Is Wild Camping Permitted Around Crummock Water?
Crummock Water is a famous lake in the Lake District National Park, England. The lake has numerous key features that make it attractive to hikers, campers, and nature lovers. The waterway is 2.5 miles long and the lakebed plummets to a depth of 43 metres, which is the height of a 14-story building!
Crummock Water feeds the river Cocker from the north and is linked to Buttermere Lake to the south by a small river channel. The isolated Mellbreak hill (512 m) runs parallel to Crummock Water which makes it a perfect match for hillwalking or fell-running.
Crummock Water is also fed by Scale Force – the highest waterfall in the Lake District. This is another excellent side trip for those visiting the area. Crucially for wild campers, the reclusive natural beauty of Crummock Water is a keen draw. On that note, let’s look at the best ways to camp around Crummock Water.
Wild Camping Around Crummock Water
Crummock Water is owned by the National Trust. The land is regulated and preserved for all visitors so wild campers must take precautions when searching for potential campsite locations. For starters, try to avoid the north and south ends of the lake. Here you’ll find the settlements of Buttermere and Loweswater which are best avoided.
The eastern shore should also be avoided as this is the B5289 access route. You may have better luck on the western bank as there is an isolated walking trail that runs along the length of Crummock Water. However, you may still be too visible camping here and this is best saved for late-evening pitches or stealth campers.
To get the best from Crummock Water, look up to the sky. Camping on Mellbreak hill will give you a remote camping location with a spectacular view of the lake. Despite its fantastic location, Mellbreak hill is often overlooked by the crowds that head to the nearby Buttermere Haystacks instead.
Alternatively, you can climb the higher peak of Grasmoor which stands 852 metres tall. Again, you will find multiple secluded bluffs perfect for a night of wild camping with a panoramic view.
Wild Camping in the Lake District
The Lake District is England’s largest National Park spread across 912 square miles of gorgeous countryside. There are many spectacular wild camping locations throughout the National Park but there are a few pointers to be aware of.
Curiously, the Lake District National Park Authority has made an official stance by not permitting wild camping. This is mostly due to the general ruling that prevents wild camping in England and Wales unless permission is gained from the landowner.
At least half of the land in this National Park is privately owned. The other half is owned by organisations such as the National Trust, United Utilities, and Forestry England. Sadly, the NPA won’t even allow you to camp on their land and they don’t have the power to permit people to camp on private land.
However, plenty of people do camp around the Lake District. The trick is to be discrete, camp away from busy areas, and look for secluded spots to pitch your tent. You can also ask for the landowner’s permission if you want to be extra safe. Try to wild camp above the highest fell wall and be as inconspicuous as possible.
Campsites Near Crummock Water
If you are a stickler for the rules and are worried about wild camping around Crummock Water, there are some additional options to be explored. The Sky Farm Campsite sits in the valley basin on the southern tip of Crummock Water. It is an excellent place to camp for the night in the heart of Lakeland.
The campsite has 50 tent pitches and 40 car parking spots. There are also shepherds’ huts and yurts for those campers looking for a little more comfort. It costs £9 for adults and parking is £4 per night.
A little further afield you have the Holme Wood Bothy. This may be the perfect compromise for wild campers as a bothy is a rough and ready building that is created to shelter hikers and hillwalkers. The bothy provides space for 6 people in one main bedroom warmed by a log burner. The shelter must be booked for 3 nights, and it costs £225.
Best Hikes Near Crummock Water
If you wish to pair your wild camping trip with a hike (as you should) here are a few great trails to explore in the surrounding area. To get up close to the lake, check out the Crummock Water and Melbreak Circular walking trail. This 9.7 km path starts with a tough climb up Melbreak hill before following the ridgeline south. After a tough scramble, fighting against the gusting wind, the trail drops down and loops back along the lakeshore.
For another popular trail nearby, try out the Buttermere Haystacks Circular. This is a 12.9 km hiking route with 662 metres of elevation gain. The path skirts around Buttermere Lake via the Haystacks offering a challenging but glorious trail.
The Rannerdale Knotts Circular will take you on a 6.6 km loop up to a 355-metre summit that overlooks Crummock Water. (You could try pitching around Rannerdale Knotts but due to its lower elevation and good access routes, this peak has a high footfall).
Overall, yes you can wild camp around Crummock Water, but you have to be careful how you choose to do so. The NPA isn’t going to encourage you to camp there and technically they don’t permit it. However, if you’re smart about your camping decision and respect this fact then you should have no problems.
At the end of the day, the Lake District is a nature area that people from all over the world want to enjoy. The rules are in place to protect this National Park for everyone. If you leave no trace, camp in a secluded location, and don’t disturb other park users, you will have a memorable night of wild camping around Crummock Water!