As a family we love holidays away in my parents campervan. Charlie and Harry enjoy exploring campsite facilities, spending time outdoors and even take great delight in the adventure of using the onsite shower facilities in the morning! (I enjoy everything but the latter!)
I chose Low Wray Campsite for our three night break at the beginning of July mainly due to its fabulous location. Owned by the National Trust, it is located on the beautiful shores of Lake Windermere and offered exactly what we were looking for… the chance to unwind and explore the Lake District without having the hassle of driving. We have stayed at campsites before which are in the middle of nowhere and the stress involved in getting the campervan ready to go i.e. taking down the kids beds, putting away the awning, setting up the car seats, securing all the cupboards to ensure nothing falls out whilst we are on the move etc, etc can take a few hours. At Low Wray we arrived and put up the awning and it stayed up for three days as our base whilst we explored the local area on foot and by boat.
The advantages of staying at Low Wray Campsite
Close proximity to Lake Windermere. You literally cannot get any closer, some of the tent pitches are located lake side. The camper van pitches unfortunately are a short five minute walk away but they are located in a lovely tranquil area.
Lots to do onsite for little ones. There are two play areas which Charlie and Harry really enjoyed but the main attraction of course is Lake Windermere which my boys loved paddling in, skimming stones and just being kids! The campsite also offers many facilities which we unfortunately did not get the chance to try during our short visit such as bike and kayak hire, bushcraft course, husky carriage rides, moonlit canoeing, rafting and bat detecting.
Nearby attractions. The campsite is a short ten minute lakeside walk away from Wray Castle which also has an adventure play area, particularly great for older kids but my two boys also got stuck in and tried den building, rope swinging etc.
We walked to Wray Castle a couple of times and took the boat across to Brockhole and Ambleside. This cruise is operated by Windermere Lake Cruises, if you book in advance you will obtain a discount (shame I did not know this prior to buying on tickets on the day… Well at least I am trying to save you money!) To sail between Wray Castle, Brockhole and Ambleside as we did you need to select the green cruise. You could also catch the red cruise from Ambleside and sail to Bowness or the red cruise from Ambleside and sail to Lakeside at the far end of Lake Windermere. We found the lake cruise service to be punctual, enjoyable and good value for money at £7.70 for an adult ticket if purchased on the day (£6.90 discounted online), £3.90 for children 5-15 years of age (£3.50 online) and under 5’s free*.
Brockhole the Lake District Visitor Centre is definitely worth a visit. We could not decide between staying at Wray Castle or going across the lake to visit Brockhole. The mock gothic castle certainly sounds like a fun day but we felt that our boys would most enjoy the free adventure playground at Brockhole. They loved the rope walks, slides, swings and zip wires and we all enjoyed drinks on the cafe terrace overlooking the stunning views of Lake Windermere. We unfortunately only had a few hours to spend at Brockhole however, you could spend all day there and make the full use of the other activities on offer for a charge – pony rides, mini golf, treetop nets and bike hire. Instead we caught another boat to Ambleside and spent a few hours feeding the ducks and enjoying another drink (yes there is definitely a theme here!)
Clean and well maintained toilet and shower facilities. As always, I had researched online before booking our weekend away and read reviews regarding the campsite facilities including the shower block. I was not disappointed, they were clean and well maintained as many other campers had experienced.
Wood fired pizza oven. Whilst we were staying at the campsite they were serving pizzas cooked on a wood fired pizza oven on the Friday and Saturday night (during peak summer they operate on four nights). As the pizzas were so tasty and fresh we enjoyed pizza on both nights (so much easier with little ones than a BBQ!)
Well stocked shop and informative reception staff. We purchased several items from the shop and always found the reception staff to be informative and welcoming.
The downsides of staying at Low Wray Campsite
No electricity hook ups. We knew this in advance and so we were prepared. The hardest part was keeping milk fresh for the boys but the reception will freeze ice packs for a small fee and they do stock whole milk which is perfect for little ones. They will also charge up phones/tablets plus they rent out hairdryers which can be used in the shower blocks. (I was surprised at the mobile phone and 3G coverage whilst staying at the campsite because considering how remote the site is, coverage was great). I did not charge my phone in the reception because to be honest it was a refreshing change to be without the distraction of social media and actually speak to my husband when our boys were (eventually!) asleep.
No waste disposal facilities. Unfortunately unlike many campsites, Low Wray have not got the facilities for toilet waste disposal for campervans/caravans.
Would we stay at Low Wray Campsite again? Absolutely! We cannot wait to return to the campsite when our boys are a little older to enjoy the water sports and go on a bat hunt!
* Prices correct when published