Lake District car parks

Car park sign and four walkers, Seatoller, Cumbria

Whether you’re venturing on to the high fells, exploring the area by boat, going for an amble by a lakeshore, or mountain biking on off road trails, here’s a handy guide to our car parks in the Lake District to help you plan your day.

Plan ahead

At peak times, some of the valley car parks are often full, and with very limited informal parking available, it's important to plan ahead and be prepared to find alternatives. We ask all visitors to be aware of access needs for emergency services, farmers and local residents when parking up for the day. You don't need to book any of the car parks listed below.

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.

Leave no trace

We're asking everybody to embrace the mountaineering principle of 'leave no trace' - whether that's taking rubbish home with you, keeping to designated footpaths to protect the countryside or following local information advice - this will really support our Rangers to concentrate on conservation work where it's most needed. You can read the full countryside code on the government website here.

Parking your campervan or motorhome

Campervans that are used for transport are welcome but are not permitted to stay overnight. We’re unable to welcome caravans and coaches. Please be aware that many of our car parks are located on very narrow, steep roads.

NT Members park for free

At most of our car parks in the Lake District, you can simply scan your membership card to ensure a contribution is given to the property you are visiting - this will ensure our local Rangers have much needed funds to support our important ongoing conservation projects. Not a member? You can join online by scrolling to the bottom of this page, or pay for your parking on the day.

What do you want to do from our car parks today?

Aira Force and Ullswater: For access to waterfall walks and lakeshore, takeaway drinks and snacks, services at Glenridding and Patterdale, Ullswater Steamers to Howtown and Pooley Bridge (currently closed) and a wide range of popular fell and bike routes including Helvellyn.
Borrowdale and Derwent Water, near Keswick: Great for lakeshore and riverside strolls as well as access to the high fells including Great Gable and Scafell Pike.
Elterwater and the Great Langdale Valley, near Ambleside: For leisurely valley and riverside ambles and direct access to high fell routes including the iconic Langdale Pikes.
Tarn Hows, near Coniston Water and Hawkshead: For gentle walks around an iconic tarn and woodland trails with panoramic views.
Wasdale: Park here for direct access to England's highest fells including Scafell Pike, Great Gable and much more.

A reflective Tarn Hows at sunrise, Lake District

Tarn Hows car park, near Coniston

You can enjoy gentle walks with panoramic views from this classic Lakeland beauty spot within easy reach from Coniston, Ambleside and Hawkshead. This is a pay-and-display or pay-by-phone car park. Sat Nav: LA21 8DP

Car parks for Aira Force and Ullswater

Aira Force in Ullswater Cumbria

High Cascades and Park Brow car parks

Best for accessing the high fells or walking to Aira Force, these pay and display car parks are located just off the A5091 and do not require pre-booking. SAT NAV: CA11 0JS. Payment is by cash only.

Paddle boarding on Ullswater

Glencoyne Bay car park

For access to beachside picnics and watersports, Glencoyne pay and display car park is located at SAT NAV: CA11 0NQ. Payment can be accepted by cash or phone. No booking required.

Car parks for Elterwater and Great Langdale valley

Stickle Ghyll walk

Stickle Ghyll car park

For steep footpaths to the Langdale Pikes, Stickle Ghyll or bike and walk routes on valley tracks. This pay-and-display car park is located approximately 7 miles west of Ambleside. You can pay by phone if preferred. Toilets available. Sat Nav: LA22 9JU, OS: NY294065. If full, carry on up the road to the Old Dungeon Ghyll.

Two people cycling through the countryside

Elterwater car park

A great parking spot for a riverside amble to Skelwith Force with choice of moderate walks over Loughrigg to High Close and Grasmere. This is a pay-and-display or pay-by-phone car park, located 4 miles west of Ambleside. Sat Nav: LA22 9HP, OS: NY328047

Car parks for Windermere west shore

Two people cycle in front of Wray Castle, Cumbria

Wray Castle car park, near Ambleside

Although the castle is still closed, you can park at Wray Castle for access to Windermere west shore for gentle walks and cycle tracks. Toilets available. Check back here for news about the tearoom. This pay-and-display or pay-by-phone car park is located 3 miles from Ambleside. Sat Nav: LA22 0JA (just above Low Wray Campsite)

Car parks for Wasdale and Wastwater

Walkers at Wasdale, Cumbria, with the vast expanse of Wastwater in the distance

Lake Head car park

This is a popular pay-and-display car park for accessing the route to Scafell Pike and surrounding fells. Located at the head of Wastwater, Sat Nav: CA20 1EX, OS: NY 182075. Non members, please note the machine takes cash only. Portaloos available - please bear with us whilst facilities are being updated.

The road to Wast Water

Nether Wasdale car park

A pretty riverside spot to start gentler walks or cycle routes into Wasdale, close to the tiny village of Nether Wasdale (OS: NY 127038) or park at Overbeck nearby (OS: NY 168068)