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Wild Camping in the Lake District: Top 5 Locations

Wild camping in the Lake District

According to the letter of the law you should get the landowners permission before wild camping in the Lake District. However most people don’t as it is tolerated as long as a few basic rules are followed. The LDNPA lays out these rules in full on their wild camping webpage and they are well worth a quick read. I always think the most important one is this: ‘leave the campsite as you would want to find it’. Before leaving in the morning always make sure that the only visible sign that you were ever there is the flattened bit of grass on which your tent was pitched. Abide by that rule and all wild campers will be happy campers.

Favourite Lake District wild camping locations

Now summer is drawing to a close I thought I’d take a minute to reflect on this summer’s wild camping exploits. Apart from being great fun wild camping does make it much easier to take dawn and dusk photographs in the fells as all you have to do is fall out of your tent to see a great view. Thats the theory anyway. Its not been a bad summer overall, much better last year’s wettest summer on record.

I’m always making mental notes when out hiking if I spot somewhere off the beaten track where I think I could pitch a tent. Based on this year’s camping adventures my top five locations in reverse order are:

5. Boredale Hause

Boredale Hause is between Place Fell and Angletarn Pikes above Patterdale. Actually this was supposed to be a night watching the spectacular Lyrid meteor shower with friends but thanks to cloud cover during the night I had to make do with taking the short climb from there to the summit of Place Fell to watch dawn. That more than made up for it! The tale of this trip is described in a previous blog entry about dawn on Place Fell.

4. The High Street ridge

High Street is the highest summit I have camped on this year and a mighty fine location it is too. There is a small patch of flat ground very close to the trig point which makes a great location. Sadly the following photograph only goes to prove that you don’t always get the great views you’re after!

Terra Nova Laser Competition tent on High Street
Wild camp on High Street

3. Lingmoor Fell

Lingmoor Fell is just about the best viewpoint for the Langdale Pikes in my opinion, especially in August when the heather is in flower. Plus it has room for a couple of very small tents under the summit crag. Note I said ‘tent’: I would use a bivvy bag but theres not enough room in one for me, all my kit, camera and tripod so I make do with a very small tent instead. Sadly this year’s night on Lingmoor was about the worst storm I have camped in in years and the camera never made it out of its bag! Ah well, next summer …

2015 update: I have now managed to camp on Lingmoor Fell in good weather and below was the view from my tent at dawn. Well worth the wait!

2. Sprinkling Tarn

Sprinkling Tarn on Seathwaite Fell below Great End crag is a very well known and popular place to wild camp in the Lake District. Its rare you’ll have the place to yourself but there are plenty of nooks and crannies so you can always find some peace and quiet. And its a gorgeous tarn.

1. Fleetwith Pike

And my number one is … Fleetwith Pike! A bit of a surprise, this one. On my way to camp at Innominate Tarn I climbed Fleetwith Pike I noticed there was room for one small tent at the top. After mulling over my options I decided to change plans and pitched my tent next to the trig point. That evening I sat outside my tent wondering if I had made the right choice. It was while watching a gorgeous sunset at the other end of the Buttermere Valley I realised I had.

As a footnote the following morning I wandered over to Innominate Tarn to watch dawn and found three or four tents there. It is a great location and understandably popular but Fleetwith was much the better option on that night.

Hopefully I’ll find more next year but if any reader knows any top spots in the Lake District please let me know. In the meantime, to view more photos of wild locations in the Lake District fells please view my photo gallery of Lake District landscapes.

Wild camping in the Lakes since 2013

In 2016, after writing this post, I did enjoy a fantastic camp at Innominate Tarn on Haystacks. I’ll leave this post as it is for now but I’m considering writing a longer article on this subject. Possibly more to follow …

Wild Camping in the Lake District: Top 5 Locations was last modified: July 15th, 2017 by Gavin Dronfield