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Great Langdale, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9JU
015394 32733
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We say

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, it’s the quiet valley 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 is 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.

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As featured in Cool Camping Britain

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They say

(info supplied by the campsite)

Great Langdale NT Campsite is beautifully located at the head of the Great Langdale valley, surrounded by England's highest fells. A superb base for hikers and climbers all year round. Your campsite fees contribute to the Trust's conservation projects in the valley, so your stay directly helps to look after the stunning countryside you are there to enjoy for generations to come.

We now have a bouldering wall and orienteering course on site as well as the essentials so you can now enjoy chilling at our campsite even more...

Remember you can book ahead online, so no need to worry about rushing up after work!

Plenty of available tent space over the winter period but pre-booking essential for the pods. Book online at www.ntlakescampsites.org.uk

See you soon

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★★★☆☆

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.


 

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!
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!
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.

Nearby Campsites

Cool Factor

A truly tranquil treasure in the heart of classic Lake District scenery.

Who's In

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

On Site

220 tent pitches and 5 pods. 2 large shower-and- toilet blocks. Well-stocked shop; laundry facilities. Off-the- ground BBQs fine, but no campfires.

NEW - camping pods (standard and family size). Bread oven for freshly baked bread in the mornings.

Off Site

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.

Click here for activities, sights & attractions to see and do in the Lake District.

If it rains

It always rains in the Lake District – bring waterproofs!

Food & Drink

There are three good pubs within 10 minutes’ walk of the campsite: The Sticklebarn Tavern (015394 37356), 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.

Click here for pubs, restaurants and places to eat & drink in the Lake District.

Open

All year.

The Damage

Pitch for 1 tent, 1 adult, 1 one car from £8.25; extra adult £5.50; child £2.50; dog £1.50. Pods £30–£50.

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 (daily bus service 516; for times call 0870 608 2608; www.traveline.org.uk).

Public Transport

The 516 bus from Ambleside stops a 5-minute walk from the site.


Tags

Campervans permitted  Dogs welcome  Good walks  Groups welcome  Laundry  Luxury camping available  Mountains  Nice views  Open all year  Pods  Remote location  Shepherd’s huts  Short walk to pub  Showers  Yurts & Gers