If you are regular readers of this blog you will know that we are partial to a bit of camping. Last Summer we wracked up 15 nights under canvas tacking Kendal, Boroughbridge, Mid-Wales, Just So Festival Cheshire and Kendal Calling. All very different experiences with all of the weather unpredictability the UK could throw at us. Last weekend, in the midst of a heat wave, we headed to Park Foot campsite on the edge of Ullswater just a 15 minute walk from the village of Pooley Bridge in the Lake District.
Location of Park Foot Campsite
From our home in Gosforth, the journey to Park Foot was pretty straight forward. Passing along the A69 and turning off towards Alston and the Lakes. As we hit the winding roads in the late 20’s temperature I had a slight regret of leaving the main road. I’m not the greatest at travelling and started to feel a little queasy. Door to door the journey took us 2 hours.
The campsite was booked a few months ago with a £15 per tent deposit. As there was three families with three large tents this seemed like the sensible idea. Total for the three nights camping was £105, with the balance paid on arrival. Unlike the Camping and Caravanning club where you are allocated a pitch number, this was every man for themselves.
We soon found a good flat spot for the three tents and started to pitch up the tents. Kids were soon off roaming around cartwheeling and heading backwards and forwards to the park.
The location of Park Foot Campsite really was stunning. Just on the edge of Ullswater sheltered by the hills. We chose to pitch the tent at the field closest to the club house to avoid midges but being the nature of the Lakes we were still a bit bothered by the blighters. The kids could paddle in the stream in a spot where we could keep an eye on them. It really was the stuff of childhood dreams with so much freedom for them to roam.
Amenities at Park Foot Campsite
Park Foot is a campsite on a much larger scale to what we are used to. There are 4 massive fields, caravan sites and log cabins all built on the side of the Lake. There are two parks (one with older equipment and one with younger) a pony trekking centre, a large well equipped shop and a club house/reception with a restaurant. As you would expect from the hottest Bank Holiday weekend the camp site was heaving.
We made use of the well stocked and popular shop. The kids bought fishing nets, nail varnish, ice creams, fidget spinners and other random items. We also bought some fresh bread, sausages and other bits to supplement the food we had brought too. One thing the shop didn’t stock was alcohol which I guess would be in direct competition to the bar in the club house. Pooley Bridge had a small convenience store which thankfully stocked the camping essential of wine!
We picked the busiest time around 6pm on the Saturday to pop to the club house. During a football match and a torrential downpour, and just before the Mini Disco was set up. The staff were trying their best to clear tables but it really was a case there was just not enough capacity for the numbers of people on site. Still the kids did have fun and we now know there’s an actual song out there called ‘Chihuahua’. Although we didn’t try the restaurant it looked very popular and good to have in case you get sick of BBQ’ing.
Following the Lakeshore path from the campsite it was a lovely 15 minute walk to Pooley Bridge. I had envisaged a bigger place, but it’s tiny 3 or 4 pubs, a shop and a few touristy stores.
We spent a lovely afternoon in the Crown Inn (where my parents were staying) on the sunny terrace looking onto the stream. Later on, our friends met us down there and the kids went crazy swimming in the stream between dodging torrential downpours! The village is well set up for stream fun with the shops selling dinghy’s. Take towels and extra clothes as no doubt your kids will want to join the masses and paddle in the warmer months.
Crown Inn Pooley Bridge
My parents fancied a Lake District break and booked into the newly refurbished Crown Inn.
We had major accommodation envy. Their room through small was amazing, decorated with tartan rugs, thick plush carpet and quirky kilner jar lamps. We are hoping to do our bathrooms later on in the year and loved this shower room. They paid £122 per night (including a full Cumbrian breakfast) which they thought was great value for the great location and luxury touches.
Camping at Park Foot
As expected being such a busy site there were a few negatives to the site. The first one was dog poo…urgh! It was just our luck that Abigail decided to tread in some close to the tent. A lot of young kids were walking dogs around the site, so guess some weren’t being supervised. We did notify the reception who said anyone caught leaving mess would be evicted, but it was difficult to find them.
Noise didn’t bother us too much as we did stay up talking, but it’s worth knowing if you like a quiet camp site, Park Foot on a Bank Holiday is not the place to be. The site having lots of amenities attracts large groups of people (like ourselves) with kids and dogs in tow. A tiny issue was that to use the showers (in a very clean block) you needed a 20p for a six minute shower. Not expensive granted, but a little annoying when you have paid £105 for the weekend.
Park Foot was a great base for a weekend with friends. On the Sunday evening the kids took to swimming in Ullswater on an amazingly hot night.
Memories like this will last a lifetime and I was grateful for the stunning scenery and fabulous company. We love the Lake District and can’t wait to return!