I’m going to enjoy writing this review because I love complaining……
I keep away from National Trust campsites in high season. It’s full of children and glampers with their straighteners and hair dryers …. I visited this campsite for the first time in the second week of October.
Location – For me 3/5 – for others it may be 5/5!
A lot of the campsite is by the shore of Lake Windermere in a quiet location below Wrag Castle. You can walk to Ambleside along a footpath, 3 miles, but it does follow the main road and I came a cropper with a bull in one field…… Other walks are mostly low level and this is why I’ve scored it low. I like to camp and walk but the location means unless I want to add 6 miles to any high level walk I have to take the car, or rely on a bus service which, in low season, might as well not run!
Greeting – 3/5
First you are bombarded with signs everywhere, speed limits, polite notices, rules…. Hate it. I reported to reception and the lady was very friendly. Can’t say the same for her colleague who didn’t acknowledge me, just continued munching a flapjack incredibly loudly! I had to pick a ‘plot’, another thing I hate. I wouldn’t have come if I had known.
Price – 3/5
£8.50 per night and an extra £1.50 for dogs, although I ‘forgot’ to mention mine. Why do I have to pay extra for a dog? She doesn’t use the facilities! The price is good considering the toilet blocks and playground and excellent on site shop/hot breakfast availability.
Facilities – 5/5
Can’t fault the toilets. Clean and stocked with soap and toilet roll. Lots of waste bins, on site shop, helpful staff if you want to know about activities and a children’s play area.
Pitch – 1/5
And this is my main gripe. I was asked to choose between a meadow pitch, woodland pitch or waterside pitch (extra £10!!!). I chose a woodland pitch thinking it would be a bit different to what I’m used to. The pitches are numbered and mapped. When I got there it was basically a BBQ area. Hard, gravelly and very….woody. Yes, I realise I chose woody but I was hoping for some grass….And don’t even try and get your tent pegs in, it’s impossible. Luckily my tent is a pop up one so pegs are needed but I had to forgo my tarp/porch. So basically if you are going to stay here don’t make the same mistake as me. Choose a meadow pitch! The woodland is also where all the ‘pods’ are which personally I don’t like. Camping should be camping.
Noise – 5/5
It was very quiet because I visited in low season. It would have been a different story in summer. It’s extremely family focused. Other noises include the slight road noise of the main Windermere to Ambleside road, acorns falling on the tent roof, the birds and the occasionally unidentified ‘sniffing’ at night…presume/hope it was a deer!
Views – 1/5
Woodland = zero views. A lesson learnt. It might be different if you choose a meadow or lakeside pitch.
Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh about my stay here. All the other reviews of this site are very positive. I’m probably just not their target market. Great for kids, people without tents and city foke who want to pretend they have camped. Not wild enough for me. Won’t be back but least I’ve ticked it off my list.