Squirrel! Did you know that the red squirrel is a very shy critter that mostly won’t be spied if it hears big humanly footsteps (a bit like hobbits)? Sssh: you might just spy one around beautiful Waterfoot Caravan Park, an immensely peaceful place near Penrith in the Lake District National Park.
- Peaceful park near Penrith in the Lake District National Park
- In a wildlife haven overlooking Ullswater
- Play area, football pitch and shop open in season
Like the thought of spotting red squirrels in the wild, the look and location of Waterfoot should make one want to pack up and move here with some immediacy. Not only is it in the grounds of a Georgian mansion, with scurrying wildlife all round, but it overlooks gorgeous Ullswater, with steamer cruises on Lady Dorothy, famed walking routes and, we hope – carrying a notepad/sketchpad to note/sketch sightings of glorious daffodils.
Waterfoot is a family site over a most viewsome acre of land, with up-to-date showers and toilets, a shop open daily during the season, a laundry room and indoor washing-up areas to combat any Lake District rain. Sans rain, kids have a play area with swings, climbing towers, rocking toys and slide, and there’s a small football pitch for big brothers and sisters.
Reception is easily found at the front of the park, so check in and lace up your walking boots to take in the wildlife and walks of some of the prettiest parts of the country – did someone say squirrel…?
Wildlife including red deer and those red squirrels can be spotted in many Lake District woodlands and fells, but to maximise your chances of a sighting, scurry along to the flagship red squirrel reserve at Whinlatter Forest near Keswick, where there’s also a red squirrel trail with a visitor centre and rope bridge.
Greystoke Forest and around Bassenthwaite Lake are other likely spotting areas, and like Whinlatter, have acres of other activities such as mountain biking and fell walking (start off at the Whinlatter visitor centre for ideas and tips).
Indoor options around the area include many museums, historic houses and oodles of towns and villages to shop around. Penrith is the nearest market town to Waterfoot and has an indoor pool, climbing wall, several specialist shops and a market twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays.