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Chapel House Farm, Stonethwaite, Borrowdale, Keswick, Cumbria
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Chapel House Farm, Stonethwaite, Borrowdale, Keswick, CumbriaChapel House Farm's campsite is an uncomplicated place consisting of a single open field where the Stonethwaite and Derwent Valleys join forces to form Borrowdale, and like anywhere in this valley, the view is astonishing.

Cars aren't allowed on site, creating not only a safer and more relaxed setting, but adding to that notion that camping is somehow a return to the simple life by removing automotive reminders of modern times. And once the car has been banished, there really is no need to use it again; there's a bus stop outside the site, with regular services (open-topped in summer) travelling up and down Borrowdale to Keswick and all its rainy-day leisure activities, and even over the Honister Pass to Buttermere.

It's impossible to visit the Lake District and not take advantage of the many fell-walking opportunities, and Borrowdale is indeed ringed by the high fells, but this wooded sylvan valley also offers many miles of stress-free river-and lake-side strolling.

Chapel House Farm is very popular with young families, too, and on any sunny summer's day the nearby Stonethwaite Beck, and a place called Black Moss Pot (a dramatic little gorge) in Langstrath Beck, are alive to the sound of children of all ages splashing about in the shallow water or swimming in the big, deep river pools. All in all, this is straightforward camping, with almost too many activity options, in one of the most appealing locations in the Lake District.

COOL FACTOR Beautiful location with gorgeous natural swimming pools nearby.

WHO'S IN? Tents, campervans, (limited number of) caravans, dogs - yes. Supervised groups (outdoor activities mainly) - by prior arrangement.

ON SITE About 70 pitches, with the cars and campervans restricted to the parking area. The facilities (7 toilets, 4 showers, 3 outside washing-up sinks) are really quite crude; only the showers (50p) have hot water, but they normally suffice. There's a new camping barn. No campfires, but BBQs are acceptable if off the ground.

OFF SITE Buses (or your boots even) allow easy access to Keswick (15-minute bus journey), where all sorts of activities await (see p295). There are walks aplenty all around and adrenaline junkies are catered for at the Keswick Climbing Wall (01768 772000) and Adventure Centre (01768 775687).

FOOD AND DRINK There are dozens of good eating places in Keswick, but you've got two within easy walking distance that will cater for most tastes. The Langstrath Country Inn (01768 777239) provides top-rate food (including local Herdwick lamb), carefully prepared, and at appropriate prices. And the Scafell Hotel (01768 777208) in Rosthwaite has both a restaurant menu and bar food.

GETTING THERE From junction 40 off the M6 follow the A66 west to Keswick, then the B5289 along Borrowdale. The site is 7 miles from Keswick, on the right.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT Regular hourly bus service all year between Keswick and Seatoller. In summer there are extra services every half hour, including one to Buttermere.

OPEN Flexible, but pretty much all year. Be warned: Bank Holiday weekends can be chaotically busy.

THE DAMAGE Adult £6; child £3 per night.



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