At the beginning of the year, we started to plan our annual camping trip with our friends the Lights and Walkers. The previous year we had stayed at Park Foot campsite at Pooley Bridge which we enjoyed but wasn’t without a few minor hiccups. Mainly involving our leaking tent and an incident with dog poo! Nothing to do with the area. Pooley Bridge is perfect for what we need. Amazing scenery, a short walk to Ullswater lakeshore and great pubs in the village.
Hillcroft is just up the road from Park Foot slightly closer to the village. At the site, there is Pod style accommodation as well as luxury hot tub cabins and caravans. Our friends could camp with electric hook up and we could pod without the need for a new tent! Sounded like a winner. For the Thursday to Sunday the price for our pod was £140 and for a camping pitch with electric hook up £95. This is why we love camping, it’s such a low-cost way to have a fun weekend in the Lakes.
Facilities at Hillcroft
First impressions of Hillcroft was good. This was a very different site to Park Foot, much smaller and without the on-site pub and restaurant. There is a small reception for checking in and a shop selling basic supplies and the important ice cream for the kids and bags of ice for the alcohol. A chip van sets up on a Saturday night which we did partake in and enjoyed. The retro phone box is full of flyers of local attractions which will give you some good ideas.
Toilet Blocks at Hillcroft
Special mention to the newly refurbished (and opened by Johnny Vegas) toilet blocks. Not sure I’ve ever been to a campsite where the toilets are posher than at home. These loos were immaculate with free hairdryers and showers to use. They even had piped in bird tweeting music! If any of you have seen Johnny Vegas’ new sitcom ‘Home from Home’ the connection to why he opened it becomes clear. The show was filmed at Hillcroft!
On the other side of the toilet block is a small games room which the kids did ask for money for but kept them occupied during a rainstorm! It was nice for them to have somewhere dry to hang out.
Attention to detail was fantastic to Hillcroft. The stone walls and planters bursting with flowers showed how much attention and work goes into keeping the site well maintained. This lovely big tree was lit with fairy lights on an evening which looked so pretty.
Pod Accommodation at Hill Croft
Our pod was number 16 on the edge of the field, close to the toilet block and the camping field where our friends were. Even though it did look a bit like half an acorn, there was room for the 4 of us and our air beds. There’s not as much room as a large tent but the little shelter outside worked well for boots and coats.
It was great to know that we would not have to set the tent up. A quick blow up of the airbeds and a loading in of the gear and we were ready to get into the camping spirit. Starting with a wine of the little decking area for the grown up and a sprint down to the kids play park for the girls. Picnic tables in front of the pod were a nice touch too.
Some little spotlights helped with the usual scrambling around in the dark with torches. A plug socket was great for charging up the phones. During the night the pod was pretty warm and felt less noisy than in a tent. We all slept really well knowing the room wasn’t going to leak!
As is typical for the Lakes we did hit upon some dramatic rain storms but still had a fantastic break. Some highlights included a ‘refreshing’ dip in Ullswater for the girls and a meal in the nearby pub the Crown Inn. We also had a nice day in Keswick (around half an hour drive away) mooching around the market stalls and shops. Mainly the weekend was about relaxing, laughing with good friends and spending time in the Great Outdoors. Goal achieved. Thank you, Hillcroft. We will be back!