Turner Hall Farm

UK England North West England Cumbria Ulverston

  • Good walks nearby
A glorious wilderness amongst rocky crags and famous fells

If you’re looking for a truly remote, wilderness camping experience, you’d find it hard to do much better than Turner Hall Farm in the Lake District’s lesser-visited Duddon Valley. The reality is, it’s not that far from civilisation, but it feels like the Middle of Nowhere, given the journey there.

The most spectacular way to arrive at Turner Hall Farm is to drive over the Wrynose Pass, a tortuous zigzag of a road, often single-track, frequently hairpinned and always threatening to throw your car down the steep sides of the hill with one wrong move. It’s an exhilarating drive that matches some of the best Lake District walks, view for view. If you’re a nervous driver, take the safer long, winding road via Broughton Mills. Even from here, you have to get out of the car to open and close gates, an action loaded with the symbolism of leaving civilisation behind.

Turner Hall Farm is a basic campsite for walkers and climbers, the attraction being its location and outlook rather than the facilities. But the surrounding fells provide an unforgettable backdrop that makes for a fine, inspiring vista. It’s a raw, boulderstrewn, with private corners for sheltered (and neatly trimmed) pitches in amongst the crags and drystone walls. Weathered and worn, beaten and torn, the site merges as one into the rugged fell landscape. It’s all pretty low-key for a campsite: just turn up and pitch your tent! There’s no reception or shop, but it’s a short walk to the pub, and a longer walk to the local post office and general stores.

Campers at Turner Hall Farm are invariably here to walk, with hikes to the lofty peaks of Scafell Pike and The Old Man of Coniston high on the list. These are challenging treks for energetic walkers, but you can warm up with one of the easier walks that crisscross these fells, taking in lower-altitude pikes, tarns, crags and waterfalls. Popular routes include hiking over the Dunnerdale Fells into the charming, untouched Lickle Valley, home of the age-old Blacksmiths Arms watering hole, or across Birker Fell and down into Eskdale where a steam railway and the historic, supposedly haunted Muncaster Castle provide some family attractions.

A short walk across the fields from the campsite lies the Walna Scar track, now popular with mountain bikers, happy to endure the tough, bike-carrying uphill sections for the adrenaline-pumping downhills. Off-road vehicles also ply some sections of this track, although erosion intermittently forces the National Trust to ban this activity.

Turner Hall Farm may be as off the beaten track as you can get, but thankfully you don’t need a 4x4 to get there. Just remember to shut the gates behind you as you leave civilisation.

Details

Facilities

Modern, clean facilities – separate toilet blocks (3W, 2M) and hot water for showers (3W, 3M – £1 for 4 minutes) and washing-up. You can buy eggs at the farmhouse; there’s a post office and general store (01229 716255) 3 miles away in Ulpha. Bring midge repellent, sunscreen and waterproofs – it’s not unusual to need all 3 in one trip. Off-ground BBQs fine; no campfires.

Nearby

We suggest you enjoy some car-free time and just walk, walk, walk – the Dunnerdale Round (park near the old bridge in Ulpha) is a half-day circuit of the lesser-trodden local peaks. If you don’t mind braving the zigzag Hardknott Pass, drive over towards Eskdale and visit the always-open Hardknott Roman Fort for some spectacular views and a bracing picnic site. Treat yourself to some car-free time and walk, walk, walk; just make sure you come with all your supplies.

Food & Drink

The Newfield Inn (01229 716208), 10 minutes’ walk down the road in the hamlet of Seathwaite, has real ale, a real fire, and real hearty food. The nearest village is Broughton- in-Furness, 8 miles south, which, as well as pubs, a butcher and a greengrocer, has the excellent organic Broughton Village Bakery and Café (01229 716284), a finalist on TV’s Britain’s Best Bakery, no less.

Opening Times

March–November, weather permitting. No need to book, unless you with are a DofE group.

Location

Contact Turner Hall Farm, Seathwaite, Broughton in Furness, Cumbria LA20 6EE

Show Map

Getting There

From Great Langdale continue over the high-gradient Wrynose Pass, following signs for Seathwaite. Turner Hall Farm is signposted on the left. For an alternative (and more direct) route from the north; take the A593 through Ambleside, Coniston, Torver, Broughton In furness, then head up the Duddon Valley from Duddon Bridge. From the south you can take the A593 via Broughton Mills, then continue through Seathwaite, and you’ll see the campsite signposted on your right. Or (and probably easier), you can take the A595 past Broughton In Furness and turn right at Duddon Bridge (half a mile outside Broughton.)

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