Awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO in 2017, the Lake District is a wonderfully beautiful corner of our planet and easily one of the most scenic places in England.
Caravanners and motorhomers from all over Europe travel to the Lake District every year to get lost in the stunning lakes, lush green valleys and magical towering mountain peaks.
Before you set about exploring Cumbria in all its finery, it’s well worth your while getting to know the different hotspots.
At about 885 square miles, the national park is vast. So, to help you get the most out of your visit, we’re bringing you some of the must-visit places.
Before we launch into the article, a word of caution: the Lake District is known for being home to some of the most dangerous roads in the UK.
Take Kirkstone Pass: known to locals as “The Struggle” this section of road is narrow, winding and steep with blind bends. It’s caught out many a good driver.
So, it’s essential that you have adequate campervan insurance.
Getting the right kind of coverage means you can get on with all your travel adventures knowing you're protected in case of the unexpected.
Right, now that we’ve got the safety bit out the way, let’s look at some of hotspots and not-so-hotspots (for those who prefer fewer people)…
Windermere and the surrounding area is arguably the most famous and popular part of the Lake District.
The town of Windermere itself is charming, with a small collection of independent shops as well as a number of outdoor stores.
Between Windermere and neighbouring Ambleside, you'll find plenty of top-quality cafes and restaurants, too – from freshly baked goods to traditional pub grub, the food is too good to miss.
Nearby, Holehird Gardens is a lovely place to spend an afternoon admiring the landscaped gardens.
But you don’t really travel to the Lake District for good food – you go for the lakes. And Windermere is England's largest lake.
At a whopping ten miles long, you can walk around it, take a cruise across it, or simply admire it against its mountain backdrop from one of the many viewpoints.
Windermere was the first of the lakes developed for tourism and remains one of the easiest to visit, which plays a significant part in its popularity.
Where to stay in Windermere?
Windermere Camping and Caravanning Club Site offers great facilities which are backed up by extremely helpful staff.
It might be situated in something of a secluded location – in the countryside between Staveley and Kendal – but it’s still very convenient for seeing all that Windermere has to offer.
Another popular Lake District hotspot is Keswick, the most northerly of the Lake’s major towns.
Framed by cloud-capped fells and nestled alongside the idyllic, island-studded lake of Derwentwater, Keswick boasts the most amazing backdrop.
Like Windermere, this town has a wide range of shops, restaurants and even a Saturday market which dates back to 1276.
Derwentwater is only a ten-minute walk from the centre of town. The lake is roughly three miles long, with an eight-mile perimeter trail that you can do in half a day.
Try to get up early on a clear summer’s morning to grab a photo of the lake’s mirror-like sheen, and don’t pass up the chance to take the 50-minute cruise on a Derwent Launch.
Where to stay in Keswick?
Lanefoot Farm is situated a five-minute drive from Keswick.
This quiet campervan site is not blessed with lots of amenities, but it makes up for it with the views on offer – they really are spectacular.
Coniston Water was the inspiration behind Arthur Ransome's famous children's book 'Swallows and Amazons' – the southern island, Peel, has been identified as the 'Wild Cat Island' in Ransome's book.
Meanwhile, the Old Man of Coniston – a fell in the Furness Fells, which rises to 803 metres (2,635 feet) and offers excellent views from its summit – provided the inspiration for Kanchenjunga, the mountain in the novel.
The Coniston Water Lake flows for around five miles. It sits about half a mile down from the village, where you can hire boats and bikes from Coniston Boating Centre.
Coniston has a small but good selection of shops ranging from a butchers, bakery, green grocer and chemist, along with outdoor clothing stores such as Coniston Outdoor & Country and Summitreks on Yewdale Road.
Where to stay in Coniston Water?
Coniston Park Coppice Club Site in Coniston is set in over 60 acres of stunning National Trust woodland.
A short walk of 400 yards brings you to the lakeside launching point where you can try your hand at a range of water sports such as dinghy sailing, windsurfing and canoeing… or just watch others!
We promised to include at least one spot that is not so regularly frequented by tourists.
Ennerdale is the most northerly of the Lake District’s western valleys and is a real gem.
The valley is simply stunning and surrounded by some of the Lake District’s highest fells.
This hidden lake and valley comes as a surprise to many visitors, as it is generally very much the haunt of fell walkers and mountain bikers, although it is also much loved by dog walkers from the nearby villages.
It is a great location set in almost Alpine surroundings – one visit is never enough.
Where to stay in Ennerdale?
Unfortunately, apart from the youth hostel, accommodation in the valley itself is scarce and campervanners will probably need to camp nearby and visit for a day.
A couple of miles from Ennerdale, the Wild Wool Barn offers an unmissable opportunity to camp in tranquillity while taking in the sights.
Before you leave
Whatever the season, there’s no way of ruling out every risk when you go on holiday.
Campervans are larger than the average car, so the risk of accidents is greater.
Your campervan road trip should be a time for rest and relaxation, so spare yourself the headache and get reliable cover.
Motorhome Protect finds you specialist campervan insurance. Cover may include benefits such as:
- Up to £3,500 cover for your camping personal effects
- Cover value up to £150,000
- Panel of leading campervan insurers
- Up to 365 days a year cover, which may include foreign use
*All features and benefits are subject to eligibility and underwriting criteria
Don’t delay, get a campervan insurance quote today and breathe easier.