A family-friendly Lake District campsite, nestled between the quiet shores of Bassenthwaite Lake and the beautiful Cumbrian fells
Louise Smith and Andrea Bramhall seem to have found a winning formula – find an old farm in the most enviable location you can think of, give it a good make-over with a lawn-mower, a few sign posts and a spanking new block of modern showers, then open up the gates and let the campers roll in! Their first campsite in North Norfolk – that they took over almost 10 years ago – received a solid two thumbs up from all the Cool Camping
clan – and we very much expect it to be exactly the same at Kestrel Lodge. After all, if they were on to a winner the first time, we think they may just have topped it here!
Set in the shadow of mighty Skiddaw, climbing away to the south east, and a stone’s throw from sparkling Bassenthwaite Lake to the south west, Kestrel Lodge Camping is a traditional Lakeland campsite on an 18th-century farm. Grassy pitches enjoy stonking great vistas across the adjacent fields to where the hills rise and fall, speckled with woodland like barnacles on a whale's back.
There’s nothing formulaic about the welcome you receive though. Louise, Andrea and the three generations of family brought together to share the dream, are personable and friendly and just as in awe of the surroundings as most visitors. They can point you in the direction of each of the nine Wainwrights walkable from the campsite, as well as the nearest pub – a cosy little spot in Bassenthwaite with real ales on tap. It’s with fond memories that they too remember their younger days camping here and it’s clear they want to explore the surroundings of their new home as much as every guest. You almost feel guilty trekking off into the hills without them.
The ethos, they tell us, is “small, quiet, friendly, traditional, but with nice hot showers, and somewhere to clean your boots and dogs.” And the result is the very antithesis of a holiday park. For proper camping with proper views, Kestrel Lodge should be top of the list.
The Owner Says
A traditional camping ground with a modern shower block, situated in a quiet corner of the Lake District National Park. Sitting in an enviable position, below Skiddaw with views across the valley to Bassenthwaite Lake, Kestrel Lodge Campsite is surrounded by some of the best fell walking routes in the country. It’s a perfect base for exploring the Lake District and Northern Fells. Keswick and Cockermouth are within a 15 minute drive, where you will find a large number of shops, cafes, restaurants, and other attractions. Within short stroll away from the campsite is the village of Bassenthwaite, which has a great local pub, serving comforting hot food and traditional ale. Located off the beaten track yet within easy access of everything, you will feel like you are in the middle of the countryside, without being too far away amenities. ****Kestrel Lodge also offer a small number of Electrical Hook Up Pitches, for these please contact the site directly to book.****
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As nature intended
Great campsite, great owners and a great location. What more is there to say?
This is a lovely campsite with super clean facility’s . Location is great for exploring and the pub down the road serves lovely food . The Owners at kestrel lodge are really friendly and helpful , nothing is too much bother for them . The freezer was an added bonus with the temperatures we had last week . My two girls loved the ponies and fudge !! Will defo return again .
Owners have thought of everything to make this a memorable campsite. The site feels wild and remote but has five star facilities i.e washrooms and plenty of hot water to wash dishes.Great touches including a sheltered picnic table area and a small group fire pit.
This is a great place, a real little gem. Super friendly owners, with a well stocked little shop on site, with all essentials. It has a beautiful natural playing field for children, 3 beautiful pony’s and guniea pig. The showers / toilets / washing up areas are spotless and kept that way. Bbq’s and camp fires are allowed with fire pits provided on each pitch at no extra charge, dogs are also allowed at no extra charge. There is also a nice pub that does food and is dog friendly just a 20 min stroll away. The walking and exploring from the site id excellent. We will definitely be returning in the future.
Wonderful little campsite
This is a fantastic place for families, a real little hidden gem. Super friendly owners, with a well stocked little shop on site, with all essentials that are easily forgotten until you arrive and realise you haven’t packed them. It has a beautiful natural playing field for the children, as well as the 3 beautiful pony’s and guniea pig to fuss. The showers / toilets / washing up areas are spotless and kept that way consistently. Bbq’s and camp fires are allowed with fire pits provided on each pitch at no extra charge, dogs are also allowed at no extra charge. There is also a nice pub that does food and is dog friendly just a 20 min stroll away. To sum up it’s just a real treat of a site. We will definitely be returning in the future
Kestrel Lodge had everything I was looking for.
Having driven over 350 miles from the South of England the friendly, helpful welcome was lovely. The site was full but didn't feel cramped with good space between pitches. Being able to park my car next to the tent was great as that's where my dog slept. The toilets and showers are modern and were kept very clean throughout my stay. I very much hope to return!
Fantastic set up in great location
The site was fully booked, but there was plenty of space for everyone, with a designated, fenced play area for kids and dogs, and a separate, forest play area as well. There was even a covered cooking area with tables in case of rain. The site is well thought out and generous, with fire pits and flat pitches; we had lovely walks straight from the site. Our dog especially enjoyed the river nearby. The owners are very friendly and clearly care very much about the experience of their guests. Excellent organisation; clean showers; just brilliant. Fantastic star gazing on a clear night; owls in the trees above the tent; Shetland ponies and guinea pigs to boot...
Brilliant - Will definitely return
Unbelievably helpful and friendly owners (I arrived very late and they had erected industrial lighting to help me pitch), great facilities (really hot, powerful, clean showers), individual fire pits, a group fire pit area, covered gathering area if the weather is bad. Brilliant. Will definitely return.
Peaceful getaway from it all
We stayed here in the first weekend of August. Weather was kind to us although it had rained most of the week before meaning that the field was a little muddy, despite this, the facilities were extremely clean. Never had to queue for toilet or showers. Owners/staff onsite extremely helpful and friendly with lots of ideas for walking etc. We took our dog - no extra charge. Local pub serves great food and is dog friendly. Our stay was all too short but I'm sure we will return!
A massive thank you to everyone at Kestrel Lodge campsite in the Lake District. We'd thoroughly recommend the site to anyone and everyone (although I'd hate for it to get too busy as Id be cross if we couldn't get in!) The site itself is beautiful and the facilities are spotless. The family who own it are really friendly and helpful and nothing is too much trouble. And its in a beautiful area - near to lots of places but miles from anywhere - just my kind of place! We'll be back !!
A hidden gem
We found this site via cool camping in Spring last year after searching for what seemed weeks to find a place we wanted to spend our holiday. It came out of no where and I booked within hours of coming across them. From the first message I sent to the phone call to confirm booking I knew that I'd found a great site and we'd have a fab holiday, and I wasn't wrong. We stayed at Kestrel Lodge for 8 nights over Whitsun in 2016 and had what has now to be known a best camping holiday, ever. The owners can not be beaten, they are extremely friendly and go out of there way to accommodate their guests. We were joined on our holiday by relatives who had a 6 month old baby, we wanted to store breast milk in the freezer (supplied just for ice blocks) and the owners were extremely supportive and even offered to store it themselves if we weren't comfortable using the outside freezer. We arrived extraordinary early as we had wanted to beat the traffic, which we did, and although we took them by surprise they allowed us on to pitch our tent (as our pitch was free, obviously if the pitch is in use you wouldn't get away with this!). The owners ensured we had what we needed, ran through the basic site rules (nothing out of the ordinary, where fire pits were allowed, not to break trees for wood, balls in the football pitch and no noise after a certain time). We had reccomdations off the owners for walks and outings in the area, they even allowed one of our party to have a parcel delivered to site. When they found out it was my birthday during our stay, they even brought me a bottle of bubbly! The facilities are the best kept I have ever been too. They were frequently cleaned day and night and the owners worked hard to unsure their high standard were kept. The facilities were new and in good condition, although at the busiest time on the site they could have done with a slightly more toilets and showers available, however time it right and avoid the rush and it wasn't a problem. This and a lack of charging facilities for devices were the only this we could comment on this site in a bad way (but saying this they did allow us to occasionally charge phones and batteries as long as the shop was open, which again shows how much these owners wold go out of their way for their guests). One thing to be aware of is how 'of the beaten track' this site is...make sure you read the directions before just sticking in a postcode on the satnav. This however means the site is so peaceful that it is truly a hidden gem. We have just booked to return to Kestrel Lodge, and we can't wait!!!
We recently stayed at Kestrel Lodge with friends in 2 VW campers, wow what a fantastic setting! The site only has 30 pitches which were all full when we arrived and there was a lovely atmosphere , children playing on the central grass area while parents sat chatting. There was even a marshmallow party organised by the children, which we were invited to (even though we had no children) The owners were so friendly and helpful and told us about a lovely walk into Keswick from the site over Skiddaw which was great, ( 10 miles but we got the bus back and called into the local pub). The facilities are very clean and they were still cleaning the toilets at 11.30pm , they are quite compact but don't let that put you off! The fire pits on the pitches are a great idea and everyone was making use of them. This is a gem of a site in a stunning location and we will definitely be returning