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Troutbeck, Matterdale, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 0ST
19 10 15 34 23 8 24

We say

Gill Head is a lovely little working hill farm that’s been run by the same family for several generations. Ensconced within the Lake District National Park, yet far removed from the tourist hordes, it offers space for tents and caravans, as well as B&B accommodation and six rather funky timber camping pods. The main camping meadow is wide and flat with space for around 50 pitches (the 21 hardstanding caravan pitches are in a separate field), offering campers grand views to the mighty Blencathra – known locally ‘Saddleback’, a ridge of six separate fell tops– and Northern Fells, stretching right down the valley to Keswick. In keeping with the splendid, spacious location, the site has a laid-back, natural feel. There are fields and streams to paddle in, an organised play area for children, and decent facilities that include a modern and spacious shower, toilet, and laundry block. There’s even a log cabin (with TV lounge and undercover BBQ area) for communal get-togethers and wet-weather relaxation. Beyond lie the Lakes and a wealth of hiking, biking, ghyll scrambling, and water-based activities (Ullswater is less than a 10-minute drive away) and the owners have been thoughtful enough to arrange regular onsite activities, games, and even bushcraft courses (run by local firm Reach Beyond Adventure). Those ‘who don’t want to feel like they’re on a campsite’, as the owners put it, can ask to pitch in the ‘hidden’ field, which comes with its own waterfall and steep, wooded banks. You’ll have to walk further to the shower block, but it’s a small price to pay for such pleasant, leafy isolation.

They say

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Gill Head Farm

Lovely quiet campsite with great views of the surrounding hills. Good little playground for children too - the trampolines had been removed when we stayed for safety. The site is quite isolated and with only a very small shop you really do need to travel to either Penrith or Keswick if you need more then eggs, bread and milk. However they do provide takeaway breakfasts if you pre-order the night before. We stayed in a tent - the fields were quite spacious, the owners were very laid back about pitches - no strict regimes about distance between pitches and this did seem to work well, there was even the odd picnic table in the tent fields - we managed to baggsie one. Also very laid back about arrival times and departure times on the days we were booked for which was Easter weekend. The site wasn’t over crowded. Bathroom facilities are ok -showers were free and clean but could do with updating. We would definitely stay again as it was a good friendly site when camping with children.

2 of 2 readers found this review useful.


Gill Head Farm

Great camp site. good facilities and staying in a pod was handy in the bad weather we had while there. A bit remote location, but not far to get to Keswick.

2 of 3 readers found this review useful.


Gill Head Farm

A lovely little campsite with stunning views and a relaxed feel.

Myself and three others stopped for a five day period in early june and had a great time, the campsite is clean and well looked after, and the staff at the shop/check-in are attentive and friendly. The shop is fairly basic with just the few essentials to see you by, however keswick is only a 12 minute drive away and with a local inn a five minute walk away, good food at nights isn't a problem.

The toilets are kept clean and the free showers are a bonus.

The hot bacon sandwichs in the morning help set you up for the day ahead.

Would of been five stars but the shop could stock more items, and the weather wasn't great.

Would stay again, and i have recommended to my friends.

1 of 2 readers found this review useful.


Gill Head Farm

We tried here after getting turned away from a couple of other sites due to them been full on a very busy weekend, only to be met by some of the rudest customer service I have ever encountered. Granted we were 3 guys turning up without prior arrangement but we did politley explain that others were coming later on with females in the group and that we just wanted somewhere to stay while we did some walking over the weekend and that we would behave ourselves.

After some persuasion the woman at the reception said it would be ok, but her continued rude and obnoxious manner made us feel like we we rather sleep in the car than give them our money. We made our excuses and left.

I Cant comment on the quality of the site or its facilities, but if you would like polite and friendly service I would probably try elsewhere.

1 of 3 readers found this review useful.

Nearby Campsites

Cool Factor

A relaxed atmosphere within easy reach of the Lakes.

Who's In

Tents, caravans, campervans, dogs – yes. Groups – by arrangement.

Off Site

The surrounding area has some of the best walking country in the Lakes – ask on site for info and routes. Ullswater is a short drive away and being England’s second largest lake has a huge range of activities and water sports to offer, including sailing, kayaking, and fishing trips. The Rheged Centre (01768 868000) in Penrith has a number of retail outlets and cafés, lots of activities for kids, and a giant cinema. Rookin House Equestrian Centre (017684 83561) is a family-owned adventure venue with everything from air rifle shooting and archery to riding lessons and trekking.

Food & Drink

The refurbished Troutbeck Inn (017684 83635) is within walking distance, with pricey but delicious food. The Mill Inn (017687 79632) in calm, unspoiled Mungrisdale serves good food based on traditional Cumbrian fair. Veggies will love the Lakeland Pedlar Café (017687 74492), an organic wholefood vegetarian café with beautiful views.



The Damage

£7.50–8.50 (depending on season) per person, per night; camping pod £30–40; hook-up £1.

Getting There

Take the A66 towards Keswick. At the Troutbeck Inn T-junction take the A5091, signposted Ullswater. After 100 metres turn right for Gill Head.

Public Transport

Train to Penrith or Keswick then bus no. X4 or X5 (every hour between Penrith and Keswick) to the Troutbeck Inn and walk the ¼ mile to the site.


Bicycle routes  Bushcraft courses  Campfires permitted  Caravans permitted  Children’s playground  Good walks  Mountains  Nice views  On the farm  Showers  Tent pitches  Waterside location 
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