Best car parks for Borrowdale

Car park sign and four walkers, Seatoller, Cumbria

Visiting Borrowdale and Derwent Water couldn't be simpler - there are nine National Trust car parks in the valley. Each one is a starting point for an amazing day out.

Visitors walking through a garden in spring

Visiting this spring 

Our gardens, parks and countryside sites are open. Cafés are takeaway only and shops, houses and other indoor areas are currently closed. The safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors from the nearby community remains our priority. We strongly advise booking your visits in advance, especially over Easter when places may be very busy. Please note that in line with Welsh Government legislation, places in Wales are only open for Welsh residents. Please check the property webpage before you visit and follow government guidance on travel.

Parking for Borrowdale and Derwent Water, near Keswick

Places with no car park

Hop between car parks all day

If you're planning lots of short stops that's a good option, as you can transfer your ticket between our car parks until it expires (in Borrowdale and Buttermere Valley). Every car park ticket sold helps to support our conservation work to care for the paths, gates, stiles and wildlife of the Lake District. You can support our work for 24 hours by buying a day ticket.

Don't forget its free for National Trust members

If you're a member, your parking is free as a thank you for supporting all the work we do, and when you scan your membership card we get a little credit from head office to help support our work to care for the surrounding woods, walls, rivers and paths.

A top tip from the locals

Its best to avoid leaving the valley between 4 - 5pm in summer, especially during the Keswick Convention (mid July), as you may find yourself queuing to get back into Keswick.  Instead why not leave later and enjoy a cup of tea at one of the tea rooms or maybe take the picturesque route back through the Newlands valley.

Seathwaite hamlet

The roadside at Seathwaite is a really popular place to park if you plan to visit Scafell Pike, Great Gable and other high fells in the Lakes. At busy times, this causes access problems for people who live there including farmers and potentially emergency vehicles.

We are doing everything we can to find a solution for your parking needs, but it will take time. In the meantime, we’d like to ask everyone to do what they can to help ease the pressure of parking in the valley. 

Click here to see three things you can do to make a difference:

Cat Bells

There is no permanent car park at Cat Bells - only a couple of laybys. One is at Gutherscale CA12 5UE where the main path starts, the other is at Little Town CA12 5TU where you can walk up the Newlands Valley side of the hill.

We recommend either getting there very early (before 9am) or parking in Keswick and catching the Keswick Launch to Hawes End landing stage. From April-October the 77A bus service from Keswick also stops at Cat Bells.

Occasionally a farmer opens their field for parking, but don't bank on it being open when you visit.

Two women walk their dog on a lead at Tarn Hows

Help us look after the Lake District  

Please follow the Countryside Code when you visit the Lake District. By taking your litter home with you, keeping your dog under control, keeping gates, driveways and roads clear and sticking to designated footpaths, you can help us care for the Lake District and the wildlife and people who call it home.