Waterside House Campsite
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.
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!
Great family campsite
Stayed at Waterside for three nights over May bank holiday. Weather mixed, but plenty to do. Great walk from campsite to Howtown then back on the steamer. Kids (7 & 11) loved it. Pooley Bridge an easy walk along the lakeside path with its pubs and shops where other groceries can be purchased. Shop in campsite well stocked, although lacking in barbeque meats, which in fairness could be got from Pooley Bridge, but at a price. The catering van was a great bonus one damp morning. The well filled bacon roll was epic! Toilets cleaned regularly and showers great. Staff very friendly, particularly the "boatman" who saw us off on our rowing boat expedition on the lake. A big site but with a really good vibe, will definitely be back.
Big campsite but great position
This campsite is pretty massive but it's almost all tents which I really like (plus a few campervans) and the location is great. Right by the waterside. Lots of people camping when I was there had brought canoes which they could paddle straight from the campsite. A great idea. There are also boats you can hire at the campsite though (and bikes too). Recommend it. Friendly staff and fab location.
A great site for launching boats on to the lake, great lakeside pitches fantastic views. The facilities where good and there was always at least one member of staff around and always someone cleaning toilet and shower block.
Only a couple of pitfalls. We arrived on a very windy day and the tent next to us had become damaged, as the tent obviously belonged to a family I was concerned and went to the shop to ask if they had contact details. The staff were not helpful and bluntly said it was their problem and didn't even attempt to check records. :( Sadly by the time the family returned they had to leave that evening as the tent was too damaged and it was too late in the evening for them to source replacement poles or make a repair.
The resident dogs where constantly roaming and approaching the tent. Our dog struggles with other dogs and this made things a nightmare as one would come right up the tent door and when shooed off would marked its territory in close proximity to the tent. I even observed one, fouling in the play area!
We would stay here again, but will be looking at alternatives for the future. If you are planning to stay here do not rely on the onsite shop as this is very over priced.
Looks great but information on their website is unclear BUT they do not accept Caravans - tenst + campervans only.