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Long Valley Yurts at Low Wray

UK England North West England Cumbria Ambleside

  • Children’s playground
  • Laundry
  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Short walk to pub
  • Good walks nearby
Morocco meets Mongolia meets Cumbria

Tucked away on the quieter western shore of Windermere, you’ll find the delightful rambling estate of Wray Castle, once the summer abode of a young Beatrix Potter. Nearly 50 years ago the National Trust turned the grounds into what is now one of Cumbria’s loveliest campsites, with pitches in fields, pitches (and pods) in woods, pitches right on the lake shore – a real somewhere-for-everyone place. But still there was something missing. ‘What about’, cried people who wanted to stay there in a yurt, ‘people who want to stay there in a yurt?’

Now, with the arrival of Long Valley Yurts, that cry has been answered. In a field bordered on one side by trees and the curiously spelt Blelham Beck, and just beyond a very well maintained if somewhat barracks-like facilities block, sit five gorgeous yurts awaiting your indulgence.

It’s a widely held belief – based, it must be said, on nothing more tangible than empirical evidence and historical documentation – that yurts are a form of dwelling emanating from the Central Asian steppe (where they are often known as gers) rather than, say, north Africa. One must therefore congratulate the good people at Long Valley on the inspirational brainwave that led them to decorate the yurts here as if they were from Morocco. The furniture, rugs, and even the lanterns conjure up a vision of old Marrakech. There’s also a fully equipped kitchen so visitors can bang out some falafels to accompany their tabouleh and hummus. It’s post-modernism given a jokey twist. ‘Was Genghis Khan’, they appear to be asking, ‘actually an African?’

What we can be sure of is that north Africa is, as a rule, is hotter than Cumbria, so to redress the balance, extra warmth comes courtesy of a wood-burning stove for which firewood and kindling is provided. Should it rain, you can curl up smugly snug with your nearest and dearest or rifle through the games chest and beat them into a pulp at Monopoly or similar. And when bedtime comes, everyone can forget those arguments about which player would have won first prize in the beauty contest, and drift off to sleep gazing up through the skylight at the constellations above.

But it’s not all lying back and thinking of Orion. The owners are more than happy to organise a whole host of activities to get your teeth into – literally, in the case of the bushcraft course. Trained instructors will take you rock climbing, abseiling, ghyll scrambling, mountain-walking, mountain-biking, Ray Mears-ing, or, perhaps most excitingly, canoeing – you can paddle from right outside your front door, down the Blelham Beck which borders the glamping field, and out on to Windermere itself.

England’s largest lake is, naturally, a Mecca for lovers of all kinds of aquatic pastimes, with local companies offering a chance to try out sailing, waterskiing, and windsurfing. Or, if that’s all a bit too much, you can always hop on one of the many cruisers that chug relentlessly back and forth over the water.

Long Valley Yurts also have two other sites – Great Langdale (slightly further north in the Lake District) and Knotlow Farm in the Peak District.

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Three 16ft Yurts on the shores of Windermere (sleeping up to 5 each) and three 18ft Yurts (sleeping up to 6 each) on Whitworths Meadow about a 5 minute walk to the shore. All linen supplied. A fully-equipped kitchen including gas hobs; while lighting and fairy lights are solar-powered. Immaculate showers and loos are a step away, plus a washing-up area and laundry room with a washing machine and tumble-dryer. An adventure playground will keep the kids entertained and you can launch non-powered craft into Windermere from a beach on the site.

Suitable For

Big groups (mixed sex only – no stag or hen parties) – yes. Tents, campervans, caravans, dogs, young groups – no.


Sail, windsurf or waterski on England's largest lake with Windermere Outdoor Leisure Centre (015394 47183) or cruise the waves in style with Windermere Lake Cruises (01539 443360). Long Valley Yurts have also teamed up with Keswick Canoe and Bushcraft (017687 80145) to offer a range of exciting Ray Mears style activities including an introduction to bushcraft day, canoe and bushcraft experience and shelter, flints and steels skills course to name but a few. Contact the Long Valley team for more information and booking. Otherwise you might like to seek out Grizedale Forest for some buzz à la bicyclette, from the most family-friendly tracks to the taxing North Face Trail. Bikes can be hired at Grizedale Mountain Bikes (01229 860369). The World of Beatrix Potter is over the other side of the lake, at Bowness, and is not to be confused with the erstwhile author’s house, Hilltop (01539 436269), at Near Sawrey, which is much closer.

Food & Drink

The Drunken Duck Inn (01539 436347) has a reputation for serving some of the best pub food in Britain, and is only a couple of miles away at a lonely crossroads between Outgate and Skelwith Bridge. Lucy’s of Ambleside (01539 432288) is a deli with its own café/restaurant and sells lots of delicious, if hardly inexpensive, ingredients for your camp nosh-fest. Meanwhile, Ambleside’s 2 art house cinema-restaurants, Fellinis ‘vegeterranean’ (01539 432487) and Zeffirellis Italian (01539 433845), both keep it reel.

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Rated ★★★★★ over 8 reviews


Waking up to a morning chorus of bird, sheep + cow song!

We spend 3 wonderful nights + 4 days in Elder Yurt, right on the shore of Lake Windermere. It is perfectly located for gorgeous walks, quiet contemplative moments, soothing sounds of nature and wildlife. We would wake up to the sounds of nature, and eat surrounded by ducks and their goslings. Also, the campsite was busy without being too noisy. It was just the place to recharge batteries! 

Jul 5, 2015 by APB

Brilliant bell tents!

We want to say a HUGE thanks to Long Valley Yurts for a brilliant weekend in your bell tent at Low Wray. The tent wonderfully welcoming, with everything we needed, including lots of tips for us to make the most of our stay. We seriously lucked out with the weather, enjoying a warm dip in Lake Windermere, which is only a few minutes walk away. We loved the ingenious BBQ / stove! The position of the tent on the site was also very special - tucked away in a secluded corner, with a babbling brook and lovely reed beds, and only a stones throw from the well-appointed and clean shower block (complete with solar panels and Dyson air blade!)

Can't wait to return soon! 

Jul 20, 2013 by Gavin

anyone for Glamping darling?

No one in my family would class me as a natural camper; I like a comfy bed, a nicely equipped kitchen and a cosy corner to read in. We arrived at Low Wray really late and despite it being really dark found the yurt down the little path through the trees. My other half (once a boy scout, always a boy scout) got the mini log burner going and the yurt was cosy in no time at all.  Snuggled up in the duvets with the solar powered lights twinkling away, listening to the rain on the canvas and the ducks on the lake was like being transported back to my childhood.  The campsite has clean facilities, oodles of hot water and I rose to the challenge of picking my way through the tree-roots in my pyjamas en route to do the washing up.  I enjoyed the novelty of boiling the kettle on the log burning stove and drinking in the view with our morning cuppa.  I was pleasantly surprised and delighted with our Yurt at Low Wray Campsite; I've even bought my own head torch with intentions of returning to the little corner of heaven by the lake.

Jul 8, 2013 by Judith

Yurt Bluebell!

We had a truly relaxing break in Low Wray. The yurt has the most lovely view of the lake and is very comfortable! The fire got us cosy in no time, but I particularly enjoyed cooking dinner on the fire bowl outside. I only wish we could have stayed longer!! 

Jul 2, 2013 by Charles Finnie

Long Valley Yurts

We stayed in one of the yurts in the Peak District. A stunning location, with great facilities and loads to do with the family within easy reach of the campsite. The yurts were so comfortable with everything we needed for a family of 4. The weather was perfect & the kids just had a ball running around & enjoying the campsite, which has masses of very safe open space. The little touches made it extra special – eg. fairy lights inside the yurt at night, the log burner, a picnic bench just outside etc. We will definitely be back & will recommend to others. A great break for all the family.

Jun 18, 2013 by Lisa K

Long Valley Yurts

My friend and I stayed in the Yurt 'Elder' and it could not have been in a better location. Being situated right on the shore of Windermere Lake at the Low Wray campsite, the view from the stable door was simply so stunning I could have spent all of our 4 days sat in the comfort of the Yurt taking in magnifcant surroundings. A real home from home, the yurt had everything we needed for our holiday (apart from the wine!) and it was SO clean, comfortable and well presented. As soon as we stepped into the yurts we felt relaxed and left our troubles behind. On the one day it did rain I felt so relieved to be in a Yurt where I could get the fire going and get dry - I felt sorry for all the campers in their tents! The campsite has a great atmosphere and there's so much to do in the surrounding area. We were kept very busy indeed. When it goes dark, it's fantastic to be able to use the lights and the fairy lights are just magical. Thank you for such a great holiday and we'll be back again without a doubt.

Jun 13, 2013 by Helen Westmorland

Long Valley Yurts

A truly relaxing escape!

We (2 adults and 2 children) stayed in a long valley yurt last August and loved every minute of it. The yurts spacious, comfortable and cosy. The kitchen area provides all the essentials you will need and the rugs, furnishings, fairy lights and lantern provide the ambience. The games chest is great, we had some great family evenings playing games and having a great laugh. My favourite part of the yurt was the log burner, it really made the yurt cosy and warm on those typical Lake District wet evening, and whats even more fantastic is the kindling and firewood are provided!! The owners (whose names I have forgotten, sorry) couldn't be more helpful and friendly, the lady who was cleaning the yurt when we arrived early was lovely, she even helped when my son was suffering from travel sickness.

The camp site it's self is one of my families favourites, it's clean and well kept and is real back to nature camping. The shower block is close to the yurt and was kept clean through out our stay, despite some very muddy conditions!! There is a shop and play park on site too. Wray castle can be accessed directly from the site, we spent a great day here with the kids, lots of activities going on for them especially if they are taking part in the national trusts, 50 things. 

Close by is; Hawkshead, Ambleside, Beatrix Potter's hilltop house (highly recommended), Brockhole visitors centre, world of Beatrix potter and Bowness, all are worth a visit

Mar 2, 2013 by Ewalker82

Long Valley Yurts

My best friend and her 7 year old boy have never done any sort of camping holiday, myself and my 2 boys ages 6 and 11 were booked into a Long Valley Yurt in Seatoller so we invited them. It was awful ,as we had to leave on the Friday!!! It was the most magical, amazing, relaxing, fun filled holiday. The yurt was wonderful - huge, comfortable, cosy, warm, well provisioned and set in a beautiful setting in the wettest place in the UK. We are coming back I can assure you. For a little bit of luxury I cannot recommend enough. SImon was so very helpful too :)

Mar 1, 2013 by salsagill

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