The Wasdale Valley in the Lake District is a stunning place to camp. At the bottom of the valley lies Wastwater, England’s deepest lake, and Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, so you’ll be camping in one of the most beautiful places in the country,
The views are fantastic of course, but it’s also interesting to walk around the lakeshore and valley, explore, enjoy picnics and take in the fresh air. It’s worth trekking up Scafell Pike to see the view, and also pay respects to those who lost their lives in conflict as this mountain is a designated war memorial too.
And if you’re thinking about camping in Wasdale, one of the Lake District’s wildest and most beautiful valleys, then you’re in the right place.
That’s because we’ve been camping in Wasdale on and off for years and know the area like the back of our hand. So right here we will share everything you need to know.
We share our favourite Wasdale campsites, and explain what’s close by to each and why they’re worth staying at. We also look at wild camping in Wasdale, and even have a free camping game that’s perfect for kids – that’s right at the bottom of this article.
So read on to begin your Wasdale camping adventure!
- Camping in Wasdale
- The Best Campsites in Wasdale
- Wild Camping in Wasdale
- Tips For Wild Camping
- Unique Things To Do
- Free Scavenger Hunt Game
Camping in Wasdale: A Holiday in Nature That You’ll Never Forget
In our opinion, camping in Wasdale is such a great way to experience the beauty of the Lake District alongside enjoying time outdoors with friends or family. The scenery is simply stunning, so you will want to make sure that you have your camera with you at all times.
There are many different campsites in Wasdale, and they each have something unique to offer. Whether you prefer to be near the water or enjoy exploring the rugged landscape, there is a site that will meet your needs.
As for when to visit, most go camping in Wasdale during the summer months when the wildflowers bloom, and there’s plenty of sunshine for hiking.
Below we share with you our favourite Wasdale campsites and why they’re worth considering for your trip. We are sure one will be perfect for you.
The Best Campsites in Wasdale For Fun, Views & Adventure
1. Church Stile Farm and Holiday Park
Church Stile Farm and Holiday Park is set in a beautiful location in the heart of the Lake District and is a fantastic base for outdoor activities in the region.
The farm is situated in an idyllic oak woodland setting, with incredible views of the surrounding mountains. It’s also only five miles from Wasdale Head, which is an excellent base for climbing Scafell Pike. While Wastwater, a picturesque lake where you can kayak and swim, is only a mile away from the park.
At Church Stile Farm, you will find spacious pitches for tents, as well as electric hook-up sites with excellent facilities. These electric hook-up sites tend to fill up quickly, so be sure to pre-book in advance to avoid disappointment. The park also has ten hardstanding sites for motorhomes and campervans, with or without electricity.
Glamping options are available at this campsite too, including cosy shepherd’s huts that sleep two, and sleek camping pods that sleep four.
As for facilities, this place has all the usual shared amenities. Plus it also has a great play area with swings and a climbing frame, as well as a grass area for ball games – perfect for active kids.
And if you run out of food, there is no need to worry as there is a well-stocked farm shop on site. In addition, WiFi access is available. Dogs are welcome at this campsite too, but they must be kept on a lead.
What’s Close By
The beautiful oak woodland surrounding Church Stile is an excellent place for exploring nature, with plenty of lovely hiking paths to discover. Seascale Beach is just a 10-minute drive away too, and has a fun play park and delicious ice cream shop to enjoy.
Wastwater Lake is also nearby, offering excellent opportunities for kayaking, canoeing and rowing in an absolutely stunning setting. Why not pack a picnic and relax by the water’s edge or take a refreshing dip in one of the designated safe swimming areas?
Wasdale in general is also an excellent place for climbers, with Scafell Pike nearby. Other great attractions in the area include the Styhead Pass, Muncaster Castle, the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, and the Beacon Museum.
Price: From £11 per night
Address: Church Stile Farm, Seascale, CA20 1ET
2. The Old Post Office Campsite
This family-run campsite, located in the quiet village of Santon Bridge in Cumbria, is set beside the peaceful River Irt.
It offers fully serviced pitches and well-maintained facilities, as well as a variety of gorgeous riverside pitches for those who want to wake up and go to sleep with the soothing sound of water over rocks.
As an added bonus guests can enjoy salmon and trout fishing on the river. And if you fail to catch any dinner, luckily there’s a great pub just a quick walk away too. It’s a relaxing spot.
There are a range of great connections to attractions near the campsite as well, including coastal Seascale and its beautiful beaches which are just six miles away. From there, you can take the train to other towns for further exploring.
The Wasdale Valley, a five-mile drive from the campsite, is a gem for outdoor adventures, with the challenge of Scafell Pike just seven miles away.
As for the pitches, there are a variety available from grassy spots with optional electricity to hard standing pitches for tourers which are fully serviced with all the connections you need.
The site has many amenities too, including separate male and female toilet and shower blocks, as well as a disabled shower/toilet facility which is perfect for families. There are also washing up sinks, freezers, coin-operated washers and dryers, and free WiFi.
The nearby Bridge Inn serves delicious home-cooked meals, while the Woodlands Tea Room and Santon Bridge Gift Shop are all easily accessible from the site too.
What’s Close By
The Lake District is an excellent place for fishing, with many rivers and lakes stocked with fish. And if you’re looking for a bit more excitement, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking and other outdoor activities.
Wanting something a bit more extreme? Then the Lake District has plenty to offer in the way of adventure sports, from hot air ballooning to paragliding. Whether you’re looking to relax or get your heart racing, the Lake District has something for everyone.
Price: From £15 per night
Address: Santon Bridge, Holmrock, CA19 1UY
3. Fisherground Campsite
At Fisherground Campsite, you’ll find yourself in the heart of Eskdale, one of the most beautiful areas in England. This campsite has been listed as one of The Independent’s ’50 World Best Campsites’ previously, and is also ranked fourth for ‘Children’s Enjoyment’. So whether you’re a walker or a family, this is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.
With 215 pitches available, there’s plenty of space for tents, campervans, and motorhomes. Electric hookups are also available. And don’t worry – your furry friend is welcome here, as the campground is dog friendly!
Your stay can be even more memorable as there’s the chance to make campfires (not many campsites in the area allow them), enjoy the children’s playground, and take part in other fun activities.
The facilities at this campsite are top-notch! There’s a modern toilet block with coin-operated showers, as well as hand and hair dryers. There’s also a token operated washing machine (tokens supplied by the warden), three tumble driers (50p charge), and a freezer available for freezer blocks.
On top of that, there’s an exciting adventure playground on site, with a treehouse, zip line, Tarzan ropes, adventure course, and rafts in the pond. All of which will keep kids entertained for hours!
What’s Close By
If you’re looking for a great place to base yourself while you tackle the National Three Peaks Challenge or simply enjoy some fantastic walks, this is the site for you! With stunning scenery all around and plenty of activities to keep you busy, you’ll love spending time here.
After a long day of hiking, you can treat yourself to a ride on the charming Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, which passes right by the site. Alternatively, if you’re craving some time on the beach, Drigg’s sandy shores are just 15 minutes away.
Other nearby attractions include Muncaster Castle, West Lakes Adventure Center, and the beautiful Wastwater. For those interested in history, the nearby Roman Baths are also worth a visit.
Price: From £10 per night
Address: Fellside Cottage, Eskdale, Holmrook CA19 1TF
4. Wasdale National Trust Campsite
Located in the stunning Wastwater Valley in the Lake District National Park, Wasdale National Trust Campsite is the perfect place for campers, campervanners and motorhome owners looking for an idyllic and peaceful camping spot.
Surrounded by England’s highest mountains and within close reach of Wastwater – England’s deepest lake – this campsite is set in lush green surroundings and offers a truly unique and memorable camping experience. There are also aa variety of luxurious glamping options for those who want a more comfortable camping experience.
This Wasdale camping option has fantastic views of the surrounding area from almost every pitch, and some tent pitches even have electric hook-ups. Campervans and motorhomes are welcome on hardstanding pitches with electric hook-ups.
The campsite now has a charge point for electric bikes, and there are BBQs available for use on-site, as well as a laundry area, showers, toilets, and a washing-up area.
What’s Close By
Wasdale campsite is situated in between Wastwater and Wasdale Head and is the perfect place for walkers who want to tackle the Lake District’s highest fells, including Scafell Pike. The area is also great for cyclists, with plenty of trails – some of which can be a little adventurous.
If you’re looking for great rock climbing, Wasdale Head is very close to this campsite and is an excellent starting point. You can find classic routes on Gable, such as Napes Needle, Tophet Wall, and Central Buttress, all of which are within easy reach from the site.
For those who want to climb Scafell Pike, there is a car park at Lake Head, and the mountain itself is just a short distance from this Wasdale campsite.
In the evenings, you can enjoy a delicious meal and drink at the nearby Wasdale Head Inn too, which is about a 20-minute walk from the campsite. All in all this is a great Wasdale camping option with plenty on its doorstep.
Price: From £26 for two nights
Address: Wasdale Head, Seascale, CA20 1EX
5. Eskdale Campsite
Eskdale Campsite is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking for a quiet and beautiful location in the Lake District. Set in the tiny hamlet of Boot, this National Trust campsite has stunning views of the Eskdale Valley and surrounding fells. With plenty of hiking and cycling trails nearby, it is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.
The site has 100 level grass pitches for tents only, with electric hook-ups available, and is ideal for all types of campers, including those in campervans or motorhomes. Unfortunately, caravans are not allowed due to planning restrictions.
The campsite has a well-maintained shower and toilet block with a family/disabled room, as well as indoor and outdoor washing up areas, a laundry and drying room, and a well-stocked shop. There’s also a children’s play area with a trampoline and wooden adventure trail.
Three Lakeland pubs are within walking distance, making it the perfect place to relax, enjoy the scenic views, and tuck into some rural pub grub!
What’s Close By
The area around Scafell Pike is popular with walkers, as it offers good access to some of England’s most beautiful scenery. Wastwater, the deepest lake in England, is also nearby, as well as the Stanley Ghyll Force waterfall and the amazing mountain scenery of the Hardknott and Wrynose Pass.
Other natural attractions in the area include the Eskdale Cycle Trail, which runs between Eskdale and Ravenglass.
Price: From £26 for two nights
Address: Boot, Holmrook, CA19 1TH
Wild Camping in Wasdale: Everything You Need to Know!
Wild camping in Wasdale, and the Lake District is general is illegal. However the reality is that many people still do it. But if you are camping on private land in the area and you have permission from the landowner, it is legal.
There is a long tradition of wild camping in the Lake District though, so it is often tolerated when campers treat the land well.
If you can’t be swayed to stay in a campsite and are determined to wild camp, then we would advise sticking to the following guidelines in order to be as considerate as possible:
- You should camp in the same place for one night only, and pitch your tent discretely and in a remote place. Therefore don’t camp in or near settlements, someone’s farm or on cultivated land. If you think you’re on private land, always seek out the landowner and ask permission.
- Camp above the highest fell wall, and far from the shores of any lake.
- Campers should set up their tent at dusk, and take it down at dawn. A tent that is discreet, blends in with the landscape, and pitches quickly is best. Therefore a lightweight walking and hiking tent like this one would be a great investment for someone planning to wild camp in Wasdale.
- If you are walking a main trail you should camp away from the path as a matter of courtesy.
- When wild camping in Wasdale you must never make a campfire. For cooking, use a storm cooker. The Swedish brand Trangia make fantastic storm cookers that are virtually indestructible. Portable solar ovens, like this one by GoSun, are also a good fuel-less option.
- Take any rubbish with you, and leave your camping spot the way you found it.
Below are some of our top tips for wild camping in Wasdale:
Tips For Wild Camping in Wasdale
- Heavy rain can happen in Wasdale – even during the holiday season. Make sure you have a rainproof tent that can survive a thunderstorm. A lightweight one-man walking tent like this or similar would be perfect. For a good value tent that fits more than one person, this mosquito-proof one would work well too.
- Keep an eye out for animal poo – if there’s a lot near your perfect camping spot, you may end up being woken up by some enthusiastic animals at 3am!
- There are many water sources in the Lake District but remember to always have plenty of water on you when you’re walking. A space-saving collapsible water bottle would be a good purchase.
- If wild camping, when going to the toilet you should do it at least 30 meters from water sources, such as rivers and lakes. Make sure to use a trowel (like this folding one) to bury any human waste – don’t just leave it out in the open.
- Like many rugged and wild rural areas around the world, there are flora and fauna to be aware of. So read up and make sure you know what to expect in the region or area you are planning to wild camp in.
Unique Things To Do When Camping in Wasdale
There is plenty to do in Wasdale, whether you’re a walker or not. But the area is most famous for being home to England’s highest mountain – Scafell Pike – as well as the deepest lake – Wastwater.
Here are some of our favourite things to do when camping in Wasdale:
1. Walk up Scafell Pike
This is the main attraction in Wasdale and for good reason. The walk up to the 978m summit is challenging, but the views from the top are incredible. On a clear day, you can see for miles.
2. Take a dip in Wastwater
England’s deepest lake is also one of the most beautiful. The water is crystal clear and the views from the shores are stunning. If you’re feeling brave, take a dip!
3. Visit Hardknott Roman Fort
This well-preserved Roman fort is situated on a rocky outcrop near the village of Boot. It’s free to enter and offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of the area.
4. Cycle the Eskdale Cycle Trail
This 18-mile cycle trail runs between Ravenglass and Boot, passing through scenic countryside and along disused rail tracks. The terrain is relatively flat so this is an easy route for beginners to try out.
Camping in Wasdale: Scavenger Hunt Game!
If you’re looking to keep kids amused while camping in Wasdale – or you fancy having some fun for yourself – then we’ve created a printable scavenger hunt game!
Download it (right click on the image and save) and print it out, then tick off what you find and achieve during your camping holiday.
The game encourages players to get out and discover wildlife and nature, as well as make new friends and do fun camping activities. Enjoy!