Take a grand tour through England’s unforgettable Lake District taking in all the grandeur that nature has to offer. Set off from the Manchester depot, where you'll collect your hire vehicle, and head north through Preston and Lancaster, skirting the Forest of Bowland, your first stop is in Coniston. From the picturesque Coniston Park site set in the lush woodlands of the Lake District National Park you can admire and explore Coniston Water.
Windermere, the biggest natural lake in England, is a must and is just a short drive away. Be sure to keep an eye out for Bownessie, the monster of the deep that supposedly lurks in the lake. There is adventure in abundance, from rock-climbing to alpaca walking and 4x4 off-road experiences; or swing by Grizedale Forest for a tree top adventure with GoApe.
Continuing on to your next stop, you will arrive at the town of Keswick which is rich with history. There are traditional pubs and inns where you can refresh yourself and find respite. The town plays host to a variety of events throughout the year. On the edge of Keswick is the ancient stone circle of Castlerigg. There are hiking opportunities in the Helvellyn Mountains, as well as paragliding and adventures in the mines to satisfy your appetite for adventure and the local lakes of Derwent Water, Bassenthwaite Water Buttermere and Crummock Water are all close by.
From here wind your way back down to Kendal. Shops and restaurants are aplenty in the intriguing and arty market town and there are more daring activities to sink your teeth into such as zip lining, kayaking, archery and climbing. The World of Beatrix Potter is on the edge of the nearby lake and features immersive interactive exhibits. For those in the mood to learn some new skills try your hand at woodwork, yoga and bushcraft. The Kendall Caravan and Motorhome Campsite in the Lake District is great for exploring the area, and is situated on the site of a 19th century gunpowder mill. Whether you're preparing for your first motorhome adventure or choosing your next tour, a trip through the Lake District will leave you invigorated, enraptured and entranced with magical memories to take away and keep forever.
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Recommended site: Coniston Park Coppice Caravan and Motorhome Club Site
Open: All year
Address: Park Gate, Coniston LA21 8LA
Located in a breath-taking woodland setting in the Lake District National Park, Coniston Park Coppice is the perfect central point for exploring the local lakes and fells. If you’re in no hurry then the delightful medieval Lancaster Castle makes for a fantastic stop en route, steeped in nearly 1,000 years of history.
You can exit the site at the foot of the hill to discover picturesque views of Coniston Water. Grab your hiking boots for walks around the water or pop on your wet suit to take a dip. Boats can be hired at the local Coniston Pier. If you want to kick back why not book a ticket on the Steam Yacht Gondola.
Don’t forget to greet the Old Man of Coniston and his friendly flock of sheep whilst you’re here. The Old Man is the highest point in the Furness Fells. Brandwood house is nearby, a museum and vibrant art centre as is the Ruskin Museum. Both a memorial to the art critic Ruskin and a local museum covering the history of the Lakes and Coniston, here you will see the Bluebird k7, the boat of British speed record breaker Donald Campbell.
The enchanting Lake Windermere is a must visit whilst in the area. It is the largest natural lake in England and plays host to a variety of waterborne activities with steam boat trips, ferries and sailing all being popular with tourists. The lake boasts its own cryptic monster to rival its cousin in Loch Ness, affectionately named ‘Bownessie’ after the only town on the banks of Windermere, Bowness. But with so much to see and do, don’t worry if you don’t get the opportunity to head over to the magnificent Lake Windermere as the last leg of your tour also takes you close by.
"Absolutely splendid site. Location, facilities, cleanliness and staff are all, without exception, of the highest quality. Unmissable if you are in the South Lakes."
The Steam yacht Gondola
A view from atop The Old Man of Coniston
The pier at Lake Windermere
Boats on Coniston Water
Lake Road, Coniston, LA21 8AN
Ruskin’s former home Brantwood
East of Lake, Coniston LA218AD
Coniston Boating Centre
Lake Road, Coniston, LA21 8EW
Grizedale, Hawkshead, LA22 0QJ
0333 220 4898
Recommended site: Borrowdale Caravan and Motorhome Club Site
Open: March to November
Address: Manesty, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 5UG
The spellbinding town of Keswick has a rich and abundant history. The ancient Castlerigg stone circle is a fascinating site and lies just outside of the town boundary. Keswick holds a variety of public events, such as a film festival, beer festival and Derwent Water Regatta.
There are several country pubs and inns in the town, with the oldest dating to the 16th century. The Borrowdale Club Site is just 5 miles outside Keswick and lies within National Trust woodland. On your way here grab your hiking boots to spend some time at the spectacular Helvellyn Mountain. Its location is ideal for walking as the beautiful and varied countryside has forested areas, nature trails and farmland walks.
There are plenty of local lakes to visit too, including Derwent Water, Bassenthwaite Water Buttermere and Crummock Water. Adventure is never far off in the Lake District with Air Ventures Paragliding School and Honister Mine Adventures both being close to the site.
"Great place for walking/biking direct from the site. Easy walk to good dining and to landing for launch to Keswick. Nearby Grange has two excellent cafes."
Castlerigg stone circle
Honister Slate Mines
Leathes Head Country House Hotel
Borrowdale Valley, Keswick CA12 5UY
Castlerigg Stone Circle
Castle Ln, Underskiddaw, Keswick CA12 4RN
Honister Mine Adventures
Honister Pass, Borrowdale, CA12 5XN
017687 77230 (25 miles)
The Lakes Distillery, Setmurthy,
Recommended site: Kendal Caravan and Motorhome Club Site
Open: March to November
Address: Sedgwick, Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 0JZ
With so much to see and do in and around Kendal, it is no ordinary market town. Steeped in art, intriguing history and a bustling shopping centre with several restaurants; this stop may be last but it is by no means least.
If you didn't get to stop at Windermere on the first leg of your journey then you'll have a second chance to visit with Windermere being just a 20 minute drive away. Kendal is the perfect hub for exploring the area and has some fascinating history of its own being on the site of a 19th century gunpowder mill. Brockhole is a fantastic stop on route that has something for all the family, with a range of activities from mini-golf and zip lines through to kayaking and archery. Not just for little ones, The World of Beatrix Potter just on the edge of Windermere tells the story of Potter and her writing through interactive exhibits and detailing her importance to Lakeland conservation.
The ruins of Kendal Castle are also well worth exploring and from here you get a stunning view over the town. Learn some new skills at Woodmatters who offer a range of lessons in woodwork, yoga and bushcraft skills; or for all weather climbing head over to the award winning Kendall Wall at the Lakeland Climbing Centre. After your adventures in and around the Lake District has come to an end the Manchester depot is just 1 hour 30 minute's drive away.
"We stayed on this site for a week in September it is set in woodlands and probably one of the best sites we have stayed at . The wardens are fantastic and friendly the toilets are spotless and the walks are breathtaking."
Striking Kendal landscape
Kendal Wall - indoor and outdoor climbing for all ages
Explore the ruins of Kendal Castle
Craft your own utensils with Wood Matters
Staveley, Kendal LA8 9LR
Kendal Castle Castle Hill
Kendal LA9 7BL
13 Old Lound, Kendal Cumbria LA9 7EH
Lakeland Climbing Centre
Lake District Business Park, Mint Bridge Rd, Kendal LA9 6NH