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Waterside House Campsite

UK England North West England Cumbria Pooley Bridge

  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Children’s playground
  • Laundry
  • Campfires allowed
  • Short walk to pub
  • Good walks nearby
Family-friendly camping with oodles of space directly on the banks of Ullswater

Ullswater isn’t exactly lacking in campsites. It has all kinds, from large and loud commercial parks to quieter farms and hidden spots. But Waterside House is one of our favourites; there’s something easy-going yet professional about the place that makes you feel relaxed and in safe hands.

Undoubtedly this has something to do with
it being a family-run site, handed down through several generations to current tenants Joan and Colin Lowis, their son Mark and their daughter Debbie. Not only that, but, as the name suggests, Waterside is snuggled right up against the lake’s shore. Pitch on the
 grass to the left of reception and your morning views will be of the surrounding fells (including the ancient woodland at the foot of Barton Fell), foregrounded by the gently bobbing moored boats and curious swans and ducks.

The lakeside pitches continue, on the other side of the reception block, with picnic tables and a children’s play area. There’s also a second field for campers who don’t want to be right on the water, which tends to cater more for families and larger, activities-based young groups.

Since Waterside is a working farm, the atmosphere is pleasingly rural. You might even experience, depending on the season, activities such as lambing and shearing. Then again, there’s every chance you’ll be hiring one of Waterside’s rowboats or Canadian canoes to enjoy the lake, heading off for lunch in pretty Pooley Bridge (there’s a lakeshore footpath from the site), or borrowing a mountain bike to explore the surrounding terrain.

Details

Facilities

Some of the 90 pitches have electric hook-ups and there’s a children’s play area near the water. Separate glamping area at one end with pods and tipis. The newly refurbished toilets and showers are available to use 24 hours and free-of-charge. Another block has a washing machine (£3 in tokens), dryer (50p), and coffee machine. A well-stocked shop does gas and bottle exchange; freezer for ice packs; phone; volleyball, and table tennis. You can even store your boat and use the launch. Campfires are allowed if fire pits or braziers are used and suspended from the ground. BBQs are fine.

Suitable For

Tents, campervans, dogs (on leads) – yes. Caravans – no. Groups – supervised only.

Nearby

Aside from all the lake-based activities on offer (try a steamer ride with Ullswater Steamers; book with the site), there’s Dalemain House (01768 486450) to visit, with its wonderful garden and various events on throughout summer.

Food & Drink

The Howtown Hotel (01768 486514) has great food, an old-fashioned ambience, and friendly staff (dress smartly). The Martindale Restaurant at The North Lakes Hotel (01768 868111) 
is less formal and sells local produce.


Opening Times

March–November.


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Accommodation

We have 6 unfurnished lakeside pods and 5 fully furnished tipis.  All have stunning views of the lake and fells.  The Main campsite for general camping is also lakeside and we have both grass pitches and 20 electrical hook up points which are pea gravel.

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Location

Contact Waterside House Campsite, Waterside House Campsite, Howtown, Penrith, Cumbria CA10 2NA

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Getting There

Take the A592 for Ullswater and Pooley Bridge. Turn left at the lake; go straight on, over the river and through Pooley Bridge. Take the first right, towards Howtown, and Waterside House is the second campsite on the right. Post code for Sat Nav  CA10 2NA

Penrith Railway Station is less than 6 miles from the site. The bus from Penrith to Patterdale will drop you off at Pooley Bridge, but a taxi is the only way to get right to the door.


Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 4 reviews

★★★★☆

Great family campsite

Stayed at Waterside for three nights over May bank holiday. Weather mixed, but plenty to do. Great walk from campsite to Howtown then back on the steamer. Kids (7 & 11) loved it. Pooley Bridge an easy walk along the lakeside path with its pubs and shops where other groceries can be purchased. Shop in campsite well stocked, although lacking in barbeque meats, which in fairness could be got from Pooley Bridge, but at a price. The catering van was a great bonus one damp morning. The well filled bacon roll was epic! Toilets cleaned regularly and showers great. Staff very friendly, particularly the "boatman" who saw us off on our rowing boat expedition on the lake. A big site but with a really good vibe, will definitely be back.
May 29, 2017 by ScottishJo
★★★★★

Big campsite but great position

This campsite is pretty massive but it's almost all tents which I really like (plus a few campervans) and the location is great. Right by the waterside. Lots of people camping when I was there had brought canoes which they could paddle straight from the campsite. A great idea. There are also boats you can hire at the campsite though (and bikes too). Recommend it. Friendly staff and fab location.
Aug 2, 2016 by James Smith
★★★☆☆

Waterside House

A great site for launching boats on to the lake, great lakeside pitches fantastic views. The facilities where good and there was always at least one member of staff around and always someone cleaning toilet and shower block.

Only a couple of pitfalls.  We arrived on a very windy day and the tent next to us had become damaged, as the tent obviously belonged to a family I was concerned and went to the shop to ask if they had contact details.  The staff were not helpful and bluntly said it was their problem and didn't even attempt to check records. :( Sadly by the time the family returned they had to leave that evening as the tent was too damaged and it was too late in the evening for them to source replacement poles or make a repair.

The resident dogs where constantly roaming and approaching the tent.  Our dog struggles with other dogs and this made things a nightmare as one would come right up the tent door and when shooed off would marked its territory in close proximity to the tent.  I even observed one, fouling in the play area!

We would stay here again, but will be looking at alternatives for the future.  If you are planning to stay here do not rely on the onsite shop as this is very over priced.

Sep 1, 2014 by Bill
★★★★★

No caravans

Looks great but information on their website is unclear BUT they do not accept Caravans - tenst + campervans only.

May 15, 2014 by Dave Patterson

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