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Great Langdale The National Trust

UK England North West England Cumbria Grasmere

  • Laundry
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Short walk to pub
  • Good walks nearby
A truly tranquil treasure in the heart of classic Lake District scenery

In this most spectacular of areas, where grand views lurk around every corner, it’s possible to become blasé and complacent, to grow almost immune to the beauty of these great pyramids of rock and the vast, flat pools of water shimmering with the reflection of blue skies.

If you’re feeling all ‘laked-out’, the perfect tonic has to be an excursion into the serene valley of Great Langdale, where the attraction isn’t lake-based, but a countryside dominated by two modest but distinctive peaks: the Langdale Pikes.

Pike O’Stickle (709 metres) and its loftier neighbour Harrison Stickle (736 metres) are Lake District landmarks. Although by no means the tallest in these parts, they’re an attractive pair, joined at the shoulder like giant Siamese twins. For many people, their first glimpse of the ‘Langdales’ comes when approaching Lake Windermere from the east – the peaks rise up majestically in the distance behind the lake, creating a distinctive backdrop and forming part of a classic, picture-perfect Lakeland scene.

To get closer to the Pikes, leave the town of Ambleside to the west and instead of following the traffic on the main road towards Coniston Water, take a right at Skelwith Bridge village to head straight down the Langdale Valley. There are noticeably fewer tourists in this valley as it isn’t on the A-list of Lakeland destinations. Just as the twists and turns finish and the road looks as if it might taper off into a narrow footpath, you’ll find Great Langdale Campsite. This glorious National Trust site is set in a wooded glen at the head of the valley and consists of several small, grassy camping areas around an undergrowth-shielded beck. Impressive peaks and slopes surround the site on all sides: you really feel like you’re in the true heart of the Lake District here.

Great Langdale is a typical National Trust campsite: well-organised, efficiently run, with just the right facilities and set in some of England’s finest scenery. Cars aren’t allowed in the camping areas, but none of the pitches are far enough for that to be a problem. The wood-fronted shower blocks contain plenty of facilities in school-style rows of cubicles. There’s also a drying room to stash rain-damp walking clothes and boots overnight, a very handy extra.

As you would expect, the walking from here is first-class. A map is available from reception, outlining four easy walks around the valley, each between three and seven miles in length. But despite being tempted by these steady rambles across meadows, woodlands and river banks, many visitors are keen to go for glory and conquer the Langdale Pikes. The start and end point for the ascent is at the New Dungeon Ghyll pub off the main valley road, just a few minutes’ walk from the campsite. It’s named after Dungeon Ghyll, a deep cleft that dissects the pikes on the slopes above, creating a 100 foot waterfall and a protected area for alpine flowers to flourish in. You’ll pass it as you shin up the path on the nine-mile round-trip to the peaks.

It’s also possible to walk to Scafell Pike from here and on to another Cool Camping site at Wasdale Head. Scafell may be the tallest and most brag-worthy peak to conquer in these fells, but the Langdales are just as rewarding. You also get double the fun: two peaks for the price of one. Not a bad day’s work, and definitely worth a pint – or two – at the Dungeon.



2 large shower-and-toilet blocks. Well-stocked shop; laundry facilities. Off-the-ground BBQs fine, but no campfires. Bread oven for freshly baked bread in the mornings.

Suitable For

Tents, trailer-tents, campervans, organised groups, dogs – yes. Caravans, large parties – no.


Easy walks around the valley shown on a map available from reception, while many visitors conquer the Langdale Pikes – the starting-point for which is just a few minutes’ walk from the campsite.

Food & Drink

There are three good pubs within 10 minutes’ walk of the campsite: Sticklebarn (01539 437356), The Old Dungeon Ghyll (015394 37272) and The New Dungeon Ghyll (015394 37213). Our favourite is the ‘ODG’, a legendary Lakeland pub famous for its Walker’s Bar, where a roaring fire and a fine selection of ales are perfect for walk-weary hikers. The landlord is quite handy on the violin, so rowdy, impromptu nights of music are common. Sticklebarn is also well worth a pit stop. Like the campsite it is owned by the national trust who provide tasty local food and ales and make sure every penny goes back into looking after this incredible valley.


All year.

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Contact Great Langdale, Great Langdale, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9JU

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Getting There

Take the A593 from Ambleside. At Skelwith Bridge, turn right onto the B5343. The campsite is six miles down this road; look out for the sign on the left after the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel.

Using public transport, take the train to Windermere, then the 599 bus to Ambleside, where you can pick up the Langdale Rambler. The 516 bus from Ambleside stops a 5-minute walk from the site, for times call 0871 200 2233.


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Rated ★★★★★ over 14 reviews


All you could want for in a campsite.

We stayed here for one night this summer but was impressed by the friendly welcome, clean facilities, well kept grounds and well stocked shop. A quick coffee and croissant just before we left were a bonus (bacon sandwiches also on offer...). We had good weather but there was also a drying room which would make life a lot easier if things were wet. A great base overall for spending time in the area.
Aug 5, 2021 by Stephen

Tipi camping - fantastic experience

We stayed here as a family (children 8 and 10) recently and had a fantastic time even in the rain! The members of staff couldn't do enough for us. We stayed in one of the tipi tents which my children loved. It had a raised wooden floor with sheepskin rugs, wood burner, essential drying rail amongst other things - the attention to detail inside made us all very cosy - especially when we lit the wood burner. I would thoroughly recommend the experience and there is no need to put up or take down a soggy tent! The view from the tipi is breathtaking. Campsite amenities are very good and with the excellent Old Dungeon Ghyll pub only a 500m walk away, it really is well situated, close to some excellent walks in the mountains. The campsite also offer other activities - we signed up for Ghyll Scrambling - a superb experience, instructor led - enjoyed by all the family. We can't wait to go back but for longer next time. I would thoroughly recommend this site and the tipi experience.
Aug 22, 2017 by KKB


have stayed here a number of times and would thoroughly recommend it. staff and amenities are very good. go in winter months for bargain prices. fantastic views and fantastic walking, also only 5 minutes to pub.
Jul 17, 2016 by francis

There are better places

This campsite is attractive but expensive. The facilities are very good and the drying room is handy if it's a rainy trip. Not great for campervans as the hard pitches are not in the lovely area of the campsite but in the car park. I would recommend that you don't look too far for an excellent and cheaper alternative.

Feb 20, 2016 by Jo&Mark

Glamping pods

Stayed at this site recently in one of their pods. It was fantastic, couldn't find a bad word to say. The most amazing views to wake up too and in walking distance of two pubs, we will definately be returning!

Bex and Bruce 

Jun 9, 2015 by Bex

Fantastic retreat

Love, love, love this place! It could be one of my favourite places in the world... In the Langdale Valley surrounded by beautiful mountains and most importantly, no phone signal :-) Great walking, fabulous scenery,very helpful and friendly staff, and 2 great pubs within walking distance. What more could you want??

Aug 28, 2014 by ClareM

Fantastic views

We visited this site and were blown away with the views. Orignally tried to get a yurt or pod but nevertheless were not disappointed with our pitch. The site had great facilities well within reach of our pitch.

The location meant the beautiful Windermere were a short drive away. Would definately return to the campsite.

Aug 3, 2014 by debbie-t

Not for wet weather!

Tried to stay here last Summer but had to abandon our camping trip and drive home at 1am! When we pitched it was soft underfoot, but we were told there were no other spaces. Having erected the tents we went to the nearby pub (fabulous by the way, the site couldn't be better located). Unfortunately, when we returned, it had rained some more, and the ground around the tent had just given way. Tent pegs had come out of the ground becuase there was no resistance, half the tent had collapsed, breaking some poles and resulting in lots of water getting in! After an hour spent trying to recover the situation, we gave up, got in the car and went home! Lesson learnt, don't be fobbed off with a wet pitch in the Lakes, it won't dry out!

Jul 22, 2014 by Debs Denton

Lovely site!

Lovely, peaceful campground. Short walks to nice pubs (on country roads though) and close to Langdale Pike. There are lots of lovely tarns within short walks and terrain for all abilities. Very tranquil and beautiful with lots of wildlife about. Facilities are clean and well kept and the drying room was a god send. Staff were really helpful and offered suggestions of where to walk and what to do. We stayed early in the year, in the freezing cold, and it was still busy so booking is probably wise now we are in the more traditional camping months. A really great site.

Jun 14, 2014 by Sazzlejp

Beautiful spot for 1st year wedding anniversary

A lovely campsite in beautiful and peaceful surroundings. Although it was quite hard to get our dandy trailer tent onto the grass, it was an idyllic spot - first night sipping champagne watching a beautiful sunset with a mountain backdrop. The shop was well equipped with lots of useful amenities, even hot bacon sandwiches, croissants and coffee (if you got there in time!). Also great washing facilities. Situated close to three pubs within walking distance for meals and plenty of places to go walking. As well as not being too far from Langdale, Ambleside ... It was a truly memorable 1st year wedding anniversary.

May 14, 2014 by Madcamper

Not best for campervans

We were due to camp here last weekend and upon arrival I was really pleased with the camp site, it was in a great location with beautiful surroundings and looked really well ran. I then was issued the electrical hook up pitch for our camper which was hard standing and basically in a car park :-(  Not what I had planned for our anniversary!

There were other pitches for campers but no electric and all were hard standing which was not ideal when you have an awning.

We got a refund and headed off to another site which allowed campers on a green pitch.


Jul 18, 2013 by Lyndsey

Grat option for adventures in Langdale

Very good site, well stocked shop and fresh bread and french pastries in the morning. Late check-in on Fridays (21h00), though in response to the previous post we saw that those who had pre-booked had pitch details and barrier codes stuck to the shop window after hours. Three good pubs, not sold on the ODG personally, but the Sticklebarn is doing well having been taken over by the NT themselves, local food (as in beef from next door local) and up to 6 real ales. (The ODG did appear to have mystery cider as well as 6 ales, so ask the bar staff is cider is your thing). Dogs also allowed in the Stickle and on site, in fact the two weekends we have been both were well stocked with them. Hot showers, no charge. Toilets with paper. Recycling facilities. Drying Room. Large groups on a separate field. So many walks that the car can stay put, saving parking money for beer!
Aug 27, 2012 by MontyDog

Great Langdale National Trust Campsite

Cracking site, with something for everyone... Yurts, big tents, small tents, family field, groups field etc etc. It has a great little shop, excellent facilities, stacks of room, views to die for. Two excellent pubs and a nice hotel bar and restaurant within easy walking distance. There is one frustration that is a function of being National Trust. For some reason the gates are locked at 9pm on Friday. If you arrive after this time, you have to park outside the site and haul all your gear down the driveway. Sometimes if you are lucky, the guys on reception will let you in a bit later. This is maddening as getting away after work on a Friday for a weekend, and getting up to the Lakes for 9pm is touch and go. The NT Wasdale site has the same policy, and I challenge anyone to get to Wasdale on a Friday night before 9pm! On a personal note, they are also happy for me to use a woodburning stove in my tipi, which is excellent!
Feb 16, 2012 by jez10

Great Langdale National Trust Campsite

If you are looking for the perfect spot to camp for a few days and never venture out in the car then this is the place for you. Set in the stunning Great Langdale Valley there are walks a plenty as mountains roar at you from 3 sides, from the The Langdale Pikes to Harrison Stickle there are walks here for everybody from 7 to 70, but be warned, although you will come across some beautiful tarns there isn’t a lake in sight. As you would expect from a National Trust Campsite it is clean and modern with a good shop and knowledgeable staff with lots for the little ones to do. The wooden fronted shower block is fairly new plus there is a drying room to dry out clothes and boots overnight ( this is the Lake District !! ) And if you don’t fancy lighting up the camping stove there are 3 good pubs within a 10 minute walk, The Old Dungeon Ghyll being my favourite. For those wanting to head out Ambleside, Windermere and Grassmere are all within a 20 min drive away once you have negotiated the narrow lane that winds through the valley.
Feb 15, 2012 by mark_hardman

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