This review is for the Troutbeck Head Caravan & Motorhome Club site and is based on a visit during Easter 2019, the site and amenity blocks were extensively refurbished in 2019. As with any review of sites in the Lake District its nearby attractions and amenities, there is an almost limitless choice. I have chosen a few options which are relatively close to this site.
The site is based close to both Ullswater, Keswick and Derwentwater. It is easily accessed from the M6 and A66. Please see the Site Arrival video
The site is split into two areas, one to the right of Reception is for non-serviced pitches, the area to the left is exclusively serviced pitches on two tiers.
The site has 156 pitches, 148 of which are hardstanding and is open from March to early January each year. Arrival is from 12 noon and non-members are welcome but there are no tent pitches.
The site has two toilet blocks, one with family room and laundry, the other has a disabled access room.
There is an information room which also has some pool tables and children’s games. There is also a children’s play area adjacent.
Please note that there is no official Club Wi-Fi currently available on site and 4G services are very limited.
TV reception is good and is via a bollard signal booster. You need to bring your cable with you.
There is a small, unfenced, dedicated dog walking area alongside the entrance to the site and there is also a walk from the top of the site which exits out on to Matterdale Forest road and can be part of a longer circular walk. Dogs must be kept on leads at all times due to the presence of livestock.
A fish and chip van, which is very popular, calls twice a week in an evening.
The usual CAMHC services are available and a small shop selling essential provisions and gas refills is in Reception. There is also a late-night arrivals area. Entrance to the site is via barrier key fob.
There is a bus stop, on the A66, about 1.5-mile walk, (where you turn left to drive towards the site).
Rookin House Activity Centre is next door offering a whole range of outdoor experiences including quad bikes, clay pigeon shooting etc.
Next nearest is Aria Force, car park (charge to non NT members), information room and café. The walk takes about half an hour on clearly marked paths. Please note that on weekends and bank holidays the car park can get very busy. A relatively new steamer stop has opened here and there is a signposted walk from there into Pooley Bridge, about 7 miles. There is also a car park at the top of the falls, which is on the A5091 and which you pass driving from the site.
Pooley Bridge, with its shops, pubs, post office and stopping off point for Ullswater Steamers is about 20 minutes’ drive from the site.
At the other end of Ullswater is Glenridding, base of Ullswater Steamers and home to two huge hotels, Inn on the Lake and the Best Western. The latter accepts dogs, at the time of writing, in its bar/restaurant area and has excellent Wi-Fi service. A local grocer and Catsycam shop are also located there.
Slightly further afield is Keswick which has a wide range of outdoor and mountaineering shops, plus the usual range of market town shops and banks. Booths Supermarket is probably the biggest in the area. The Theatre on the Lake also produces a wide range of shows and productions throughout the season. Boat rides are available from by the lakeside. Car parking is available but at a cost. Keswick is probably one of the most dog friendly places you could ever wish to visit. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keswick,_Cumbria
Some views of the town’s main street and the well known Old Keswickman fish and chip shop.
Rheged Centre, which you pass when leaving the M6 is a Discovery Centre. There are a regular range of activities aimed at families and young children and is a good wet day spot to visit.
Penrith is the nearest large town and has the full range of services, including the mainline rail service from London to Scotland.
For a slightly longer day trip, you might want to consider a visit to Gretna Green, the world famous place where you have been able to get married over the anvil for hundreds of years. The site is split over two main areas, plus several hotels in the area. The first area you will encounter after leaving the M6/M74 will be the Outlet Village, free parking, you can easily spend a couple of hours there, cafes and a good variety of shops.
Dogs are allowed in the open air mall and seating is provided.
A couple of miles further on is the main Gretna Green visitor attraction area. Here is where the anvil room is located, we were unable to visit this on the day as there were weddings taking place. There is a café/restaurant/specialist food shop plus a historical room and a tourist shop selling whiskey, keepsakes and even your very own kilt, sporran and jacket!
Easter 2019 was blessed with uncharacteristic excellent weather, the site is just as good a place to kick back, relax and enjoy some peace, quiet and fresh air.