Exploring the Lake District with Bumble Campers*
Last summer we took a Bumble Camper to Cornwall to explore the south west. We had such an amazing time that we just couldn’t wait to get back out there and explore some more of the UK and so when we were invited on another trip with Bumble Campers we absolutely jumped at the chance.
1. It’s absolutely stunning
2. The place where we pick up our Bumble Camper is in Manchester (they have one in Peterborough too), which is on the way to the Lake District from our house.
Things to do in the Lake District
The Lake District is an amazing place for an outdoors holiday. We wanted a break where we could get plenty of fresh air and exercise followed by relaxation in the evenings and that’s exactly what we did.
Castlerigg Stone Circle
On our first day we decided to explore our locality and stay in Keswick. We took a walk up to Castlerigg Stone Circle. It takes about half an hour to walk here from the centre of Keswick, up quite a steep hill but it is more than worth it once you get there. The views are absolutely incredible – you get panoramic views of Helvellyn and High Seat which makes for an atmospheric spot – perfect for a picnic on a sunny day.
On one of the days of our trip it rained the entire day (what’s that – typical for one of my trips?!) and so Lee suggested we took the camper on a driving tour of the lakes to see how many we could spot. I’m really glad we did as we drove our camper over some mountain passes with spectacular views and even spotted some waterfalls.
We managed to see seven lakes during our trip – Ullswater, Windermere, Rydal Water, Grasmere, Thirlmere, Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite. Most of these lakes you can drive all the way around and they were beautiful – even in the pouring rain!
Derwentwater is Keswick’s local lake and is just a 10 minute walk from the centre of town. There is a 10 mile circular walk around the lake and the sun was just coming out as we set off giving us beautiful views of the surrounding peaks. The walk is varied, taking in gravel footpaths, wooded areas and even a little bit on the road. It ended up being quite a challenging walk, as parts of the lake had flooded the footpath because of the rain the day before.
In fact, we only managed to make it halfway round before having to turn back as a footpath and bridge were completely flooded. We did see some people braving it – one man was in up to his knees with his trousers pulled up! – but we felt like that wasn’t for us and so turned back.
Exploring the towns of the Lake District
The Lake District is full of lovely little towns and we were lucky enough to explore some of them during our trip.
As Keswick was our base, we spent quite a bit of time in this market town. There is a lovely park called Fitz Park which has sports grounds and is home to Keswick Museum and Art Gallery – it makes a great spot for an evening or early morning relaxed stroll. There are also plenty of pubs – we tried out The George and The Bank Tavern which are both dog friendly and old fashioned proper pubs, rather than trendy bars.
We stopped here during our rainy lake-spotting road trip and were happily surprised to find it full of people despite the weather – it is a lot more touristy than Keswick due to its spot on the banks of Windermere. We stopped for a drink in the Lake View Garden Bar which is an outdoor bar which will be amazing in summer. In winter it’s housed under a tarpaulin with patio heaters and blankets which make it super cosy and charming.
We stopped off at Kendal on the way back to drop off the camper van. This market town is in the south of the lakes and seemed to be a slightly bigger town than the others we visited during our trip. The town has two castles, two museums and lots of historical buildings and bridges. We had dinner at The Shakespeare Inn, another dog-friendly pub, where we both ate fish finger sandwiches which were both delicious and great value for money. The pub was modern and stylish but still had a cosy and friendly atmosphere.
Where to stay in the Lake District
We were lucky enough to have a Bumble Camper for our stay in the Lake District. This meant that we could choose wherever we wanted to make our base – I really love the freedom that having a camper van gives you.
A Bumble Camper literally has everything you need for a comfortable stay – and all in a cool compact camper van package. The van we had was an automatic and so it was super easy to drive – the high seating position and great visibility means there are absolutely no problems on that front. Plus, they’re bright yellow so you get plenty of attention when you’re driving around!
It’s also super cosy inside – and this was February! You can also add a heater to your package which plugs in to the leisure battery if you’re wild camping and doesn’t drain the van’s battery. The vans are also dog friendly so we were able to take Alfie on holiday with us which we were really pleased about – we hate leaving him at home when we’re travelling in the UK.
We chose to base ourselves in Keswick in the north lakes for the week. This is a beautiful little market town, with plenty of shops and pubs and it has great access to other areas of the Lake District – perfect for exploring.
We had an absolutely amazing time in the Lake District – we walked over 20 miles, we saw seven lakes and we explored three towns. The scenery in the Lakes is just so beautiful – it’s more like being in Scandinavia or Canada than the UK – and I’ve definitely left a little piece of my heart there. I can’t wait to go back.
[we were kindly lent a Bumble Camper free of charge for our Lake District stay but, as always, all opinions are my own]