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Countryside car parks in the Lake District

A man sitting on the back of his car in a car park to put his walking boots on to go for a walk in Borrowdale, Cumbria
Getting ready to set off for a walk in Borrowdale | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Discover the National Trust's countryside car parks in the Lake District.

Plan ahead

Some of our car parks regularly fill up, especially at peak times, so it's important to plan ahead and be prepared to find alternative car parking. Our car parks are pay-and-display so please take some cash with you. At some car parks you can also use the PayByPhone app - we recommend downloading it before travelling from National Trust members can park for free - just scan your card at the ticket machine.

Borrowdale and Derwent Water

There are eight National Trust car parks in the Borrowdale Valley from where you can access Derwent Water for canoeing and boating, go for an amble or get up on the high summits. Find out more here

  • Ashness Bridge - Postcode CA12 5UN, OS reference NY269196
    A small car park that brings you near the most photographed spot in Cumbria. Park here and walk up past Ashness farm into the temperate rainforest where you can see Galloway cattle in the woodland pasture.

  • Bowder Stone - Postcode CA12 5XA, OS reference NY253168
    A large yet quiet car park which brings you right into the jaws of Borrowdale itself. Download one of our walks and head out on an adventure or bring a picnic and relax with the family while exploring the nearby geological features.

  • Great Wood - Postcode CA12 5UP, OS reference NY272213
    Just outside Keswick and within the Borrowdale temperate rainforest, this is an ideal starting point for heading up into the woodland or walking the 10-mile circular route around Derwent Water with Calfclose Bay lakeshore only 250m away across the road.

  • Kettlewell - Postcode CA12 5UN, OS reference NY266195
    A popular spot for water sport enthusiasts, Kettlewell is situated right on the shores of Derwent Water. Get here early as it fills up fast on busy days.

  • Rosthwaite - Postcode CA12 5XB, OS reference NY257148
    This popular spot is in the heart of the village of Rosthwaite with toilets, a café and an easy level walk to the stepping stones across the river Derwent.

  • Seatoller - Postcode CA12 5XN, OS reference NY246137
    This is our biggest car park in the valley and the starting point of a few popular walks. With toilets and a bus stop, it is the ideal place to take in trails through traditional farmland or hike up to Castle Crag.

  • Surprise View - Postcode CA12 5UU, OS reference NY268189
    On the scenic drive between Ashness Bridge and Watendlath hamlet, a pause at Surprise View brings huge rewards. No need to hike up a fell to take in this view of Derwent Water and the surrounding fells, if you’re lucky you might even catch an inverted cloud formation below.

  • Watendlath - Postcode CA12 5UW, OS reference NY275163
    Nestled in the quiet hamlet of Watendlath, getting there will take you along a scenic but very narrow and winding road. Your efforts will be rewarded with a wide choice of paths taking you up fells, past ancient pollards and up towards the flowering peat bogs of Armboth fell.

Buttermere Valley

A tranquil area of dramatic fells, farms and woodland and three lakes, offering challenging ridgeline walks and easy lakeshore walking with beautiful views.

  • Buttermere - Postcode CA13 9UZ, OS reference NY172172

Choose from paths that take you around Buttermere itself or up to Scale Force before coming back for some food or a drink at one of the local pubs.

  • Honister Pass - Postcode CA12 5XN, OS reference NY225135

Our highest car park - at 350m above sea level - this is a good place for heading for the summits or starting a downhill walk into Borrowdale before taking the bus back up.

  • Lanthwaite Wood - Postcode CA13 9UY, OS reference NY158207

Park here for a half mile level walk to one of the most jaw-dropping beach-side views in the Lakes looking right down Crummock Water to the fells beyond.

  • Maggie’s Bridge - Postcode CA13 0RU, OS reference NY134210

Start your day in Loweswater and take in the Cumbrian landscape while following a trail through a patchwork of natural and archaeological features dating back to the Bronze Age.


  • Tarn Hows - Postcode LA21 8DP, OS reference SD321998

Enjoy gentle walks with panoramic views from this classic Lakeland beauty spot.

A group of young people equipped with maps, walking in the Lake District along a NT footpath near Mickleden in Great Langdale
A group of walkers along a National Trust footpath near Mickleden in Great Langdale | © National Trust Images / Leo Mason

The Langdales

Home to the majestic Langdale Pikes and mountain tarns, the Langdales are a natural playground and a perfect spot for venturing on to the high fells, relaxing at Sticklebarn or exploring the area by bike.

  • Blea Tarn - Postcode LA22 9PG

Park here for a gentle stroll to Blea Tarn, offering picnic spots with brilliant views of the Langdale fells.

  • Elterwater - Postcode LA22 9HP, OS reference 328047

A great parking spot for a riverside amble or bike ride to Skelwith Force, with choice of moderate walks over Loughrigg to High Close and Grasmere.

  • High Close - Postcode LA22 9HJ

A very small car park next to High Close Youth Hostel. Great for accessing High Close estate and Arboretum. Please note, the road to High Close is narrow and steep.

  • Old Dungeon Ghyll - Postcode LA22 9JY, OS reference NY285062

Ideal for accessing the high fells, Mickleden, the Pikes and long routes to Scafell Pike.

  • Stickle Ghyll - Postcode LA22 9JU

A great base for taking the steep footpaths to the Langdale Pikes, picking up the cycling and walking routes along the valley tracks, or visiting Stickle Ghyll and Sticklebarn.


A popular place for venturing on to the high fells, visiting the Aira Force waterfalls, exploring by boat, or going for an amble by the lakeshore.

  • Aira Force Car Park - Postcode CA11 0JS

Best car park for access to Aira Force waterfalls and facilities. During busy times (bank holidays, school holidays and sunny weekends) the car park usually fills up around 10am, so arriving early is recommended.

  • Glencoyne Bay - Postcode CA11 0NQ, OS reference NY386180

Park here for access to lakeside picnics, watersports and a longer trail to visit the Aira Force waterfalls.

  • High Cascades - Postcode CA11 0JY, OS reference NY397211

Best for accessing the high fells or enjoying the 1.5 mile round trip to the waterfalls at Aira Force.

  • Park Brow - Postcode CA11 0JY, OS reference NY397206

Another good car park for accessing the high fells, with a shorter 0.5 mile round trip to Aira Force.

Three walkers going through a gate on the path up to Scafell Pike
Walkers climbing Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head, Cumbria | © National Trust Images/John Malley


Home to towering mountains and the deepest lake in England, Wasdale is a great place for an adventure, whether you want to climb a fell, take your dog for a walk in Low Wood or explore the shores of Wastwater.

  • Lake Head - Postcode CA20 1EX, OS reference NY182075

A popular car park for accessing the route to Scafell Pike and surrounding fells.

  • Nether Wasdale - Postcode CA20 1ET, OS reference NY127038

A pretty riverside spot close to the tiny village of Nether Wasdale giving access to the gentler walks or cycle routes into Wasdale,

  • Overbeck - Postcode CA20 1EX, OS reference NY168068

Another car park by the river, which is an ideal starting point for gentler walking or cycling routes into Wasdale.

Windermere West Shore

Best explored on foot or by bike, Windermere west shore is the place to go for lakeside strolls, great views and picnics by the water.

  • Ash Landing - Postcode LA22 0LP

A great base for picking up trails on foot or bike to Wray Castle or walks with panoramic views over Claife Heights. It can be easily accessed from the east side of Windermere by ferry.

  • Harrowslack - Postcode LA22 0LR

A perfect lakeshore spot, ideal for enjoying picnics, paddling, gentle lakeside walks or bike rides to Wray Castle. You can also enjoy panoramic views from Claife Heights.

  • Red Nab - Postcode LA22 0JH

Windermere East Shore

  • Fell Foot - Postcode LA12 8NN
    Park here for access to the lake and facilities including café, changing rooms and toilets. A popular lakeshore spot perfect for lakeside picnics, watersports and walks with great views across Windermere.
  • Stagshaw Gardens & Skelghyll Wood - Postcode LA22 0HE
    A very small car park. Park here for a stroll around Stagshaw Garden, best in spring, or follow the Ambleside Champion Trees Trail around Skelghyll Wood.
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