Syke Farm Camping Ground

UK England North West England Cumbria Buttermere

  • Dogs welcome
  • Short walk to pub
  • Good walks nearby
Idyllic countryside setting amongst lakes and mountains

Technology hasn’t arrived at Syke Farm campsite yet, and it’s all the better for it. ‘We’re not into those computers,’ says the friendly proprietor Mrs Kyle as she marches officiously around collecting tent fees. ‘We didn’t put ourselves on the Internet – someone else has put us there’. It’s true. Internet users have been writing glowing reviews about Mrs Kyle’s unassuming campsite. And it appears to have caught her off-guard. Whatever next? An entry in Cool Camping?

Syke Farm belongs to another age. It’s tucked away in a quiet Lake District valley to the southwest of Keswick in the tiny hamlet of Buttermere. It’s not just technology that’s having trouble making inroads here. Running water is reluctantly offered as an option, with one shower each for men and women. There’s no reception or shop – fees are collected promptly at 8am and the only source of provisions is the farmhouse in the village offering eggs and milk. Well, we say the only source of provisions – that just depends whether or not you consider delicious home-made ice cream a necessity (we certainly do). Occupying what was once the farm's tractor garage, the enterprising Kyles have transformed this simple space into a tearoom and ice-cream parlour locals and tourists flock to from miles around. Made using the cream of the farm's prize herd of Ayrshires, Buttermere Ayrshire Ice Cream is quite the local delicacy, with flavourings such as blackcurrants and rosehips from the surrounding hedgerows to complement the old favourite, vanilla. The tearoom also serves light lunches and snacks – ideal for hungry hikers.

As for entertainment, well there’s a dangerous-looking rope-swing. That’s pretty much it – an unpretentious, no-frills campsite with an unapologetically back-to-basics approach. And that’s exactly why this place makes you feel like you’ve travelled back in time, escaping all the luxury and materialism of modern life. Spend a few days relaxing in Buttermere, gazing into the bubbling beck and you’ll begin to understand Mrs Kyle’s perspective. After all, if you find yourself in this glorious spot away from the world, why would you want to be put anywhere else?



Not much: a couple of showers (50p for 6 minutes) and toilets in a cold stone hut. And there’s a shelter with picnic tables.

Suitable For

Tent-only site, dogs welcome by arrangement.


Click here for activities, sights & attractions to see and do in the Lake District.

Food & Drink

Man can't live on ice cream, alone. But if you'd like to try, the Buttermere Ayrshires Ice Cream at the farm is second to none. The tearoom also serves a selection of light snacks, salads, cream teas and cakes.

Click here for more pubs, restaurants and places to eat & drink in the Lake District.

Take your pick between The Bridge Hotel (01768 770252) and The Fish Hotel (01768 770253), both of which are just a few minutes’ stroll from the campsite and serve real ales and good food. The Bridge Hotel has a pleasant beer garden by the stream.


All year. Come off-season for extra tranquillity.


Contact Syke Farm Camping Ground, Buttermere Village, Buttermere, Cumbria CA13 9XA

Show Map

Getting There

Take the B5289 from Keswick for the stunning drive over Honister Pass to Buttermere village. On approaching the village, turn left after the church to get to the car park and Syke Farm. In the summer you can catch the bus from Keswick to Buttermere.


Add Your Review

Rated ★★★★★ over 9 reviews


Great stay

well what can i say sykes farm is in a stunning setting in butermere one of my favorite places in the lakes our first time proper camping and we loved it , the site owners cant do enough for you great showers great field . even though the weather really did throw its worst at us for two nights and ripped our tent the wind was vicious we still loved it . dined at the bridge hotel which unlike the fish which is lovly does not have a dog friendly bar/restaurant .we stayed there end of july into august had some great walks haystacks pillar ennerdale round lake walk . what a site we will be back and thank you for a lovly stay . if you want a great site in a fab location look no further than sykes farm you will not be dissapointed  /

Sep 21, 2015 by andrew muir

Won't return

Spoke to a nice enough chap on the phone before setting off, however when we arrived we were 'greeted' by an elderly man who proceeded to call us 'idiots', be extremely rude and offensive when I we asked him simple questions like "where should I park my car?". He seemed to think we should know better than we did even though we had never visited the lovely village that is buttermere. I basically had to argue with him just to get the ticket. I definitely won't be returning and will be warning all others of this experience. 

Aug 18, 2015 by Jsp

My Favorite Campsite

I have been camping for many years and can honestly say this is the best site I have ever found. It is nice and peaceful with fabulous views of the mountains and a stream nearby. No cars allowed in site so safe and no noise. The pitches are varied with some by the stream and some up small hills. The staff were very friendly and it was a delight to stay a week there. Only 2 mins from village with its 2 pubs and cafe and 10 mins walk from Buttermere lake on a gentle footpath. I would come back to this site and for anyone who wants a tranquil scenic place to stay this is just the site. Basic toilet and washing facilities but showers were warm with a good flow and small stone built shelter provided on site for bad weather days. Would highly recommend.

Jul 22, 2015 by Paul B

Lovely Spot

I've been to Buttermere a few times but never camped here. Given the glorious forecast for the second week of the Easter hols we decided to have a few nights camping and scale Red Pike. What a lovely little site. We practically had it to ourselves given the fact it was early April! But the weather God was kind and we had a wind free, rain free sunny stay. Granted it dropped to 2-3 degrees overnight but we were warm and toasty in the tent. The facilities are basic, just how we like it. No EHU but there is an actual plug if you need to charge your phone in the bothy. The showers were hot and 6 mins was plentiful to wash away the summits we'd bagged during the day. Thankfully we were too early in the season for midges or neighbours. I can imagine this site gets pretty busy in peak season, but we had ample space and a lovely level dry pitch to enjoy. Head to Crummack water to watch the sun set between the mountains and don't forget to have a couple of pints in either of the pubs and an ice cream made in the dairy. My only grumble was the low water pressure in the bothy shower meant I lost my £1 but at £8 a night you can't complain really. The stars were breathtaking both nights as we had cloud free nights and no light pollution. 

Apr 19, 2015 by teambug

One smashing campsite

I had always known that this campsite was here, from visiting Buttermere with my Grandparents and my Dad constantly talking about when he visited the campsite whilst with Scouts. Now I can see why he loved it so much. 

We stopped here for our DofE practice Expedition and it was lovely - with brilliant toilet and shower facilities. However, the best thing on the site was the bothy! Especially when it was awful outside with wet, windy weather - being able to sit and cook inside was superb. 

It is a lovely campsite if you're looking for a retreat away, or if it is on your way. Either way, I would highly suggest this campsite. The owners are lovely, the campsite is great and the location is spot on. 

Thank you!

Oct 19, 2014 by DanielNixon

Peaceful and lovely

Syke Farm is a campsite I hope to return to for many years- the location is perfect, the set up simple and straightforward, no cars are allowed on site and the view is beautiful.  Granted, the facilities are pretty basic (or they were last time I visited at least) with a couple of loos and a coin operated shower, but there is also a bothy (deisnged for DoE groups I think) which provides shelter on the really wet evenings (and we've camped here in weather like that certainly!) but in short, a basic, old fashioned campsite, with walks starting right from the door of your tent, two pubs nearby, and amazing scenery.  There is a choice of pocthes, from smaller, rockier ones on the little hill (with the best views) to larger flatter ones down by the river (also a lovely location) and extremeely reasonably priced.  Perhaps some people won't like having to leave their car in the car park and carry their stuff over the bridge, but for me its one of the things I like most as it makes it feel even more secluded and quiet.

May 15, 2014 by shonaincambo

My favourite place so far.......perfect little gem.

I'm not a frequent camper but have been on a few trips in my time including New Zealand for a few weeks. I Am also a bit of a dreamer and imagine the most idyllic places to sleep in and be at one with nature. Well, this comes very close to that dream. Basic but beautiful. It's a small patch of undulating land you share with sheep and the surrounding magnificent peaks. There's a babbling stream that separates you from a car park and the hiker's footpath. This little stream leads you to Buttermere lake which is so tranquil and delightful.  It is so peaceful here and you can get lost and play in the water, looking up at the huge presence of the peaks. My 2 year old daughter loved playing in stream  (which we pitched up next to) and lake which she was fine walking to whilst talking to the sheep and cows. It is very much part of Buttermere village but it is a very small place with a hotel, pub (the fish inn which do amazing portion sizes and half sizes!) cafe (cute and contemporary) and the owner's tea house where we did sample some delicious ice cream! So great if you don't want to cook (£6 for half portion dinner which I thought was a full portion) but the only downside of course was the washing facilities-not ideal for me but is acceptable. My favourite love so far. 

Sep 28, 2013 by Lam

Beautiful spot

It's been a long time since I've been to this site but it's one of my favourites ever. The campsite itself is a reasonable size and due to its topography it has a very private and not overcrowded feel. A stream separates the car park with the camping area which makes it a little more pleasant, in my opinion, but does require you to carry all of your kit a short distance and over a footbridge. A short walk down-stream and you get to a stunning wooded beach area with stunning views of the lake. Nearby are a couple of pubs, open less hours during the winter though, and it's in a lovely position as a base for walking.

It has the feeling of campsites I knew in the 70s, when I was very little, and I hope it never changes.
Jul 24, 2013 by bethand

Syke Farm Camping Ground

This is a cracking little campsite for lots of reasons... It has changed little for many years, having a very functional, basic toilet block with cold water, but electric showers (50p). Pitching can be boggy in some places in wet weather, and a bit sloping in the drier areas! If you arrive in the dark like we have, look around (to the left and the right as you cross the bridge) as there are lots of areas to pitch. It normally costs £8 per adult per night. The owners are also lovely and helpful. What I love is that the car park is on one side of a stream, and the camping is on the other, so you have to carry your gear the 50 - 100 yards or so to your pitch. This makes for a quieter site and better atmosphere I think. Word of warning... there are 2 pubs right next door. Both do great food and excellent beers. However, both shut in the winter months. We have just returned from a weekend (Jan 2012). We knew The Fish pub was closed because their website said so, but The Bridge Hotel looked to be business as usual on the web. Arriving in -4 conditions on Friday night, looking forward to a couple of pints and a hot meal, we found the Bridge Hotel was shut during the week, and only open till 5:30pm on Sat & Sun nights. We had to make sure we were back off the hill in time for our tea on Sat night, then had a chilly evening sat chatting in the tent. They did stay open until 6pm because the pub was busy, but then despite a very healthy number of customers (about 40 people), and despite our requests, they shut at 6pm and everyone had to go. Ring ahead and check...
Jan 15, 2012 by jez10

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