Sykeside Camping

UK England North West England Cumbria Glenridding

  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Laundry
  • Dogs welcome
  • Short walk to pub
  • Good walks nearby
  • Walking
Panoramic mountain views and great hiking action right in the middle of the Lakes

Sykeside is one of those campsites that is all about the views. Situated in the midst and mists of the Lake District’s Dovedale valley and surrounded by the fells of Dove Crag, Hart Crag and Fairfield, it offers glorious mountain panoramas wherever you decide to pitch. Not only that, the Lakes themselves are enticingly close by, with unsung Brothers Water a short walk away and serpentine Ullswater four miles further away down the road.

Innumerable campers have been spilling into Sykeside’s friendly embrace for over 35 years now. The current owners have been running the place for more than a decade and know a thing or two about how to make things run efficiently. The valley campsite is hidden away down a private drive below the roadside Brotherswater Inn, and is fastidiously cared for, with neatly trimmed and well-nourished grass. If it sounds too manicured, one look up at the encircling fells puts everything into perspective. There’s still a reassuringly natural, outdoorsy vibe and, as tent pitches are unmarked, campers can choose their very own patch of grass on which to throw up their canvas when they arrive.

The best place to pitch is on the terrace on the left-hand side of the site. As it’s higher up it gives better views and stays relatively dry all year round (it’s the only part of the site open to tents in the winter months), and as you can’t take cars up the bank it’s often quieter there in summer (a word of warning, though: it’s very occasionally reserved for the use of a school group.) Otherwise, you’ll be able to park where you pitch – though after heavy rain they prefer to keep cars off the grass.

There’s a wider-than-usual range of facilities, though the showers are shared with walkers, small groups and families using the on-site bunkhouse. There’s a well-stocked shop at reception and – best of all – the campsite Barn End Bar (weekends and school holidays only). When the bar’s not open you only have to walk up the drive to the Brotherswater Inn, a quintessential Lake District pub that offers decent grub, draught beer and B&B accommodation for any non-tenters. Energetic kids get the use 
of an entire spare field (except during lambing season), allowing plenty of space for running around and football games.

There are excellent hiking routes starting straight from the site, from easy strolls around Brotherswater – which is a relatively small and unknown lake, yet a favourite of Dorothy Wordsworth, no less – to more challenging ascents up the likes of Fairfield, Helvellyn and High Street. It’s also easy to pick up the Fairfield Horseshoe ridge walk, ramble to Priest’s Hole cave, or amble all the way to Ambleside. The road outside the site, meanwhile, goes in two directions – three miles up, to the top of Kirkstone Pass (where you can enjoy a pint or an afternoon tea at the agreeable inn there), or three miles down, to the lake at Ullswater. Here, you’ll be able to catch a steamer from Glenridding to Howtown or Pooley Bridge, and then stroll back along the lakeshore – secure in the knowledge that, most weekends at least, you can recuperate later with your very own onsite, 100-yard pub crawl, from the Barn End Bar to the Brotherswater Inn.

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Toilet (6 women's, 4 men's) and shower (5 women's, 6 men's) facilities are clean and heated but shared with the bunkhouse. Shaving sockets and power points are available in the shower block. There’s also a laundry room (washing machines £4, dryers £1.50), dishwashing area (with freezer for ice packs) and a shop at reception (open daily in summer; on request in winter) selling groceries and camping gear. As well as the Brotherswater Inn (open daily, except Christmas Day), the cosy Barn End bar is open at weekends (Easter–Oct) for meals and drinks in the evening. Play facilities for kids are limited to an empty field. Off-ground BBQs are fine. No campfires.

Suitable For

Tents, campervans, caravans, motorhomes and dogs – yes. Groups of more than 6 adults (D of E excepted) – no.


Boat trips with Ullswater Steamers (01768 482229) from Glenridding (a 10-minute drive) are available all year round – leave your car at the pier car park for a day cruising and walking round the lake. Staying at Sykeside also gives you the opportunity to explore the lesser-visited eastern side of the Lakes. It’s a 16-mile, 30-minute drive, for example, to the magnificent Lowther Castle and Gardens (01931 712192), Britain’s largest castle and garden restoration project which lies just south of the enjoyable market town of Penrith (market day is Tuesday).

Food & Drink

The on-site Brotherswater Inn serves generous portions of hearty pub grub. Otherwise, the main local destination for eating and drinking is Ambleside, 7 miles away, up and over Kirkstone Pass, where there’s the excellent Zefirellis (015394 33845), an Italian veggie pizza and pasta place with its own cinema and jazz bar. Head the other way, to Penrith, and you can drive to The Gate Inn at Yanwath (01768 862386), a renowned gastro-pub showcasing the best in Cumbrian cuisine and beer.

Opening Times

All year except Christmas Day.

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The Owner Says

In the heart of the Dovedale Valley, surrounded by Dove Crag, Hart Crag and Fairfield with Brotherswater nearby, Sykeside is an inspiring location for Lake District camping, offering stunning views wherever you pitch.

Video Tour


Space for 80 tents, 19 motorhomes (with hook-ups) and 5 caravans (on a separate site).

Standard Grass Tent Pitch

Grass pitch Sleeps 6 10 Available
Our standard pitch includes one adult with a tent and car. Our site is a favourite with families, walkers, climbers and ramblers, we are the number one choice for that ideal location in the heart of Lakeland

Backpacker Pitch

Grass pitch Sleeps 1 5 Available
This is our one man backpacker pitch with a single tent. Our campsite is located in a great location with plenty of great walks and hikes nearby! We are dog friendly and also have a new modern shower and toilet block.

Check Availability


Contact Sykeside Camping, Brotherswater, Hartsop, Penrith CA11 0NZ

Show Map

Getting There

From Windermere and the south, take the A592 towards the Kirkstone Pass and Ullswater – head over the pass and down the other side and you’ll see the Brotherswater Inn on the left (turn into the pub car park – then drive through for the campsite). Coming from the north and the A66, take the A592 towards Windermere and the Kirkstone Pass – pass Ullswater, drive through Glenridding and Patterdale, and the entrance to the campsite is about 2 miles beyond Patterdale, on the right-hand side of the road, just before the Brotherswater Inn. If you miss this entrance, turn into the pub car park and go on through to the site.

The nearest train station is Windermere (12 miles), from where you can pick up the Kirkstone Rambler (bus no. 508, runs at weekends from Easter until October, and every day during the school summer holidays), which runs right past the campsite.


Add Your Review

Rated ★★★★★ over 15 reviews


Wow! Can’t wait to come back!

Surrounded by panoramic stunning views, Sykeside is everything you need it to be! If it’s a base for walking or just for relaxing and unwinding, it’s whatever you need it to be. The people who run the site are super super friendly and helpful. The pub has great food, great service and great cider! All the Covid measures that need to be taken are in place and more, giving reassurance and adding to the sense that that they want you to have a great experience and stay safe doing whatever you choose to do. I am so happy to have found this site, I can’t wait to come back. Thanks to everyone at Sykeside, I had an amazing break and will be back!!

Amazing Campsite!

Surrounded by the most amazing views, this campsite is smack bang on the middle of stunning scenery whichever way you look. Everyone who works there couldn’t be more friendly and super super helpful. Great pub, great food and great service. Facilities were great and all Covid measures that can be taken, are in place and add to the feeling that they want you to have a great experience and stay safe at the same time. A great starting point for lots of walks for lots of different fitness levels. It inspired me to write 7 chapters of a new book. This place is exactly what you want it to be, if you want to hit the fells, they are on your doorstep! If it’s peace and quiet and to unwind, it’s that too. I’m sooo excited to have found this campsite and can’t wait to plan my next adventure there. Get ready Merv.

Great views, peaceful evenings, good food!

We stayed for five nights in a rainy August week! Site is really well spread out and fully Covid compliant - lots of thought has gone into safety and cleaning. A beautiful setting with rolling hills all around you. We did an amazing day-long walk directly from the site up Dove Crag. Shower and loo block is clean and heated which was a relief! Washing up facilities are also good. It has an excellently stocked shop on site and the staff were friendly and helpful. The Brotherswater pub serves delicious, if a little limited at present, food. This listing says children’s play is ‘limited’ to just a field but that was all my two small boys needed. They loved it!
Aug 30, 2020 by Anya Wood Verified Review

Great campsite

We stayed at Sykeside for 4 night in the middle of the week and really enjoyed our stay. All staff was very nice and all the covid precautions were taken into consideration. Lots of space to pitch your tent and it was very peaceful even in the evenings. Very nice walking routes close by and also a short distance from Windermere and Ambleside which we absolutely loved. The pub at the campsite was lovely and very cosy but the only downside they didn't have any vegan options. Might be because of covid though. All in all a great campsite would recommend.


What a lovely camp site staff very friendly. We enjoyed our stay very much. We will be going again soon with the family. Xxx
Jul 14, 2020 by Gemma Colley Verified Review


Perfect for camping, lots of room and beautiful scenery. There's showers and toilets kept really clean. Theres is a bar if you fancy a pint and if you need anything from milk to some gloves and camping gear you'll find it in the store which is reasonably priced. Sweet, can't go wrong
Sep 15, 2019 by Pawel Rodak Verified Review

Breathtaking location

The campsite is set in a beautiful valley not far from Ullswater. The staff are friendly, the showers cleaner than most and there's a good pub serving reasonably priced local food. You can go on a short walk to the small lake nearby (Brotherswater), just don't stray off the path or you'll have the angry farmer hollering at you!

Lovely site and now have 4g on EE.

Really quiet through the week, got busy on the Friday ready for the weekend rush. Don’t trust Apple maps when trying to find the place. Beautiful scenery, they let you have a fire raised off the ground and you can choose where you pitch. Great site, near to Glenridding as well. This is the 2nd time we’ve been and would definitely choose again. Decent size toilet block and wash up room attached, on site shop not too pricey either and sells a good range of camping equipment and essentials you may need.
Jul 7, 2019 by Mickey

Friendly staff amazing views

With wife and 6 year old son in tow, we hit the Lake District with relaxing fun in mind. We got just that, the near by Brothers Reservoir made for a lovely short walk with little legs and a great spot to paddle and throw stones in the water. On an evening my son and I looked for fallen dead wood to put on our little (raised) campfire. Roasting marshmallows and telling ghost stories it was like a scene from a corney TV programme about happy families. Nearby Aira falls made for a nice day trip tied in with a trip to Keswick. Location wise everything is a short drive away. Also a well stocked and surprisingly reasonably priced shop caters for all the bits you forgot to bring and some things you never intended to buy. Overall a beautiful, memorable trip, in the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger 'The worst thing I can be is the same as everybody else. I hate that' ;) Oh and yes 'I will be back'
Apr 22, 2019 by Whitwambam

Amazing location

I stayed here in early July and, even though the weather wasn't great, had a fantastic time. There's plenty of space and a footpath runs directly through the campsite. Even so, I managed to go off and get very lost in the nearest mountains but for walking the place really is fantastic. Immidate access to the hills and something special in every direction. The pub next to the campsite isn;t bad either!
Aug 2, 2016 by James Smith

Heaven On Earth.

Have been here plenty of times but, usually go in winter as it is cheaper. everyone should try Brotherswater it is scenically beautiful, the staff are great the pub is good, but, just the atmosphere of the location is wonderful. brilliant walks, it cannot be faulted.
Jul 17, 2016 by francis

Fantastic campsite

We had a lovely stay at Sykeside campsite. The location is beautiful and surrounded by amazing mountainous views. The facilities were great too, and the shop was very handy for bits and bobs. The staff are very friendly and helpful and keep you up to date with the weather report! I would recommend this site to anyone and will definitely stay again. 

Aug 19, 2015 by Amy

Easter Break

Enjoyed a fab Easter holidays week at Sykeside. A great spot surrounded by the fells and sheep. We definitely felt like we'd got away from it all. A friendly and safe site for our kids to play freely. Fantastic for real ale fans like us to have the Brotherswater Inn so close for lovely meals and beer too. Our only critism would be the showers, in a week we only managed one hot shower despite trying different times to beat the rush, it was a bit of a downer as we woke to a couple of hard frosts :(

May 15, 2014 by Lorna T

Lovely spot shame about the...

Lovely campsite, amazing location. We just had one night here with our two very young children. The facilities could do with updating and there is no bath for very small children. Unfortunately our stay was ruined by 3 drunk men who obviously thought they were the only people in the campsite. When I approached them at 2am in the morning to curb their language (politely) and speak quietly they turned nasty and threatening (I did not feel safe). The owners must ensure that they do not allow allow large groups of males in (although there were only three of them but made enough noise for about 20). I cannot understand such people. In North America the camping ethic is much better, you are quiet at 10pm until 8am and that is that!!!!!! What a shame as it is such a great spot. 

Aug 12, 2013 by Snowflake

My Absolute Favourite

Been going to Sykeside for many years, from when I was a child, I will always return... it is a great site and run by a great family team... great breakfasts at the Inn, if you get rained off some lovely and competitively priced bunkhouses, the views and on and on, run by a great family who have been doing this for many years.

Aug 4, 2013 by loosetooth

Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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