulous campsites that allow campfires from our Lake District camping collection, ranging from small-scale farm camping beside a lake to view-tastic pitches in the heart of the fells. Discover our top picks now, or view our entire list of campsites with campfires.
This family-friendly Lake District campsite nestled between the quiet shores of Bassenthwaite Lake and the beautiful Cumbrian fells has a lot of things going for it. Located in the shadow of mighty Skiddaw, Kestrel Lodge is set on an 18th century farm, and is home to 30 grass pitches, each boasting stonking great vistas across the adjacent fields to where the hills rise and fall. Owners Louise and Andrea have a simple, yet engaging ethos: “small, quiet, friendly, traditional, but with nice hot showers, and somewhere to clean your boots and dogs.” And they’re happy to point guests in the direction of each of the nine Wainwrights walkable from the site, as well as the nearest pub – a cosy little spot in Bassenthwaite with real ales on tap. Oh, and let’s not forget they allow campfires too.
For all the drama of the steep valleys further north – Wasdale, Langdale, the Kirkstone Pass – it’s the sheer space and wide open views that make Moss Side Farm in the South Lakes so undeniably epic. Set on a natural plateau, the 30 flat, grassy tent pitches look east across the low, moss-coloured wetlands of Kirkby Pool, to the wooded hillsides four miles opposite. For those after a glamping alternative, there are a few options to choose from, including a bunk house, four railway cabins, and a couple of yurts. And with with the Old Man of Coniston a 10-minute drive in one direction and the seaside 10 minute’s in the other, it’s a real best-of-both-worlds location. The campsite has a thoroughly secluded feel, and when evening falls, it’s the crackle of campfires that’s loudest of all.
There’s a pitch to suit all tastes at Lanefoot Farm. Love views? Park yourself in the big open field with a stonking vista of Skiddaw. Taking the kids? Head for the cosy family field. Seen the weather forecast and fancy a bit of shelter? Pop into the back garden of the farmhouse and find yourself a quiet spot among the wildflowers and trees. Wherever guests opt for, facilities are top-notch, and campfires are allowed. Situated in the Cumbrian Valleys in the north west corner of the Lake District National Park, it’s a place for campers and glampers alike, with 12 grass pitches, pods, and a shepherd’s hut. The campsite is bang on the C2C route and there are mountain bike trails aplenty in the nearby Whinlatter Forest – for most, it’s this proximity to all things outdoors that make for such a winning site.
Gill Head is a lovely little working hill farm that’s been run by the same family for several generations. Ensconced within the Lake District National Park, yet far removed from the tourist hordes, it offers space for tents and caravans, and six rather funky timber camping pods. There’s an organised play area for children, and decent facilities that include a modern and spacious shower and laundry block. There’s even a log cabin for communal get-togethers and wet-weather relaxation. Beyond lie the Lakes and a wealth of hiking, biking, ghyll scrambling, and water-based activities, with Ullswater less than a 10-minute drive away. Back at the site, the owners are of the opinion that ‘there’s nothing like a campfire to add atmosphere to your camping trip, so when the sun sets light your fire, toast marshmallows, and plan your next days adventure.’
Lake District camping on a working farm with a stream to splash in, campfires encouraged, and a horse-riding centre on the doorstep so you can tour the local scenery in style – what could be better? At the foot of White Combe mountain, Baystone Bank Farm offers just that, with traditional Swaledale sheep dotting the surrounding slopes, and a mighty Shire horse grazing in the neighbouring field. This is ‘rural’ defined. The site is home to a collection of non-electric grass pitches that are perfect for tent campers, alongside slate grey hard-standings for campervans or caravans, and there’s a handful of pre-pitched bell tents. Several footpaths run right through the campsite, and trekking up to the top of White Combe and along the ridge to Black Combe is a must.
This is a great site for kids. It ticks all their campsite boxes and probably a few more besides. Campfires are not only allowed, but positively encouraged in selected areas, with bags of logs complete with kindling and firelighters sold onsite. Fisherground is in the heart of the Eskdale valley, a quieter part of the Lake District, and it’s also a spot that neatly combines access to England’s underrated North West coast, and the very highest peaks in the national park. Scafell Pike, the tallest mountain in England, is within hiking distance for those who really want a challenge. Back at camp, there are unmarked pitches in two main areas: a larger field nearest to the children’s playground, and a smaller, quieter space nearest to the shower block, with wheel rims for campfires.
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