The Quiet Site, Ullswater, Lake District – Review
By Rachel Howard, August 2022
I will always jump at the chance of a couple of nights in the Lake District, but I won’t lie – my idea of a perfect Cumbrian stay usually involves a lovely hotel, pub or B’n’B – I do like my home comforts!
So when the Quiet Site at Ullswater invites me for a two-night stay, I wonder how I will fare. Covering everything from tent pitches to glamping cabins (not to mention a self contained holiday cottage), they specialise in back-to-basics, eco-friendly and sustainable breaks in one of the most beautiful areas of the National Park.
But I quickly realise back-to-basics doesn’t mean boring or uncomfortable. It simply means a chance to switch off, get back to nature and really take in the majesty of your surroundings – all with some superb home comforts and great touches to make your stay extra special.
“All of the essentials”
As my partner, Jon, and I weave our way through the picturesque hills and valleys of the Ullswater Way, we immediately start to relax. There’s something very magical about the Lakes, and it will forever draw me back. Just 10mins from the M6 (if you’re coming from the north or south), and 15mins from the A66 (if you’re coming from the east or west), the Quiet Site is perfectly situated just above Ullswater and within 45mins drive of all of the Lakes’ main attractions.
Parking up at reception, we are greeted warmly by staff and shown the ropes of the site. It quickly becomes clear this isn’t your average camp site. Not only do they have their own shop – the Quiet Zero Waste Shop, they also have a pub (the Quiet Bar) and a hot food and drink cabin (the Quiet Bite) – but more on that later.
The shop sells all of the essentials – as well as plenty of non-essentials! – all with zero plastic packaging. They champion local produce, ethical brands and reusable packaging, which really demonstrates the Quiet Site’s environmental ethos. And as a plus for all visitors, the wide variety of items in the shop allow you to simply jump in the car and not have to worry about stocking up beforehand – perfect!
With accommodation options including glamping burrows, cabins, camping pods, tent and motorhome pitches, and a holiday cottage, our choice is the enchantingly named Gingerbread House. Definitely erring more on the glamping side than camping, these beautiful wooden lodges have everything you could want, and nothing you don’t. Fully powered, heated and air conditioned, they have a fully fitted bathroom with power shower, basin and toilet, a small but perfectly formed kitchen (kettle, microwave, fridge and sink) and a huge sleeping ledge.
Sleeping up to 2 adults and 4 children, these cabins are perfect if, like me, you still appreciate your home comforts at the same time as wanting to feel at one with nature. You just need to provide bedding, towels, toiletries, crockery and cutlery. With plenty of plug points and USB points (and a great wifi signal), you don’t need to be cut off from the world unless you want to be, but with no TV, the peace and quiet is something to be savoured. A large terrace at the front, with tables and chairs, makes the most of the absolutely spectacular view. The Quiet Site is in an elevated position so the vast majority of accommodation comes with wide reaching views of Ullswater and the fells surrounding it. Watching the sun come up over the Lake, with the clouds and mist hanging in the valley is a special moment that will stay with me forever.
Once unpacked and settled in, we walk down to the Quiet Bite to see what’s cooking. We can smell the wood-fired pizza oven before we can see it, and immediately speed up, eager to see what’s on offer. This isn’t somewhere with an overwhelming menu (which would undoubtedly lead to waste). Evening offerings are handmade pizzas and garlic bread, and breakfast options are bacon rolls, vegan rolls and crepes at the weekend. Hot drinks and cakes are also available. Having sampled a little of everything, I can highly recommend these as perfect ways to either kickoff the day, or bring it to a close.
We choose to eat our pizzas in the Quiet Bar. No food is available at the bar, but you are welcome to take eat your pizzas there and sample the many beverages on offer, including local ales. Even though we are visiting in June, the Lake District weather is as unpredictable as ever, so the log fire is roaring in the pub, and it makes for a wonderfully idyllic evening. We play cards, eat pizza, drink beer and completely forget about the outside world. What more could anyone ask for…
“No shortage of things to do”
The Quiet Site is perfectly situated to make the most of the National Park. Not only are there many walks that can be started directly from the Site, there is also the option to take a boat trip on Ullswater. If you fancy jumping back in the car, you are within 45mins of Windermere, Keswick, Grasmere and Ambleside, so there is no shortage of things to do and places to see. We choose to stay close to home and visit Aira Force. The walk round the waterfalls can be as long or as short as you like, and you can even walk there directly from the Quiet Site if you wish. It’s a beautiful area with some stunning scenery and well worth a visit.
For those of us who are missing a touch of luxury, there is the opportunity to sample a few hours at Another Place, The Lake. This is a 4 star hotel located on the banks of Ullswater, just 5mins drive from the Quiet Site. For non-residents, they offer a Swim & Dine package, which enables you to spend the evening in the swim club (pool, hot tub, sauna – all with magnificent views of the fells) and then enjoy a 3-course meal in the Rampsbeck Restaurant.
We thoroughly enjoy our few hours of luxury, but I must admit to being excited to head back to our Gingerbread House, the peace and quiet of the Quiet Bar and the beautiful view.
For those who decide to camp, as opposed to glamp, the Quiet Site offers excellent amenities. Shower rooms, family bathrooms, laundry room, secure bike storage, electric car charging points, ebike charging points, a dog, boot and bike wash room, gas sale and exchange, children’s play area… I could go on! There’s really no wonder that the Site has been sweeping the board in the awards stakes in recent months… Camping, Glamping & Holiday Park of the Year 2022 at the Cumbria Tourism Awards; Best Glamping Site in the UK 2022, by members of Mumsnet; and an inclusion in the Times’ 25 Best Campsites for Foodies.
There really isn’t a bad word to be said for the Quiet Site. From its sustainable and environmentally savvy ethos, through to the facilities, location and service – it really was a joy to experience it for two nights and I wouldn’t hesitate to return.
The Quiet Site, Ullswater, Cumbria, CA11 0LS
Glamping Burrows from £70 per night, sleeping up to two adults and four children
Gingerbread Houses from £90 per night, sleeping up to two adults and four children
Glamping Cabins from £80 per night, sleeping two adults
Camping pods from £40 per night, sleeping up to two adults and two small children
All weather Pitches from £20 per night, designed for Tents, Motorcaravans or VW’s