Low Wray National Trust Campsite The National Trust

UK England North West England Cumbria Ambleside

  • Children’s playground
  • Laundry
  • Dogs welcome
  • Good walks nearby
Unforgettable lakeside camping and glamping – if you can bag one of the few spots!

A night or two next to England’s largest lake is, we think, simply unforgettable. Low Wray sits on the quieter western shore of Lake Windermere, away from the fleshpots of Ambleside and Bowness and, if the weather holds, it can feel like the most relaxing place on earth.

As you’d expect from a National Trust site, it’s well organised with good facilities, but it’s not overly regimented. There are several camping areas, including an elevated meadow (open for a month only in summer) with big views, another patch in a clearing surrounded by trees, and – best of all – a spot right on the shore with sweeping views across the water. There’s a surcharge for the lake-shore pitches (and a slightly longer walk from the car) but you’ll go to sleep to twinkling stars and lights across the water and wake up with the promise of a bracing dip just steps from your tent. Children have the run of the woodland trails, an adventure playground and shallow lake-shore bays, and there's a small campsite shop, which opens during reception hours and has all the basics such as bread, butter, milk etc.

For those without the camping gear, Low Wray Campsite also has a handful of glamping options. There are pods, run by the National Trust, alongside yurts and tipis, which are set up and rented by outside providers. In 2019 they also took the innovative new step of adding a pair of 'tree tents' incredible wood and canvas spheres that are suspended in the trees and decked out with double beds.

Aside from the great location next to England’s largest lake and the possibilities for sailing, kayaking and fishing, the campsite is well-positioned to take in some of the Lake District’s ‘dry’ attractions. There are plenty of opportunities for walking and off-road cycling, with paths leading directly from the campsite. This is also Beatrix Potter country, so a trip here wouldn’t be complete without visiting either her home at Hill Top near Sawrey or the Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead, which houses an exhibition of her original paintings.



Plentiful facilities in 3 blocks plus hot-water wash-up areas and laundry. Good site shop, a wood-fired pizza tent (3 nights per week), kids’ playground, bike rental. BBQs off the ground; no campfires. Kids’ playground, disabled facilities, boat launching (for non powered craft) and kayak hire throughout the season. Vehicles must be parked off the camping grass. New camping pods (standard and family size). Bread oven for freshly baked bread in the mornings along with bacon butties and fresh pastries in the shop.

Suitable For

Tents, small campervans, dogs, organised groups outside the main holidays – yes. Caravans, mobile homes – no.


A lakeshore path leads to Wray Castle, great for families with a range of activities, including the new Peter Rabbit Warren. Boats go from there to the Lakes Visitor Centre at Brockhole (01539 446601; www.brockhole.co.uk), and the terrific Treetop Trek (01539 447186).

Food & Drink

Visit the foodie-fantastic world of Lucy’s in Ambleside (01539 432288) or the gastro-brewery heaven of the Drunken Duck (01539 436347) with an award-winning restaurant and ales brewed on site.

Opening Times


The Owner Says

Low Wray campsite nestles on the western shoreline of Lake Windermere next to Wray Castle and close to the villages of Hawkshead and Ambleside. It’s an excellent base for families with direct access to the lakeshore for water-based activities and is in close proximity to the many attractions of the central Lake District.

A lakeshore path to Wray Castle and newly opened bike tracks in the local area make for a truly relaxing 'car free' break.

The site is open from April to October and offers a wide variety of pitches from lakefront and lake view to open meadow and secluded woodland. There are also ten camping pods and a couple of safari tents at Low Wray.

The site offers good facilities with a shop, three shower blocks, laundry and drying facilities, as well a children’s adventure playground, bike hire, kayak hire, children’s activity packs and we even sell pizzas from a wood-fired pizza oven 3 nights a week.

Book online to secure your pitch. We’d hate for you to dash up on the day only to find that we’re already full. Pre-booking is essential for the pods.

You’ll find our staff happy to answer any questions you may have about the campsite and what there is to see and do in the local area. We’ll do our best to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

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

Book online at www.ntlakescampsites.org.uk


Low Wray National Trust Campsite, Low Wray, nr Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 0JA

Show Map

Getting There

From Ambleside, take the A593 to Clappersgate then turn left onto the B5286. Turn left again at the sign for Wray, the site is less than a mile on the left.

Bus 505 from Ambleside drops you at the Wray turn-off, a mile from the site.


Add Your Review

Rated ★★★★★ over 11 reviews


Stunning site!

I’ve been camping in Britain for almost 60 years, and this is probably my favourite site! The staff were incredibly friendly, and super helpful. The facilities were spot-on. The drying rooms are brilliant for drying wet kit, as the site attracts a lot of walkers, cyclists and kayakers. I intended staying for a few nights, and ended up staying two weeks! I can’t recommend this site more highly.
Sep 27, 2019 by Teresa

The space and tranquility

The Campsite had everything you need and is very reasonably priced too. Brilliant place to base yourself for any walking/hiking adventures you may have.
Oct 17, 2018 by Kieran

Our introduction to campervanning....

....and what a place to start. In a hired, ropey T2 with miserable weather for most of the stay (well it is the Lakes) and mud everywhere but none of this mattered. We had planned on one night but stayed for four and used Low Wray as a base. With a pitch amongst the trees next to the stream, two minutes walk from Windermere itself, the setting was so tranquil. Wildlife was in abundance, from the heron that fished outside the van each day to the deer that ventured out of the tree cover when he thought nobody was around. The campsite itself is large and very well laid out. The facilities are first rate with a number of excellent toilet/shower blocks scattered around the site as well as a laundry. The shop is small but has all the basics and we can personally recommend the breakfast baguettes. Freshly made pizza was also available on certain evenings and is highly recommended. The staff are some of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet, a real credit to the NT (Lewis, if you read this I am so sorry, we moved shortly after our stay and I lost your email address but we will be back and I am still “well jel”). Did it convince us the campervan life was for us? Well, 3 months later we acquired a T4 work van and started the long process of converting it. So, yep, Low Wray certainly worked it’s magic for us.
Oct 11, 2018 by GreenCamper

Wonderful Lake View!

We stayed for 4 nights at the beginning of August. If you stay here i would highly recommend paying a bit extra for the Lake view pitch, where we were located was stunning and private too being a good distance away from other campers. Freshly cooked croissants and pan au chocolats available in the morning which we took advantage of, lovely walks near by and you can hire kayaks and other boats plus bikes if you want. Only downside is the toilets and showers are a bit grim but could be a lot worse so it didn't effect our stay.
Aug 18, 2016 by Emerald

Lovely week away

My husband and I stayed here for 5 nights in June 2015 and loved every minute. Out lake shore pitch, although a little bit extra in price, had stunning views and provided a quiet and calm area. The campsite's facilities were all clean with no queue to use them in the morning (Although the school's hadn't yet broken up so not sure how it would be in peak times). The shop was well stocked with friendly staff.
The local town of Ambleside is about a 1hr15 minute walk through nice scenery and has most things you would need.

All in all, a great holiday and keen to go back again.

Jun 29, 2015 by joandcolin

forest camping

I really liked this site, we stayed here for one night this july, we were in a camper van and manged to get a pitch close by the river which was very picturesque although it did leave us exposed to the midget attack. The shower block was cleaned every day but got very muddy very quickly however the showers are free and have lots of room to wash and then get dry. the site is very close to low wray castle which was nice for and afternoon wander. although I didn't use the facility I thought being charged 20p for each ice block you wanted to freeze is a bit unfair. I would come back here though with my children.

Aug 9, 2014 by lauradv75

Brillant camp site, will go again!

I stayed at Low Wray campsite this weekend along with my partner and our dog. We loved the campsite, it was easy to find and we were pleasantly surprised with how well organised it was. When we got there they presented us with a site map and we easily found our pitch which was right next to the clean toilet/shower blocks. They had pizza's for sale throughout the evenings and the site shop had a brilliant range of stuff (we forgot gas, ketchup, matches....) in the morning there was bacon butties available. We had a nice walk around the campsite in the evening and the next day walked to the ferry (15 mins) which took us to Ambleside. Even though it is a little more money than most campsites it is worth it, it's great for everyone, families, couples, small groups! The only downside we found was there are no pubs or little else in walking distance.

Jul 22, 2014 by Becky1657

Low Wray campsite

This is a great campsite. I camped here on my own with 2 very young children and it ticked lots of boxes. They provide warm croissants every morning, facilities are clean, disabled showers, children's play area, a variety of camping pitches - lakeside, woodland and family field. I found the woodland pitch not so good for small children as they didn't have the same freedom and sense of space than in the larger camping field.  You can use the jetty and launch for your own boats and my kids loves splashing around in the water (take LOTS of extra clothes). There is a passenger boat which in the summer takes you over to Bowness and Brock Hole visitors centre and you can walk along a track to Low Wray castle which is very child friendly. Staff oscillated between super grumpy to super helpful. I'm definitely going back!

May 14, 2014 by laura

lovely lakeside camping

This family friendly site is really beautiful, with fab views over the lake, set in atmospheric woodland.  We stayed here last year, for 3 nights in June, whilst my husband took part in the Great North Swim.  We had my Mum and Dad with us, plus a 5yr old boy and 3yr old girl.  It was coolish weather and a little damp.  This didn't effect the quality time we all spent together though, splashing about at the lakeside beaches, walking and playing in the woodland, enjoying the play area (really nice).  We also enjoyed walking through the campsite, admiring the cabins, yurts and gypsy wagons available to hire. The toilet/shower facilities were a bit of a walk away from our spot, but clean and the water was warm.  There is even a wetsuit drying room at the back.  Out pitches were pretty generous, with a good amount of space in between.  Car parking - though they say it is a little walk from where you park to the lakeside pitches, it wasn't very far at all.  In addition there is a really well stocked shop.  A bloomin' good camp site, quiet but still very friendly, and we'll definitely be coming again.  (Oh yes, just watch out - there are a few Windermere midges about!)

May 14, 2014 by lumiluv

Lakeside Camping

We took a large ’Lake view’ pitch here for a week in August and had a spectacular view straight across the lake to Ambleside. The site has expanded a bit since the previous reviews and has opened a new camping field which we were in, slightly slopey but worth it for the elevation and the space around each pitch. It is worth noting the long walk to the pitch with your kit, so if you can’t manage to carry your stuff you should request ’Vick’s Meadow’ which is near the parking area. It was fantastic to sit by the tent and watch the kids swimming in the lake, and although reviewers on other websites have complained about the honking geese we loved watching them doing thier regualr fly by and splash landings! This is a great site for kids, with a good play area and endless ducks to feed. I hope the National Trust aren’t getting greedy, as the weekend we were there was their busiest yet, and they seemed to be sneeking small tents in between the marked pitches (which were very well spaced). The toliet / shower block was clean with nice hot showers in spacious cubicles. Only 4 sinks was a bit of a strain at busy times, and the expansion of the pitches could be a problem if they are not careful. The shop was good for camping supplies, but very low on food (no bread / eggs / milk) so don’t rely on that, but plenty of shops in Ambleside to stock up. We used the posh burger van for both burgers and a home cooked meal which were delicious. Overall a fantastic week in a peaceful site, couldn’t have asked for a better pitch. Will visit again and hope they don’t expand anymore........
Aug 15, 2012 by glynners

Low Wray National Trust Campsite

I've been here twice now in my camper van - first time it was quiet and we were allowed to park up in the carpark right by the waters edge which meant we could sit on the banks of Lake Windemere to eat our dinner by candle light and have breakfast over looking the water watching cormorants drying their wings in the sun. It's pretty special. Almost better if you're a camper I'd say because you don't have to basically stay in the carpark to get the waterside pitch.

Second time round I went with my parents and we pitched up in the camping area back from the lake - through the beautiful woodland and out into the open camping area over looking fields. Not quite so idyllic and picturesque but lovely all the same. Here campers and vanners mix together and there is a whole field of colourful teepees for hire which gives it a bit of a festival atmosphere.

What's also great about this place is that if you're into water sports and have any form of boat then you can launch it straight off from the campsite and there are lovely places to visit from the water around here. We had an inflatable kayak.

Overall, Low Wray hasn't quite got what I'd call that magical quality to it (so it doesn't get a 5 star review), perhaps because it's National Trust run so hasn't got the personal home-made touch of some of the private campsites, but it is ideally located, beautiful and facilities are great.

Really good clean facilities (no coins needed which I always love)

Mobile phone and broadband coverage for the technomads out there.

Jul 6, 2011 by SELINA BARKER

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