Wasdale Head Campsite The National Trust

UK England North West England Cumbria Wasdale

  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Laundry
  • Dogs welcome
  • Good walks nearby
Top wilderness location for hiking and climbing; great views of the high fells

England’s highest mountains may not be on the scale of the Alps, the Andes or the Himalayas, but they are impressive in their own understated way. They also have the advantage of being readily accessible and in most seasons they can be conquered relatively easily with the help of a pair of decent walking boots, favourable weather and a thermos of hot tea.

Several of the country’s highest mountains are clustered around the northern end of Wastwater in the Lakes, where the National Trust has thoughtfully sited a camping ground at Wasdale Head. From here, you can lie in a sleeping bag, head poking out of your tent and as the dawn mist clears, you’re able to survey the surrounding slopes and plan your ascent on these high fells. Alternatively, you may want to reach for the camping stove and kettle, stay snug in your sleeping bag and enjoy this most vertical of views from your horizontal vantage point.

Most visitors come here to get a bit closer and Wasdale Head is a handy base for Scafell Pike, being the start of one of the shorter but steeper ascents on the rock-strewn summit.

Back at base camp there’s a small shop for walking maps, friendly advice and blister-shaped plasters. Aside from the shop and the tidy, wooden shower block, facilities are not over-extravagant. Three small fields scattered with mature and planted trees provide plenty of flat grass for pitching, and with cars restricted to the designated parking areas, it’s a peaceful site. Definitely a high point on England’s campsite circuit.

Details

Facilities

Timed barrier system for arrivals (8–11am; 5–8pm), though with an advance reservation you can get in any time. Hot showers, flush toilets, disabled facilities, washing machines and dryers. Small shop selling food and camping essentials. No campfires, no disposable BBQs.

Suitable For

Tents, campervans, dogs (on leads at all times) – yes. Caravans, groups – no.

Nearby

Treat yourself to some tea room goodies or just a bag of flour at Muncaster Watermill (01229 717232), a traditional village mill that’s been in operation since 1455. Great family days out can be had on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway (01229 717171) or at nearby haunted Muncaster Castle (01229 717614).

Food & Drink

Buy direct from the farmer at Wasdale Head Hall Farm (01946 726245). They rear a large number of Herdwicks (local sheep suited to the harsh conditions on the high fells), as well as a herd of tough, hardy Galloway cattle. The Wasdale Head Inn (01946 726229) is the hikers’ and climbers’ favourite and reputedly home to the biggest liar in the world (take that with a pinch of salt). They also serve hearty, wholesome food for under a tenner. Otherwise it’s the Strands Inn (01946 726237), 5 miles back down the road to Gosforth.

Opening Times

All year.

The Owner Says

The campsite is situated in the remote western valley of Wasdale between Wastwater and Wasdale Head. It provides easy access to the highest mountains in the lakes, including England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike.

Wasdale is definitely the place for high fell walkers and climbers, but also affords handy access to all that the West Cumbrian coast has to offer. It's open all year round and boasts seven camping pods in addition to regular camping pitches and there are also a couple of Nordic tipis for hire.

The site offers the main facilities you’d expect from a modern campsite including a small shop which sells all of the basics plus a few local specialities.

Book online to secure your pitch - it’s a fair drive in to Wasdale so we’d hate for you to turn up and find that we’re already full.

Our staff are friendly and knowledgeable about the area and will be happy to answer your questions. Be sure to ask for advice about the best walking routes if you’re unfamiliar with Wasdale.

As a National Trust campsite, your fees contribute to the Trust's conservation projects in Wasdale, so your stay directly helps to look after the stunning countryside you’ll enjoy whilst you’re here.

Location

Wasdale Head Campsite, Wasdale Head, Seascale, Cumbria CA20 1EX

Show Map

Getting There

Approaching from the south on the main A595,turn right at Holmrook for Santon Bridge and follow the signs up to Wasdale Head. Approaching from the north, turn left at Gosforth.

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