Waterside House Campsite

UK England North West England Cumbria Pooley Bridge

  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Children’s playground
  • Laundry
  • Campfires allowed
  • Short walk to pub
  • Good walks nearby
Family-friendly camping with oodles of space directly on the banks of Ullswater

Ullswater isn’t exactly lacking in campsites. It has all kinds, from large and loud commercial parks to quieter farms and hidden spots. But Waterside House is one of our favourites; there’s something easy-going yet professional about the place that makes you feel relaxed and in safe hands.

Undoubtedly this has something to do with
it being a family-run site, handed down through several generations to current tenants Joan and Colin Lowis, their son Mark and their daughter Debbie. Not only that, but, as the name suggests, Waterside is snuggled right up against the lake’s shore. Pitch on the
 grass to the left of reception and your morning views will be of the surrounding fells (including the ancient woodland at the foot of Barton Fell), foregrounded by the gently bobbing moored boats and curious swans and ducks.

The lakeside pitches continue, on the other side of the reception block, with picnic tables and a children’s play area. There’s also a second field for campers who don’t want to be right on the water, which tends to cater more for families and larger, activities-based young groups.

Since Waterside is a working farm, the atmosphere is pleasingly rural. You might even experience, depending on the season, activities such as lambing and shearing. Then again, there’s every chance you’ll be hiring one of Waterside’s rowboats or Canadian canoes to enjoy the lake, heading off for lunch in pretty Pooley Bridge (there’s a lakeshore footpath from the site), or borrowing a mountain bike to explore the surrounding terrain.



Some of the 90 pitches have electric hook-ups and there’s a children’s play area near the water. Separate glamping area at one end with pods and tipis. The newly refurbished toilets and showers are available to use 24 hours and free-of-charge. Another block has a washing machine (£3 in tokens), dryer (50p), and coffee machine. A well-stocked shop does gas and bottle exchange; freezer for ice packs; phone; volleyball, and table tennis. You can even store your boat and use the launch. Campfires are allowed if fire pits or braziers are used and suspended from the ground. BBQs are fine.

Suitable For

Tents, campervans, dogs (on leads) – yes. Caravans – no. Groups – supervised only.


Aside from all the lake-based activities on offer (try a steamer ride with Ullswater Steamers; book with the site), there’s Dalemain House (01768 486450) to visit, with its wonderful garden and various events on throughout summer.

Food & Drink

The Howtown Hotel (01768 486514) has great food, an old-fashioned ambience, and friendly staff (dress smartly). The Martindale Restaurant at The North Lakes Hotel (01768 868111) 
is less formal and sells local produce.



The Owner Says

Waterside is a laid back family business which is perfectly situated on the shores of Lake Ullswater.  We are the ideal base for exploring the fantastic fells or just chilling by the lake with your kids or partner.  We aim to provide a relaxed atmosphere for our guests and pride ourselves on being a family campsite with an emphasis on quiet camping. If a party is what you are looking for, then Waterside is probably not for you!

Our small Lakeside Glamping Area now offering Pods and Tipis is very popular and offers arguably the best views of the Ullswater Valley.

We are also a working farm which adds a different dimension to a visit here.  Come and watch the shearing in summer or coo over our lovely lambs in the spring!


Contact Waterside House Campsite, Waterside House Campsite, Howtown, Penrith, Cumbria CA10 2NA

Show Map

Getting There

Take the A592 for Ullswater and Pooley Bridge. Turn left at the lake; go straight on, over the river and through Pooley Bridge. Take the first right, towards Howtown, and Waterside House is the second campsite on the right. Post code for Sat Nav  CA10 2NA

Penrith Railway Station is less than 6 miles from the site. The bus from Penrith to Patterdale will drop you off at Pooley Bridge, but a taxi is the only way to get right to the door.


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