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National Trust car parks in the Lake District holiday cottages

National Trust car parks in the Lake District

Kim Brough 04 May 2022

If you’re a member of the National Trust, one of the fantastic benefits is free use of most National Trust parking when you visit the Lake District. Even if you’re not a member, you can still take advantage of these convenient parking spaces. Most will require you to pay, but others are completely free!

As a National Trust member, don’t forget to scan your membership card at each location. By doing this, you help the trust monitor usage and make plans for their important conservation work. Scanning your card also means that the particular location will receive funding, so it’s an excellent and free way of supporting your favourite Lake District beauty spots!

This guide lists Lake District car parks run by the National Trust, from where you can enjoy walks, picnics, water sports and more. We haven’t included parking at specific venues, but you can read our guide to National Trust properties in the Lake District, most of which have on-site parking.


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National Trust car parks in Borrowdale and around Derwentwater

Ashness Bridge's car park

Ashness Bridge

The most photographed packhorse bridge in the Lake District, with gorgeous Borrowdale views towards Derwentwater. Please be aware that the drive up is steep and narrow.

  • Non-member charges: £1 - £8.50
  • Payment accepted: Coins or pay-by-phone (though there is limited signal)
  • Spaces available: 15
  • Google Maps: CA12 5UN
  • What3Words:  ///tingled.approve.symphonic

The Bowder Stone's car park

The Bowder Stone

A quirky attraction: a giant boulder seems to defy gravity as it balances on a point. There are also some lovely woodland and lakeside walks from here.


Great Wood's car park

Great Wood

Close to Derwentwater and perfect for walks and activities on the water. There’s also a pebble lakeside beach at nearby Calfclose Bay, which is perfect for a picnic.


Kettlewell's car park

Lakeside car park near Keswick and on the shores of Derwentwater.

  • Non-member charges: £5 - £8.50
  • Payment accepted: Coins or pay-by-phone (though there is limited signal)
  • Spaces available: 22
  • Google Maps: CA12 5UN
  • What3Words: ///usages.speedily.blogging

Rosthwaite's car park

Rosthwaite

Park for pleasant riverside strolls and easy fell walks such as up Castle Crag.


Seatoller's car park

Seatoller

In the pretty hamlet of Seatoller just below mighty Honister Pass. Park here for wonderful walks in Borrowdale.


Surprise View's car park

Surprise View

One of the best views you’ll find near Keswick with an open panorama of Derwentwater and the surrounding fells. Please be aware that the road up is steep and narrow in places.

  • Non-member charges: £1 - £8.50
  • Payment accepted: Coins or pay-by-phone (though there is limited signal)
  • Spaces available: 15
  • Google Maps: CA12 5UU
  • What3Words: ///spoil.regulator.newlyweds

Watendlath's car park

Watendlath

 A remote hamlet in the Borrowdale valley. The narrow, twisting road is only suitable for confident drivers, but the trip is very picturesque. There is a trout fishery in Watendlath.


National Trust car parks in Buttermere

Buttermere's car park

Buttermere

Close to one of the national park’s prettiest lakes, and just outside the village of the same name. Wander around Buttermere lake, scale some mighty peaks, and enjoy a pub meal when you return.


Crummock Water's car park

Crummock Water

Crummock is Buttermere’s quieter twin and this small car park leads up to the charming Rannerdale Valley, which is alive with bluebells in the spring.


Honister Pass's car park

Honister Pass

At the top of this steep and hair-raising pass is a National Trust car park that gives you access to popular mountain walks such as Haystacks and Dale Head. And it’s worth the trip just for the views!


Lanthwaite Wood's car park

Lanthwaite Wood

Take a short, pleasant walk through woodland to Crummock Water from this car park. Then dip your toes in the water or continue strolling along the shore.


Maggie’s Bridge's car park

Maggie’s Bridge

The perfect car park for a walk around little Loweswater, one of the Lake District’s quietest lakes. 


National Trust car parks in Coniston

Tarn Hows' car park

Tarn Hows

Though man-made, Tarn Hows is one of the most picturesque and beloved of all the Lake District tarns. It also benefits from easy pathways and miles-without-stiles walks

  • Non-member charges: £5 - £7.50
  • Payment accepted: Coins or pay-by-phone (though there is limited signal)
  • Spaces available: 68
  • Google Maps: LA23 1EN
  • What3Words: ///thickens.habit.passion

Glen Mary's car park

Explore the countryside around Coniston from here, including Tarn Hows and the Langdales.

  • Non-member charges: £5 - £8.50
  • Payment accepted: Coins or pay-by-phone (though there is limited signal)
  • Spaces available: 10
  • Google Maps: LA21 8DP
  • What3Words: ///croutons.doted.trim

National Trust car parks in the Langdale Valley

Blea Tarn's car park

Blea Tarn

Take a gentle stroll to this tarn, which looks over the breathtaking peaks of the Langdale Pikes. 


Elterwater's village car park

Elterwater village

This pretty village is perfect for a stop off, and a walk around the lake of the same name offers plenty of interest, including marvellous waterfalls.

  • Non-member charges: £1 - £8.50
  • Payment accepted: Coins or pay-by-phone (though there is limited signal)
  • Spaces available: 40
  • Google Maps: LA22 9HU
  • What3Words: ///hiding.lived.reverted

High Close's car park

Take an hour out of your day to visit this quiet and hidden spot and wander around the High Close Estate and Arboretum.


Old Dungeon Ghyll's car park

Old Dungeon Ghyll

If you’re ready to get onto the high and challenging fells of the Langdale Pikes, the National Trust car park at Old Dungeon Ghyll is an excellent place to start.

  • Non-member charges: £1 - £8.50
  • Payment accepted: Coins or pay-by-phone (though there is limited signal)
  • Spaces available: 50
  • Google Maps: LA22 9JY
  • What3Words: ///testy.flagged.hurry

Stickle Ghyll's car park

Stickle Ghyll

Challenging walking routes and mountain biking opportunities abound in this area of the Langdale Valley.

  • Non-member charges: £4.50 - £8.50
  • Payment accepted: Coins or pay-by-phone (though there is limited signal)
  • Spaces available: 50
  • Google Maps: LA22 9JU
  • What3Words: ///verb.many.moved

National Trust car parks in Ullswater

Aira Force's car park

Aira Force

See one of the Lake District’s most iconic locations at Aira Force, a dazzling waterfall tumbling through a deep gorge.


Glencoyne Bay's car park

Glencoyne Bay

Lakeside picnics, water sports, walks to Aira Force… Glencoyne Bay car park on the shores of Ullswater is in a wonderfully convenient spot.

  • Non-member charges: £1 - £8.50
  • Payment accepted: Coins or pay-by-phone (though there is limited signal)
  • Spaces available: 35
  • Google Maps: CA11 0NQ
  • What3Words: ///slang.kingpin.exclusive

High Cascades' car park

High Cascades

Away from the most popular starting point of the Aira Force walk, High Cascades is a smaller car park that gives you just as good a walk around the falls. You’ll also get to take in some of the other waterfalls on the river, which are often missed by visitors. 


Park Brow's car park

Park Brow

Yet another option for seeing Aira Force! Park Brow offers a shorter walk than High Cascades, and is also in a good place for getting on to the high fells.


National Trust car parks in Wasdale

Lake Head's car park

Lake Head

This is the most popular car parks for climbing Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain. There are also other excellent mountain walks in the area.

  • Non-member charges: £6 - £7
  • Payment accepted: Coins, or pay by card in the shop
  • Spaces available: 100
  • Google Maps: CA20 1EX
  • What3Words: ///hotspot.cheer.ghosts

Nether Wasdale's car park

Nether Wasdale

Just outside the village of Nether Wasdale, this car park is a good place for wandering down to Wastwater or hiking up into the fells. The Sawmill Café & Farm Shop is just across the road, too, for post-walk refreshments!

  • Charges: Unconfirmed
  • Payment accepted: Unconfirmed
  • Spaces available: Unconfirmed, though limited
  • Google Maps: CA20 1ET
  • What3Words: ///idea.stilted.cadet

Overbeck Bridge's car park

Overbeck Bridge

Another option for parking near Wastwater. Overbeck Bridge is a small car park with big views of the famous Screes.

  • Non-member charges: Free, with an honesty box
  • Payment accepted: Not required
  • Spaces available: 10
  • Google Maps: CA20 1ET
  • What3Words: ///tags.hence.overheat

National Trust car parks around Windermere

Ash Landing's car park

Ash Landing

If you’re off to see Victorian Claife Viewing Station, then this is the place to park. You can also use it as a starting point for walks along the west shore of Windermere

  • Non-member charges: £5 - £7.50
  • Payment accepted: Coins or pay-by-phone (though there is limited signal)
  • Spaces available: 22
  • Google Maps: LA22 0LW
  • What3Words: ///nozzles.bitter.biked

Fell Foot's car park

Fell Foot

Fell Foot is a park at the foot of Windermere with grassy slopes flowing right down to the water. It’s perfect for a family day out.


Harrowslack's car park

Harrowslack

This is a popular place on sunny days thanks to its position close to the lake, with gentle strolls and bike rides available nearby. The road to it is single-track, so take care. 

  • Non-member charges: £5 - £7.50
  • Payment accepted: Coins or pay-by-phone (though there is limited signal)
  • Spaces available: 24
  • Google Maps: LA22 0LR
  • What3Words: ///surcharge.freely.inhaled

Red Nab's car park

Right in between Claife Viewing Station and Wray Castle, Red Nab car park on gives you the option of gentle walks to either attraction. Or head up Latterbarrow right behind you for amazing views of Windermere! 


Stagshaw Garden's car park

Stagshaw Garden

This hidden gem near Windermere has its own little car park where you could spend a pleasant and peaceful half hour wandering amongst the flowers. The shows are best during spring when the colourful azaleas put on a riot of colour! 


Lake District parking FAQs

Free parking is available in some parts of the Lake District, but there is a charge for many car parks, especially in the most popular areas. National Trust members can park for free in the organisation’s car parks.

Overnight parking or camping is not allowed in National Trust car parks. Their locations are often remote and so aren’t convenient for accommodation, and overnight camping in these places can have negative effects on local wildlife.

Most National Trust car parks are free for members. Non-members will have to pay a fee where indicated, though there are a small number of Trust car parks that are free for all.


Stay at a self-catering holiday cottages in the Lake District

Once you’ve planned your itinerary using these handy National Trust car parks in the Lake District, don’t forget to pick your perfect self-catering accommodation! We’ve got an excellent range to suit every taste.

Browse cottages

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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