Best car parks for Borrowdale

Watendlath Beck in autumn, Borrowdale, Lake District

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.

A family enjoying the outdoors in autumn or winter

Visiting information for this winter 

In England and Northern Ireland, our gardens, parks and countryside remain open for local people to exercise. Shops, houses and other indoor areas are closed, and cafés are takeaway only. The safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors from the nearby community remains our priority and we urge you to book your visits in advance and stay local. All places in Wales are currently closed. Please check the property webpage before you travel.

Parking for Borrowdale and Derwent Water, near Keswick

Places with no car park

Good to know before you set off

Image of a Victorian toilet flush at Tyntesfield

Toilets in car parks closed for the winter

We open the toilet blocks in the car parks during the busy summer season. They are now closed for the winter. Public toilets are available in Keswick Lakeside and Bell Close car parks.

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.

Walking group following the 1931 Alfred Wainwright route across the Lakeland Fells, Great Langdale to Ambleside, Cumbria

Check car parking availability in the Lake District 

We're working with our partners in the Lake District to reopen car parks safely. Here you can find the most up to date information and a guide to how busy the car parks are today.