camping in buttermere

Camping in Buttermere – A Comprehensive Guide

If you plan to camp in Buttermere in the Lake District, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, I’ll share everything you need to know about camping in Buttermere, including local campsites, wild camping, and park-ups for campervans.

Located in the north-western region of the Lake District, Buttermere is known for its beautiful lake and picturesque setting amongst the surrounding fells.

We recently had 3-days in the Lake District and spent most of our time in and around Buttermere. It’s remote compared to other areas like Windermere but still offers plenty of things to see and do.

If you’re a keen hiker, you’ll find some cracking fell walks in Buttermere, such as Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike. Or, if you prefer to take it easy, round the lake is an ideal spot to chill out for the day.

There aren’t tons of options when it comes to camping in Buttermere. However, we did find a couple of campsites in the nearby area, as well as a few options for wild campers.

So let’s get to it and plan your perfect camping trip to Buttermere.

Table of Contents

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Campervan near Buttermere

Is it Worth Camping in Buttermere

If you like the idea of being amongst nature, far away from the hustle and bustle, you’ll love camping in Buttermere.

The closest notable towns are Keswick or Cockermouth, some 20-30 minutes drive away. As a result, Buttermere is idyllic and peaceful, which in my opinion, is what camping is all about.

There’s enough to see and do in the area to keep you busy for a few days. With beautiful trails like this Buttermere Lake walk, hiking enthusiasts especially will be in their element. 

However, it’s also just a nice place to unwind for a couple of days.

I would only say to take enough supplies to get you by for a few days. There are a couple of cafes and a pub in the village so you won’t starve, but there isn’t any shop.

Best Time to Camp in Buttermere

The best time of year for camping anywhere in the Lake District is during the summer, when you have the best chance of warm & dry weather.

But of course, this is the UK, so there are no guarantees! The Lake District climate, in particular, is unreliable and tends to be much wetter and cooler than other parts of the UK.

Having said that, our recent trip to Buttermere was towards the end of June, and we struck the jackpot with the weather. Temperatures soared to 25 degrees, with very little rain or wind.

I’d say so long as you visit between June and September, you’re in a good chance of reasonable weather.

Buttermere Lake View

Campsites in Buttermere

Since Buttermere is relatively isolated compared to other areas of the Lake District, campsites in the immediate area are hard to come by. 

In fact, there is only one campsite directly in Buttermere. I can only assume the lack of amenities means there isn’t much demand for people staying overnight.

For us, this only added to the appeal of camping locally. With fewer people around, we could truly relax and enjoy the serenity the lakes offer.

Here I’ll list the details of the local campsite in Buttermere, but also the names of some others in the nearby area. 

If you want to check out the local hotels as well, you can do so here. Or use the Map below to see all your options​:

Booking.com

Syke Farm Campsite

If you insist on finding a campsite in the very heart of Buttermere, Syke Farm is your only option.

Thankfully, it’s a pretty great option, providing everything you need for a relaxing and memorable trip.

You can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains from the comfort of the camping field. Plus, you’re just minutes away from the lakeside and its various walking trails.

Set on a working farm, Syke Farm has that rural back-to-basics feel that seasoned campers will love. While simple amenities like toilets and showers ensure a comfortable and hassle-free stay.

The campsite is large enough to fit 50 tents and rarely gets full. That said, it is still advised to book in advance, especially during peak times.

If you consider yourself more of a glamper than a camper, Syke Farm also provides the only glamping options in Buttermere.

Their onsite yurts and shepherds’ huts provide all the advantages of camping, like the views and the tranquillity. But come with the added luxury of a warm, dry, and comfortable environment.

For more information and the best rates, check out their website.

Motorhomes: Yes – In the car park.
Dogs: Yes – kept on leads.
Electric Hook Ups: No.
BBQs: Yes.
Awnings: Yes.

Borrowdale Valley
Borrowdale is a nice alternative to camping in Buttermere.

Other Campsites Near Buttermere

The next closest campsites to Buttermere are 7-mile south in the stunning Borrowdale valley. 

As you can imagine, there is no lack of natural beauty in this area, with waterfalls, trails, and mountain views aplenty. Not to mention quaint little hamlets like Watendlath.

If you don’t mind the 20-minute drive or 2-hour walk, Borrowdale might be an attractive spot to camp near Buttermere. 

It provides a similar blissful camping experience and puts you slightly closer to Keswick town centre, which has its obvious advantages. 

Some best-rated campsites in Borrowdale include Seathwaite Farm Camping and Stonethwaite Campsite

Or, for more glamping near Buttermere, check out Inside Out Camping.

Wild Camping in Buttermere

If you’re thinking about wild camping in Buttermere, then you are in luck. Since this is one of the more remote areas around the lakes, it’s unlikely you will be disturbed or moved on.

Having said that, if you are new to wild camping or a visitor to the UK, there are some things you should be aware of. I’ll do my best to cover it here, so you know what to expect.

Wild Camping in Buttermere

Is Wild Camping Legal in the Lake District?

Since almost all land is privately owned in England, wild camping is technically illegal. That said, there are places where it is tolerated so long as you follow some basic rules.

From what I could tell, wild camping in Buttermere seems to be acceptable. We wild camped every night in our campervan, and we saw several people with tents set up camp around the lake.

While we had read that wild campers often get moved on in the Lake District, we had no troubles at all. There didn’t seem to be any wardens on patrol, or they didn’t bother us if there were.

Where to wild camp in Buttermere?

If you’re wild camping with a tent, there are plenty of suitable spots around Buttermere lake. However, they’re a bit out in the open, so you’ll likely be visible to passers-by.

Alternatively, I recommend checking out the neighbouring lake – Crummock Water. Located a short 10-15 minute walk from Buttermere, it’s even more secluded but equally beautiful.

Crummock is where we spent most of our time parked in our camper. While there are some laybys and suitable park-ups closer to Buttermere lake, it gets quite busy with day visitors.

We figured there was less chance of being disturbed at Crummock, plus it’s far more peaceful! 

Tip – Use the Park4Night app to find campervan park-ups in the area.

Crummock Water

Can I wild camp in the mountains?

There’s an unspoken rule regarding wild camping in the Lake District: the higher you go, the more tolerable it is. 

It makes sense since you’re unlikely to find any wardens patrolling the fells for sneaky wild campers.

Just be sure to follow the basic rules of wild camping below and keep a close eye on the weather conditions. 

Can I park overnight in car parks?

Most car parks around Buttermere clearly state that no overnight parking is allowed. We tend to avoid anywhere that has such signs since it leaves you wide open to being moved on or fined.

Some car parks in the Lake District charge for overnight stays; however, I didn’t see any in Buttermere.

Wild Camping Rules

Basic Rules of Wild Camping

Despite the fact that it is technically illegal, there’s only one real reason why wild camping is frowned upon. And it all comes down to irresponsible campers.

Campers who leave rubbish, disturb wildlife and upset the peace give the rest of us a bad name. They are the minority, but we see it all the time. 

It’s no wonder the locals get fed up and want us gone.

By all means, enjoy yourself. But remember that the fundamental rule of wild camping is to leave a place exactly as you found it. Your job is to blend in and be respectful of your environment. 

Here are some other basic rules to follow if you plan to wild camp around Buttermere.

  • Take all rubbish and sanitary waste with you. 
  • If you don’t have a camping toilet, use a trowel to bury human waste.
  • Camp close by to marked trails so as not to disturb wildlife.
  • Minimise fire impact by using raised BBQs and firepits and only when it’s safe.
  • Be considerate of your fellow campers.
  • Respect the interests of other people.
  • Arrive late, leave early, and never set up camp for longer than one night.
  • Make pragmatic decisions, and you’ll be just fine.

Have Fun Camping in Buttermere!

So there you have it, our ultimate guide to camping in Buttermere. I hope you’ve found it helpful!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! We love hearing from you. Drop us a note in the comments section or email us through our contact page.

If heading to the Lake District, check out our entire series of articles here. There’s a Lake District itinerary and plenty more to help you organise your trip. 

If you enjoyed our free guide, you could support us by buying us a coffee! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, where we share more travel advice and inspiration. Charlotte & Natalie x

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We’re Charlotte & Natalie, a British lesbian couple with a passion for travel and adventure.

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