Long Valley Yurts at Low Wray
Tucked away on the quieter western shore of Windermere, the lovely Low Wray National Trust campsite is a real charmer, with pitches right on the lakeshore as well as in the woods and fields behind. Like the sound of it but don't fancy camping? Look no further than Long Valley Yurts, who operate six fabulous yurts at the Low Wray site, three shoreside and three in the meadows, and all decorated as if from Morocco and awaiting your indulgence.
The 18-foot yurts sleep up to six on futon-style beds on a raised wooden floor – proper linen, pillows and duvets are provided. Toilets, hot showers and washing-up area are a short walk away – and all the facilities on site are really well looked after. About the only things you need to bring are a towel and a torch, and a cool box to keep your drinks and things chilled (you can re-freeze the ice blocks at campsite reception).
Inside, there's a surprising amount of space, even for the biggest families, and things are kept nice and toasty courtesy of the wood-burning stove (and integrated oven), for which firewood and kindling is provided. There’s also a fully equipped kitchen area with gas hobs, plus rugs, lanterns and a chest full of retro games – though for our money, the single nicest thing to do is toast marshmallows and do a spot of star-gazing, either outside by the lake or inside, up through the central skylight, when everyone has bedded down for the night. They provide you with a barbecue/fire bowl outside too, so every night can be campfire night if you like.
You can arrange all sorts of activities from the site itself, from gorge-scrambling to canoeing and bushcraft sessions, while Low Wray is brilliant for kayaking and lake swimming – right out of the door of your yurt if you fancy, with a chilly plunge into Windermere, England's largest lake. There's also bike hire on site, a shop for fresh bread and essentials, an adventure playground and orienteering course – and an open-air pizza cafe for when you really don't feel like cooking. The nearest pub grub – at the Outgate Inn – is a 45-minute walk away, or you're just a 5-minute drive from the gourmet experience that is the Drunken Duck.
It's a perfect mix – a brilliant Lake District location and some supremely comfortable glamping – and if you like the style, Long Valley also have yurts at three other classy Lake District locations: the more remote National Trust campsite at Great Langdale, at Moss Howe Farm in the secluded Winster Valley (where they also have Scandinavian hot tubs), and at Sykeside near stunning Ullswater.
From £199 for selected mid-week (Mon–Fri) stays in April, May, Sept and Oct, or from £370 in peak season. Whole week (7 nights), from £399 (off-peak) to £599 (peak season).
3 lakeshore yurts and 3 meadow yurts, each sleeping up to 6 people
Long Valley Yurts at Low Wray, Long Valley Yurts, Low Wray National Trust Campsite, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 0JA
Low Wray is approximately 3 miles from Ambleside or 3 miles from Hawkshead – you can park pretty close to the yurts but you will have to carry your stuff in a short way. The nearest bus stop is approximately 1 mile from the campsite. The route is bus 505 which travels from Windermere (next to the train station) and runs through to Hawkshead and Coniston via Ambleside.
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