We love hearing about your motorhome adventures, and one of your favourite places to visit is undoubtedly the Lake District in Cumbria. And it’s easy to see why – this 912 square mile national park has the most stunning lake scenery and highest mountain peaks in England. However, before setting off on your next trip to the Lakes take the time to read up on the Lake District motorhome code of conduct. After all, you’ll want to make sure you’re invited back again!
After you’ve done that, remember that in remote country locations like the Lake District you’ll need protection from all manner of mishaps. Give Motorhome Protect a call to make sure your insurance for motorhomes is up to date before setting off.
Why is there a Lake District motorhome code of conduct?
This UNESCO world heritage site is a truly world-class landscape that’s open for everyone to enjoy no matter what time of life or time of day they arrive at. The welcoming community who live and work here help create truly unforgettable memories for visitors. However, they can’t do it alone. They need your help. Everyone who lives, works or visits this precious landscape has to work together to ensure its future for the benefit of all.
With staycations more popular than ever and so many people taking to the roads to explore this incredible part of the world, there are increasing pressures on the national park’s infrastructure. While the local authorities and communities can’t wait for visitors to return after lockdown, they’re asking everyone to remember to plan ahead and respect their surroundings. The best way to do that is to follow the new code when visiting the Lake District.
What is the new code of conduct?
You’ll probably already be doing much of what is contained in the new code of conduct. The simple guidelines are really very straightforward and just part of being a responsible visitor.
Supporting local business
One of the best things about visiting a new area is the sheer variety of quality food from local shops, cafes and pubs, and local attractions on offer. From the best places to buy local produce for your campsite meals to the best places to eat out you’ll be spoilt for choice in the Lake District.
Thinking like a local
Valuing the Lake District communities is at the heart of the new code of conduct. You can do this by:
- Planning your route and parking sensibly – There are countless wonderfully wild spots throughout the national park but many involve navigating narrow country lanes. While many of these have handy passing places to avoid congestion, it’s important to never park up in these. If you have a larger motorhome then it’s probably worth avoiding such narrow passes and single-track roads wherever possible. This invaluable motor caravanners’ county map details many of the roads with bends, gradients or restricted width which require more consideration and caution.
- Being a considerate driver – When exploring such a stunning location it’s all too easy to become distracted from the road and feel as though you’re the only vehicle there. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Remember, many people live and work here and need to get around. If you notice another vehicle is stuck behind you, simply pull over at a safe place to let them pass. Send them on their way with a smile and a wave. You never know, they might be the local landlord!
- Always choose to park in an approved location – Wild camping is not permitted anywhere in the Lake District without prior permission from the landowner. In all but the quietest times of year, it’s always wise to book in advance if you can. When parking out and about, always leave plenty of space between vehicles and be careful to never block roads and gateways. Emergency vehicles could need access at any time of day or night – who knows, it could be you in need of help!
- Don’t rush off! – Being a responsible visitor means that everyone will be only too pleased for you to stay awhile. A great thing about motorhomes is that if you see a quiet spot, you can just hop out, leave the vehicle, and head off for an adventure. Whether on foot, by bike, boat, or even horse there’s no better place to explore.
- Leave no trace – You all know the countryside code by now! Take your litter away with you, leave no trace of your visit. Recycling wherever you can is also important. Your campsite may well have recycling facilities. If not, this map includes all the public waste recycling points in the Lake District. There’s really no excuse!
- Show the environment some love – Many motorhomes and campervans have adequate storage for grey and black waste. But if you need to empty these out then it’s vital to use an official location with safe and legal facilities. Inappropriate disposal of waste means harmful waste and chemicals can seep into the area’s beautiful lakes and waterways. The environmental damage caused by thoughtless waste disposal doesn’t bear thinking about. Be aware, some of the area’s public toilets aren’t on the main sewerage system and could be damaged by chemicals from portable loos.
- Stay on track – Yes, Lake District roads can be narrow but that doesn’t mean you should be careless of the surrounding verges when passing. Motorhomes are heavy vehicles that can easily damage soft verges and get stuck.
- Not got a loo on board? Don’t worry, there are lots of public toilets for you to use. Again, this handy map should show one nearby. If not, then simply pop into a local café and use their facilities. Just buy a coffee or tasty local snack while you’re at it!
- Find a great spot – Book a site before you head off and always respect no overnight parking and camping signs. For those looking for opportunities for wild camping, the national park authorities have this guidance.
- Eat out, but don’t light up – Sitting outside at your campsite and enjoying home-cooked, local food is one of life’s great pleasures. But avoid lighting fires or barbeques, unless you’re on an authorised campsite and have permission. Camp fires can easily get out of control and spread quickly, especially in times of very dry weather.
For information regarding potential road closures and works when you visit, this Cumbria County Council website is useful. To find out which car parks and Lake District areas are currently busy then head to the Lake District National Park page. They use information from their daily patrols to update the information. It really is an invaluable resource and also contains lots of frequently asked questions from first-time visitors.
If you’re looking for inspiration on route ideas and where to visit then read our article on getting lost in the Lakes!
But remember, the Lake District is home to some of the UK’s most dangerous roads. For example, Kirkstone Pass is well known as being particularly narrow, winding and steep with blind bends. Don’t get caught out by a failure to plan ahead!
That’s why it’s essential you have adequate motorhome insurance when visiting the Lake District in your home on wheels.
Six secret spots for when the crowds get heavy
We all know the Lake District is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and that’s part of the problem. During the peak season the most well-known walks, vistas and views can get awfully crowded with sightseers and snap-happy tourists.
But there’s no reason to despair! With hundreds of square miles to explore there are bound to be plenty of secluded spots where you can escape the hustle and bustle without compromising your surroundings.
So, try out one of our favourite six secret spots in the Lake District. Just don’t tell anyone we told you!
- Blea Tarn
Just a few easy minutes’ walk from the road this tarn is popular with photographers but seldom visited by those without local knowledge. There are lots of trails around here if you fancy a longer post-lunch ramble. The National Trust’s Blea Tarn trail takes between one and two hours and is suitable for all fitness levels and ages.
- Crummock Water
The overlooked but picturesque Crummock Water can be found nestled between Buttermere and Loweswater. Why not hire a rowing boat to enjoy the waters of this 2.5-mile-long lake? A walk to the nearby yet hidden away Scale Force will reward you with views of this stunning waterfall. With a single drop of 170ft, and two others of about 20ft, the poet William Wordsworth described it as ‘a fine chasm, with a lofty, though slender, fall of water’.
The great benefit of having your accommodation and transport wrapped up in one package is that it’s easy to get off the main tourist track when you want to. Duddon Valley is well worth the effort and is known as one of the most beautifully isolated spots in the area. From charming villages to unrivalled walking on the fells, mountain biking, horse riding, fishing and even canoeing on the River Duddon itself, there’s a lot to keep you busy!
- Kailpot Crag
If you’ve recently read our motorhome owner’s guide to wild swimming then you may want to use your Lake District visit as an opportunity to try out this popular pastime. Rydal Water is a great place to take the plunge but so is the even-more-secluded Kailpot Crag in Ullswater. This high, craggy cliff beneath Hallin Fell plummets into deep water. It’s perfect for jumping and snorkelling. With a wood behind and beach alongside it really is an idyllic spot.
As the most northerly of the Lake District’s western valleys, Ennerdale Valley is one of the most remote of Cumbria’s valley with a truly wild and distinctive character all of its own. With no shops, cafés, ice cream vans and crowds if you’re looking for peace and seclusion then it has it all. When you’ve made the effort to get here, find out more about the Wild Ennerdale Partnership – one of the longest running wild land restoration projects in the UK.
- Black Combe
This 2,000ft fell in the south-west corner of the Lake District lies just four miles from the Irish sea and is one of the area’s most famous southerly peaks. A climb to the summit rewards you with unforgettable panoramic views of both land and sea. The walk is quite steep but very worth it. It’s probably best to climb it during good weather to make the most of the views.
Hazards to watch out for when driving in the Lake District
- Blind corners – Winding country roads mean you’re never sure what’s round the bend.
- Stunning views – It’s difficult to keep an eye on the road when there’s so much beauty on offer.
- Dry stone walls – Often situated right at the edge of the road, bumps and scrapes are common.
- Soft verges, dips or channels along the road – When trying to pass other vehicles it’s easy for wheels to slip off the tarmac.
- Mud – Wet leaves and mud can make roads more slippery than you’re used to.
- Floods – Heavy rainfall can soon lead to flooding. Surface water can be deeper than it appears.
- Horses and animals on the road – Whether wild animals or domestic it’s up to you to keep an eye out.
Protecting your vehicle with motorhome insurance cover
Anyone visiting the Lake District will want to avoid accidents. That’s why, no matter how peaceful and secluded the area, you’ll want the best cover for both your vehicle and its contents.
Using our panel of insurers, we’ll search out motorhome insurance, tailored to your vehicle, needs and budget.
Our cover can include benefits such as:
- Cover for vehicles valued up to £150,000
- Cover for camping personal effects up to £3,000
- Unlimited mileage cover
- Discounts for motorhome club members
Call Motorhome Protect and get a quick quote for motorhome insurance today.
Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.