Park Foot Lake, near Ullswater, Cumbria
Only a fence (for safety reasons) separates this impressive site from the banks of Ullswater, the second largest lake in the Lake District, with its opportunities to learn to sail a dinghy, or simply take in the surrounding scenery on one of the four famous steam boats.
The facilities are excellent throughout, with a clubhouse and restaurant for those who like caravanning with comfort and convenience in mind. There’s pony trekking for all ages, so explore the area in the saddle. And you can admire, or wonder at, the dedicated runners/swimmers/cyclists competing in the Ullswater triathlon at Park Foot on the weekend of July 10-11.
Open: March 13 – Nov 8
Prices per night: From £14, low; £39.50, high
Visit parkfootullswater.co.uk; 017684 86309
Ashes Caravan Park, near Kendal, Cumbria
With 360 degree views of the Cumbrian Fells, this no-frills but well-maintained, adults-only site is ideal for exploring the Lake District. The market town of Kendal (where the streets are paved with mintcake), the ‘gateway’ to the region, is just five miles away. If you hanker for the fringes of the Yorkshire Dales, then head east instead.
Don’t depend on Satnav on getting there on the final leg of the journey. Check route with owners.
Open: March 1 – October 22
Prices per night: £19.50, low; £22.50, high
Contact: 01539 731833
Skelwith Fold Caravan Park, near Ambleside, Cumbria
A short drive from the northern tip of Lake Windermere, and just over a mile from the town of Ambleside itself, this extremely well equipped, 130 acre woodland site is set in the heart of Beatrix Potter territory, so watch out for blue-jacketed bunnies.
Needless to say it’s a hiker’s paradise and the site has a brochure of 15 walks, according to stamina and interest. But if you fancy taking it a little easier, then there are electric cycles for hire at the site, allowing you to pedal or cruise to your heart’s content. They appear to have thought of everything.
Open: March 1 – October 31
Prices per night: From £21.50, low; £30.10, peak
Visit skelwithfold.co.uk; 01537 432277
Hill of Oaks and Blakehome Park, near Lake Windermere, Cumbria
This David Bellamy Conservation gold medal winning site is brilliant for boaters and nature lovers alike. Just a mile from Windermere town, site has its own jetties and slipways on the south-eastern side of Lake Windermere.
Landlubbers may prefer to take the squirrel and deer nature trails around ancient woodland, keeping an eye out for the owl boxes placed around the park. And if you fancy touring the area, why not leave the car behind and hire an electric-powered Twizzy? Great fun to drive and you’ll be doing your bit for the local environment too.
Open: February 28 – Nov 13
Prices per night: From £21, low; £41, Bank Holidays
Visit hillofoaks.co.uk; 01539 531578
Riverside Tourer Park, near Caldbeck, Cumbria
Enjoy the splendid rural isolation of this is a picturesque, quiet, adults-only site, where the River Caldew merges with its tributary the Beck; it’s the perfect base from which to explore the Northern Fells of Wainright country.
Experienced hikers will probably have their own routes mapped out but local groups do provide organised walks. It’s one of the few areas in the UK where the red squirrel enjoys supremacy over the grey and the birdlife is a twitcher’s dream. Like many rural sites, it’s not that Satnav friendly, so check the route before setting off.
Prices per night: From £16 (Bank Holiday supplement)
Please note that all prices and opening times are correct at time of writing. Always check beforehand.
For comprehensive insurance check out Saga Caravan Insurance.
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