Back-to-nature campsite on a working sheep farm on the edges of Grizedale Forest

What a great find this is – a back-to-nature campsite on a working sheep farm on the edges of Grizedale Forest. A large grassy field site takes care of families, big tents and trailers, while up in the sustainably managed woodland site couples can pitch tents among the trees; there are also half a dozen cosy camping pods and two yurts up here, visited on occasion by the farmer's pet goats. There’s a good new shower block and camp wash-room, and the nearest pub, the Eagle’s Head, is just half a mile away.

Our favourite spot

Tents, nature lovers, horses, dogs – yes; but large human groups – no.

The local area

There aren’t a lot of tourist attractions near this back-of-beyond campsite, but those that are here are stunningly different and very exciting. There is obviously the usual kind of Lake District walking available straight from the site, though it’s a deal woodier than elsewhere in these parts, but as mentioned Go Ape’s high wires criss-cross the forest canopy, and an extreme mountain biking course called the North Face Trail (01229 860373) zips along the woodland floor. Both adventures are designed for those with nerves (and muscles) of steel. If you aren’t quite ready for the nerve-jangling death-defying ATB course, there are miles and miles of forest tracks to cycle along, with gradients to suit all tastes and legs. All the other more traditional attractions of South Lakeland are also accessible by bike, with the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway (01539 531594), Windermere Lake Cruises (01539 443360), and the Lakes Aquarium (01539 530153) all a pleasant stress- and precipice-free 7-mile pedal away. And another mile (or quick ferry ride across the lake) brings Fell Foot Park (01539 531273) in range, where you can sip tea by the lake or hire a traditional rowing boat.

Best local places to eat and drink

The roads into Grizedale are, in a vehicle, nearly as scary as the high wires or extreme biking trails, so many folk won’t be going far in the car once settled here. If the stove packs up, the fire goes out, or the camp chef goes on strike, the local pub in Satterthwaite, the Eagles Head (01229 860237) can cater to just about every taste. The beers (Eagles Head Ale and Grized Ale) are exclusive, and there are regular changes of guest beers from local microbreweries. Should you decide to risk the road, the Kings Arms (01539 436372) in Hawkshead does simple food very well.

Why stay with us?

Campfires are allowed and encouraged (as long as you purchase the wood from the farm and don’t go scavenging in the forest). There are 50 tent pitches on the lower field. The facilities are housed in a barn at the farm, and are decent enough, but are a fair hike from the main camping field, though much closer to the yurt (there are presently 4 on site, but 3 may be removed for next year, they just weren’t sure?] and the camping pods. There are 4 free showers in all (2W, 2M), with a baby-changing facility in the ladies’ half, and a washing-up sink available to all genders. The ‘horse holiday’ available here is purely a facility to stable a camper’s own horse at the farm.


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