The Lake District has been a popular holiday destination for over 100 years and as a National Park is protected from over-development. However you can still stay in some of the most isolate and protected locations by using the Lake District Camping Barns. These are ancient barns unaltered from the outside and set in remote locations or on small traditional farms.
Visit the Lake District camping barns for the beautiful and dramatic landscapes
Within the national park roads climb up to high passes in the mountains and skirt around the scenic lakes. Many visit the Lake District camping barns for the beautiful and dramatic landscapes they are set in, subject to frequent changes in weather and light. The landscape is characterized by a harmonious mixture of rugged high fells with poor soils and thin vegetation, and the lower, improved pasture (‘in-bye land’), with a contrasting, much greener appearance. Valley bottoms and lower valley sides are criss-crossed by miles of dry stone walls. Farms are dominated by sheep, with breeds such Rough Fell, Swaledale and the Herdwick, well adapted to the high fells. Variety is added by occasional woodlands, dominated by sessile oak and ash, and the occasional conifer plantation. Woods, gills (deep, narrow clefts in the fell sides) and drystone walls are rich in mosses, ferns and lichen, which thrive with the high rainfall. The buildings, of local slate, sandstone or limestone with slate roofs seem to belong the landscape. The traditional cottages and Lake District camping barns are typically small with thick walls, often whitewashed. The larger buildings in the towns also display widespread use of local stone.
Walk a circuit stopping in a different Lake District camping barns
Like the rest of England there is a dense network of public paths and bridleways, usually well signed. In addition there are areas of open access land. The Outdoor Leisure maps of the Ordnance Survey showing all public rights of way are recommended, particularly the laminated versions (paper maps are soon decimated by wind and rain). A great way to really get to know the Lake District is leave the car and to walk a circuit over a number of days, stopping in a different Lake District camping barn each night.
The fantastic scenery and the large number of hostels and camping barns within easy walking distance make the Lakes ideal for this type of hosteling. The Lakeland camping barns are basic stone tents and you will need your own sleeping bag/mat and in many cases your own cooking equipment. They are often in remote fields or on small farms. Many seasoned fell walkers use the camping barns and are only too willing to give advice on routes, highlights and equipment.
Although wild weather and wilderness are never far away, with a little planning a dry, welcoming base awaits you at the end of the day!
You can see more on this map of Hostels and Bunkhouses in the Lakes.