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Wasdale Campsite, Wasdale Head, Seascale, Cumbria
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Wasdale Campsite, Wasdale Head, Seascale, CumbriaEngland’s highest mountains may not be on the scale of the Alps or the Himalayas, but they are majestic in their own understated way. They also have the advantage of being readily accessible and, in most seasons, relatively easy to conquer with the help of a pair of decent walking boots, clement weather, and a thermos of hot tea.

Several of the country’s highest mountains are clustered around the northern end ofWastwater in the Lakes, where the National Trust thoughtfully sited a camping ground at Wasdale Head. From here, you can lie in a sleeping bag, head poking out of your tent and, as the dawn mists clear, survey the encircling slopes to plan your assault on them. Wasdale Head is a handy base for England’s tallest mountain, Scafell Pike. Here you’ll find the start of a steep, but straightforward ascent up the rock-strewn mountain. While back at basecamp, there’s a small shop for walking maps, friendly advice, and plasters. Three small fields scattered with trees provide plenty of flat grass for pitching, and with cars restricted to the parking areas it’s a peaceful site. A high point on England’s campsite circuit.

COOL FACTOR Wilderness location with breathtaking views of the high fells.

WHO'S IN? Tents, campervans, dogs (on leads at all times) - yes. Caravans, groups - no.

Wasdale Campsite, Wasdale Head, Seascale, Cumbria

ON SITE About 120 pitches with 6 hook-ups on hardstanding. Timed barrier system in place for arrivals (8-11 am; 5-8pm). A small shop selling basic food and camping accessories. Hot showers (20p), flush toilets, disabled facilities, washing machines and dryers (token operated). No campfires, no disposable BBQs.

OFF SITE Visit the Roman port of Ravenglass, or nearby Muncaster Castle (01229 717614; www.muncaster.co.uk).

FOOD AND DRINK Buy meat direct from the farmer at Wasdale Head Hall Farm (01946 726245). Or treat yourself to some tea-room goodies at the traditional Muncaster Watermill (01229 717232).

GETTING THERE Approaching from the south on the A595, turn right at Hotmrook for Santon Bridge and follow the signs up to Wasdale Head. Approaching from the north, turn left at Cosforth.

OPEN All year.

THE DAMAGE Tent, plus adult and car £8-£21 per night. Extra adult £5; child £2.50; dog £1.50. Hook-up £3.

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