The Quiet Site in the Lake District

Last October we headed down to the south of France for some late summer sun. We packed completely different clothes this year for nine nights in the Lake District. Our first base for the holiday was the Quiet Site on Ullswater. Sitting in the hills on the west side of the northern tip of the lake, about a mile from the water, pitches on the Quiet Site have jaw-dropping views across Ullswater and the surrounding hills. Due to the mist and rain it actually wasn't until we awoke on the final morning that we realised the lake was in view - but first thing on a sunny morning, with the sun just rising over Ullswater, what a view it is.

The Quiet Site surprises in a few other ways, not least that, in addition to the run-of-the-mill shower facilities you'd expect to find on any campsite, there are four spacious bathrooms if you fancy a long soak to relax your aching muscles after a day of strenuous hill walking. For us the crowning glory was the on-site pub the Quiet Bar. We'd normally avoid campsite bars like the plague, often disregarding even booking a site that has a bar. But here, in a low-lit, thoughtfully-converted barn complete with roaring open fire, we spent five relaxed evenings working our way through the collection of boardgames we carry in the campervan but seldom play.

The well-stocked bar is tucked against the wall at one end of the barn and boasts two real ales, including their own Quiet Pint which is superb - so smooth and easy to drink that we had to order the other ale to pace ourselves. There are two mezzanine levels at each end with seating, and a separate games room for kids with an air hockey table among other amusements. The focal point of the Quiet Bar is the fire and the circle of seating around it. The fire was kept going from opening until closing, the orange light dancing around the stone walls. Four oak beams in the ceiling are decorated in hundreds of fairy lights providing most of the other ambient light.

We were staying during half term and the bar was opened at 4pm rather than the normal 7pm. Having walked or cycled in the rain every day the bar was a welcome retreat and we spent three or four hours there each evening. Sitting at the largest table by the bar, each of our drinks lasted ages with us concentrating on our games of Powergrid and Ticket to Ride Rails and Sails. On the last evening I think we inadvertently made three pints last five hours, but nobody minded.

Though we didn't avail ourselves of its offerings, a snack van, the Saucy Sausage, is permanently situated on the Quiet Site, open for two hours morning and night for breakfast or dinner.

It's hard to fault the campsite at all, though £30 per night is steep for camping. I only have a couple of very small niggles about the bar: the central heating hadn't been adjusted to take into account the earlier opening time of 4pm and so the radiators didn't come on until 7pm; they also had a tendency to leave the same CD playing on repeat - for the first two nights we heard the same music repeat about eight times - when Jennifer Hudson is telling you she's not going, she really means it. These are only minor details, but if you're going to charge a premium price then you should consider the whole customer experience.

While quite a walk just for a quick drink, the Brackenrigg Inn, about a 30-minute walk back to the main road, is an ale lover's delight. Five own-brewed ales are on tap. We only had time for a half pint while we waited for the bus one morning and chose the 5.9%-ABV Aira Force IPA which was superb.

If you're planning on camping in the Lake District The Quiet Site ticks all the boxes. I'd happily return for another visit.

Watch the vlog of our Lake District camping trip

LAKE DISTRICT 1 | 2 | 3 | 4


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