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 enjoying the garden in summer at Wordsworth House and Garden

Latest visiting update 

Our gardens, parks, cafés, shops, countryside locations and many houses are open. You no longer need to pre-book at many places. Some still require booking ahead, so please check the property webpage before you 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 getting here by boat or bus. The Park & Sail in Keswick offers 200 parking spaces and allows you to park all day for £4. It gives a 15% discount on tickets for the Keswick Launcher which stops at 7 lakeshore jetties, including Hawse End for Cat Bells. Find out more at Visit Keswick

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.