It’s always a risk blogging about the best campsite you’ve found in the Lake District, when word gets out you might not be able to get in the next time you fancy a cheeky night away, but we were so impressed with Castlerigg Hall campsite, we can’t help but tell you about it.
Just up the hill from Keswick you’ll find family run Castlerigg Hall campsite (not to be confused with Castlerigg farm which is a little further up the hill). We made a last minute decision to drive from our home in Morpeth over to the Lake District around 6.30pm the other weekend when we were going through a heatwave. The beauty of this campsite is that you can’t book it – you have to rock up and see if there’s a pitch. We phoned en route to check and the chap on the phone confirmed there were spaces and kindly assured that he’d wait for us to check in. On arrival we were met with a pleasant reception and check in took less than 5 minutes before we took to the field to find a pitch.
Pitches aren’t marked out, so don’t expect the Camping and Caravanning Club, nor expect basic campsite facilities. There’s a rule of keeping distance from your neighbours and the field is on a slight incline, so position your tent carefully. If you’re lucky, like we were, you’ll manage to pitch with a beautiful view over the lake and have a prime view of sunset behind the mountains. Perfect!
Castlerigg Hall has a strict no noise after 10pm policy, which is perfect camping with a 6 year old. You know that you’re going to get a good night’s sleep and not be kept awake by groups of loud campers (they also don’t accept groups, hooray!).
The campsite facilities were some of the best we have stayed in – the showers are spotless and very roomy for washing with a small child. Lots of toilets and an enclosed room for washing up pots and pans. There’s a campers lounge area that we didn’t use, but if the weather was dreadful this is a place you can go and make a cuppa away from the cold and rain. The shop is stocked with a good selection of food including milk in glass bottles from a local dairy! Top points from us!
Being ‘up the hill’ from Keswick meant we were straight onto some stunning walks. We walked from the campsite to Walla Cragg, down to Derwentwater and into Keswick. It was a scorching hot day, so we stopped to paddle our feet in Derwentwater before continuing to Keswick for some lunch. I have to admit after walking for almost 4 hours with a small child, we did cheat and get a local taxi to take us back up the hill to the campsite, or it would’ve been a totally car-free day!
On our final day we opted for breakfast at the little onsite café before taking a walk to the Castlerigg Stone Circle – again a walk you can do directly from the campsite which was less challenging than the walk the day before. It took us less than a hour to get there and there was a perfectly positioned ice cream van next to this well known tourist spot… needless to say we indulged ourselves in a ‘99’ with a flake before heading back.
One more fabulous place we recommend going is Ashness Bridge – we could’ve walked here on our circular walk on day 1, but took a shorter walk due to the heat, but it’s beautiful place for a picnic and to plodge in the stream.
Check out the campsite at https://www.castlerigg.co.uk/ and let us know if you take a trip @helloecoliving on Instagram and Twitter