“ Type: Camping Sites / Address: Ullswater / Cumbria CA11 0LS / United Kingdom / Tel: 07768 727016 „
As we haven't been camping for about 4 years and the youngest had never been we decided she was old enough for us to take the plunge.
We decided we didn't want to travel too far and only stay 3 nights as we didn't know what she would be like. We guessed that she would love it as once she is outside she doesn't want to come back in.
I trawled the internet looking to book somewhere - most said 'No need to book just come along' Some suggested phoning on the day. We didn't want to do this as we prefer booking with children so we know where we are going.
I came across 'The Quiet Site' a campsite in Ullswater which is about one hour 30 mins drive away from us -perfect. It had its own website so I checked it out. It seemed nice, it was family run had a shop, bar and adventure playground. Great although the bar wasn't important to us as we just love sitting outside our tent at night looking up at the stars whilst having a couple of glasses of wine.
I checked out the costs for a tent pitch, the dates we wanted were classed as high season. There is two types of piches for tents - standard which said it had a slight slope or flat which has electric hook up if wanted. We wanted a flat pitch as we didn't know how much of a slope would be classed as slight. We weren't bothered about electric as that's not what camping is about to us. It's about roughing it, cooking meals outside that you wouldn't have at home and the children being able to have fun in the outdoors. (so we are slaves to the weather).
A couple of e mails later, a phone call and £78 paid it was all booked.
The price of camping appears to have increased since we last went although if we had booked the standard it would have cost us £66.
Directions of how to get there are on their website and I also got them from greenflag route planner. It was very straight forward for us and we didn't get lost once.
My husband had to pack up the car as I was working so he said we were bound to have forgotten something - we did but nothing important.
We arrived about 5pm and had to go to the shop to book in. The lady there came and and walked with me to the pitch whist my husband drove the car with the girls in. She gave me a leaflet with the site rules on and one with some walks on.
The rules were nothing major just respect other people and keep noise to a minimum between 10pm and 8am.
Our pitch was flat but there was a bit of a hill which would be directly outside the tent - oh well. We told the children to stay in the car whilst we just got the tent up as I didn't think it was good to have to chase round after the youngest whilst my husband put the tent up alone (he would peg it alone though). We have an easy assemble tent where the poles just click together. I have to admit I am fairly useless at this and just hold the centre of the tent whilst my husband does the rest.
An hour and a half later tent up airbeds sorted etc.
The pitches were quite spaced out, not too close together and far enough away for a bit of privacy. (as much as you get when camping)
Well that night we just sat outside and it certainly was quiet we didn't see anybody else do this and when we visited the toilet block at around 8.30pm children were already in pj's and brushing their teeth.
As on any campsite people are up and about fairly early so you expect to rise early, but the sheep in a nearby field were noisy throughout the night (They obviously didn't have any rules about keeping the noise down)
The shop which was small didn't open until 9 which I thought was a little late but it is a family run site and I saw the owner one morning wiping sinks down in the toilet block before this. They were very accomodating and when I asked if they sold soda water and they didn't they went and got me some from the bar which was closed.
The main toilet block and pot washing place is close to the shop and the toilet area has a metal type roof in the womens there was about 6 toilets, 6 sinks and 4 showers. There was a mop and bucket in there and a notice on the wall asking you to mop up after having a shower. The first time I had a shower the bucket was already full of dirty water which rose above the place you drain the mop - so I didn't bother as more water was going on the floor. It had a hairdryer which could be used for a price of 10p I put either 2 or 3 coins in and dried my youngests hair a bit after a shower and my own, so I didn't think it was too bad. Also there was a plug socket which you could use also for 10p.
The good thing was the site had 3 family bathrooms and in each was a bath, sink and toilet but no shower. I think it could have had a seperate shower cubicle in at least one of the bathrooms that way you could have a shower whilst children were in the bath (obviously depending on childrens ages). Also in these bathrooms were a little step for children to reach the toilet/sink, a baby bath and nappy changing facility.
The washing up facilities were fine and there was a chemical waste somewhere.
Opposite the shop was where all the rubbish and recycling went, which I thought was good as that way there was really no excuse for not recycling. Also a nice touch was that there was a freezer that could be used and a microwave.
The adventure playground wasn't as great as I was expecting there was wooden bridge to walk across, some hut thing that you could go up steps to and I think there may have been a small slide attached to this, and a swing rope. Further away from this part was a wooden wendy house which was a nice touch. We didn't stay here long and most of the time was spent playing house.
We went in the bar the second night to check out the play areas. We went to the bar and my husband and I had some sort of beer and I wasn't that impressed with and gave half of it to my husband. (I am not saying it was horrible I am just not a beer person). My eldest had a hot chocolate with marshmellows, she was very impressed with it and got her dad to take her the next night with a plastic cup and get a take away one. We then went to the play room upstairs which is designed for young children my eldest was too old for it really. The room was a brilliant idea it had games and toys in and a play house. We spent about 45 mins to an hour in here then went to find the amusements for my eldest. - There wasn't any but there was a room with a couple of tables in one was air hockey and table tennis. They were full and it was very noisy so we didn't stay.
The bar doesn't serve food and opens at 7.
The views were fantastic you could see the hills over the other side of the lake. It would definitely be a nice place for walks, we didn't go on any as we didn't take the trolley for the youngest but it would have probably have been difficult with a trolley.
The site will also store caravans for you and put them on the site when you want. There were some static caravans but these were not for hire they were owned which was a shame as I would hire one in the winter.
They also have pods which are quite a new thing. I really fancied these for New Year but I don't think it will happen as it is classed as peak season and you have to stay 5 nights. A pod is used instead of your tent - you still have to take everything else beds pans etc, and they are smaller than our tent. They are about 7 square foot and would only have room for sleeping. So you would have to be well organised.
All in all a great trip and I would definitely go back. We even got to see the sheep being moved into another field (still very close). At least one sheep had a really weird baa.
It is suited for couples and families as it is very quiet both on the site and the area. Ullswater we found is not actually a town we fancied a bottle of lager on the second day and could find no shops nearby. So it is just the lake. Penrith is about 7 miles away which seems to be the nearest big place.