It’s early March and the very start of the camping season. Most campsites in the north of the country are only just beginning to open their doors, but cabin fever is creeping in an we’re eager to hit the trails.
To kick off our year on the road we headed to Lake Windermere in the Lake District National Park and set up camp at Park Cliffe Camping.
As our first campsite of the year we were looking for a balance between home comforts and the great outdoors; for which Park Cliffe certainly delivered.
Park Cliffe campsite was a wonderful first stop on our journey. The site sits within the beautiful Lake District National Park and is surrounded by a range of walks for different abilities.
One of my biggest anxieties when driving to a campsite is how hard it’ll be to access with a large van. Driving a large van or motorhome through winding country lanes can be difficult at the best of times, but driving down farmer’s tracks can be a damn near nightmare.
Luckily, accessing the Park Cliffe campsite was very easy. There is a steep and narrow lane which you must use to reach the site, but overall this isn’t too difficult and there is very little traffic using this road anyway.
Park Cliffe campsite is located at the southern end of Windermere Lake. It is very easy to access from the M6 and A590.
In our opinion the Park Cliffe campsite is an ideal campsite to start any tour into the Lake District.
Park Cliffe is a medium sized campsite. As our visit was quite early in the season the site was rather quiet.
We were allocated a large hardstanding pitch with free electric hookup. The motorhome pitches all seemed to be hardstanding with plenty of room.
The showers are free and pretty good. Overall the shower and toilet blocks are clean and very well maintained. There’s also a laundry block with washers and dryers which were reasonably priced and cost us only a few quid to do a large load of laundry.
The staff at Park Cliffe were very helpful. The manager stayed late to allow us in after-hours and the daytime staff were helpful in suggesting walks and activities.
There’s a small camp shop and bar, though in low season the bar is closed through the week and there is only a small selection of fresh foods in the shop.
There’s also a small playground for children and plenty of open space.
Park Cliffe is surrounded by beautiful countryside with mile upon mile of walks. Over 3 days we completed 3 different walks around the campsite area. Park Cliffe have put together their own guides for local walks which are available in reception for just 60p (some free).
One of our favourite walks was a pub walk from the campsite to a local country pub, The Mason Arms. It takes an hour and a half to walk there and around the same to walk back (depending on how many drinks you’ve had!)
The views on the walk there are breathtaking, and the pub itself is as picturesque as they come.
One of the downsides to Park Cliffe campsite is that there is not much to do at night.
There are no pubs within a short walk and with the bar closed at night through low-season, to eat or drink out you need to head into Bowness.
The park provides a guide for walking into Bowness which takes about 1.5-2 hours.
What we decided to do was walk from the campsite into Bowness (which I must say was a fabulous walk) and then take a taxi back after a few drinks and dinner. There are plenty of bars and restaurants in Bowness to make a night of it.
We also used the time in Bowness to pop into the small but well stocked Tesco Express and fill up on food and drink for our van.
Now having knocked back a few drinks, the sun set and with bags of shopping to carry, walking 2 hours back to the campsite is not a great option.
Typically a taxi ride in the Lake District can be a tall and expensive order, but luckily Bowness is a hub for local taxis and it only cost us £11 to grab a taxi back from Bowness town centre to Park Cliffe.
Outside of walking in the local area and nights out in Bowness, Park Cliffe can help you organise days out, rent bicycles and take part in outdoor activities.
For more information visit Park Cliffe’s things to do page.
Park Cliffe Camping is an ideal campsite for walkers and families. It’s an ideal starting point for those touring northwards through the Lake District.
You can pickup essentials from the campsite shop and there’s a campsite bar (open all week in high season, weekends in low season).
The showers facilities are clean and well maintained and the laundry machines are reasonably priced.
Walking in the local area provides breathtaking views of Windermere Lake and the stunning Cumbria countryside.
Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or extended vacation, Park Cliffe is certainly a pleasing choice for campervans.