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Baysbrown Farm Campsite, Great Langdale, Ambleside, Cumbria
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Baysbrown Farm Campsite, Great Langdale, Ambleside, CumbriaTourist traffic jams can be a bit of a problem in beautiful places, especially when the place is as enchanting as the Lake District. Fortunately, there is some respite from the lake-lovers' mayhem in the lake-less valley of Great Langdale. And sitting serenely in the heart of it is Baysbrown Farm, which nuzzles up against a steep fell on one side while the other overlooks three generously sized camping fields that gently slope down to the valley's river.

The entire site lies beneath the humbling rocks of Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, and the Langdale Pikes, that all seem to swallow up your tent, the farmhouse, and the distant village, giving a sense of scale rarely found in the Lakes. Peering out each morning at the mist-shrouded peaks is worth the entrance money alone.

You and your tent will be at the centre of an 800-acre farm. Baahs float over the lichen-drenched walls from the resident flock of sheep and chickens run amok around your guy ropes, much to the kids' delight. Life is so much simpler here — as is the camping style.The site doesn't have any designated pitches;just rock up and find your corner of tranquillity. Then, when you're donejust walk up to the farmhouse to announce your arrival through the ever-open kitchen door and hand over your fee. There's no such thing as booking in advance here; it's not that kind of place.

Just like all Lake District sites, Baysbrown won't leave you short of things to do; grab a bike, put your boots on, or lie on the grass and stare at the peaks, thankful you're not stuck in traffic for the Lakes.

COOL FACTOR Blissful Lake District chilling, minus the lake and the congested roads.

WHO'S IN? Tents, small motorhomes/campervans/ caravans (narrow site entrance with hump bridge so anything large or low won't fit), dogs - yes. Large, loud groups - no.

ON SITE Campfires and BBQs off the ground allowed. Approx. 200 first-come, first-served pitches. A big facilities block with toilets and free hot showers (5W, 4M). Separate toilet-only block (9W, 8M). Battery charging at the farm. Basic recycling facilities. Chickens and some sheep nearby. No noise after 11pm.

OFF SITE Indulge the kids (or take a nostalgic trip back to childhood stories) at the World of Beatrix Potter (08445 041233; www.hop-skip-jump.com) in nearby Bowness. Windermere and Ambleside are a 20-minute drive away, each have a host of tea rooms, shops, and museums. For free, outdoors, on-your-doorstep fun, walk the Cumbria Way.

FOOD AND DRINK Find flagstone floors, open fires, and real ales at Wainwrights' Inn (01539 438088; see www.langdale.co.uk). The Drunken Duck Inn (01539 436347; www.drunkenduckinn.co.uk) near Ambleside boasts a gastronomic menu and sensational views.

GETTING THERE Take the A591 to Ambleside then follow the B5343 to Chapel Stile. The campsite is signposted a mile past Wainwrights' Inn. If using satnav, use postcode LA22 9JR to arrive opposite the campsite entrance.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT From Ambleside train station the Langdale Rambler bus no. 516 will get you to Chapel Stile, from where it's a ¼ mile walk to the site.

OPEN March-October.

THE DAMAGE Adult £4-£6 per night; child £2-£5, under-5s free. No credit/debit card facilities.



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