Chapel House Farm’s campsite is a simple place consisting of a single open field where the Stonethwaite and Derwent Valleys join forces to form Borrowdale, and like anywhere in this valley, the view is astonishing.
Cars are not allowed on the site itself and must remain in the car park. Not only does this make the place safer and more relaxed, but adds to that notion that camping is somehow a return to the simple life by removing that constant automotive reminder of modern times. And once the car has been banished, there really is no need to use it again, as there’s a bus stop outside the site, with regular services (open-topped in summer) travelling up and down Borrowdale, to Keswick (and all its leisure activities just waiting for visitors on a rainy day), and even over Honister Pass to Buttermere.
It’s impossible to visit the Lake District and not take advantage of the many fell-walking opportunities, and Borrowdale is indeed ringed by the high fells, but this wooded sylvan valley also offers miles (and miles) of stress-free river and lake-side strolling.
Chapel House Farm is very popular with young families too, and on any sunny summer’s day the nearby Stonethwaite Beck, and a place called Black Moss Pot (a dramatic little gorge) in Langstrath Beck, are alive to the sound of children of all ages splashing about in the shallow water, or swimming in the big, deep river pools. All in all, this is simple camping, with almost too many options of things to do, in one of the most appealing locations in the Lake District.
I've stayed here twice now along with a good deal of other runners during the weekend of the Borrowdale fell race and the owners are very friendly and welcoming. It's a great spot for getting away from the main tourist hubs and getting out to some fantastic trails. While the site is quite basic it does have hot showers for a small additional charge and it's perfect if you're looking for somewhere cheap to get away. It's a fair drive from Keswick if you want the facilities of town but there are a couple of pubs within walking distance if you don't want to drive. Great view of the fells too!
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There are dozens of good eating places in Keswick, but there are two within easy walking distance that will cater for most tastes. The Langstrath Country InnScafell Hotel (01768 777208) in Rosthwaite has both a restaurant menu and bar food.