Swap a campsite for a cave at Lake District!

Back to the camperbug blog  December 16, 2019

If you’re on the lookout for penthouse views over northern Lake District, we’ve got just the place! Trade an overnight campsite stayover in favour of the captivating “Priest’s Hole! The cave is neither dark nor foreboding, and a shallow overhang maintains effective protection from the elements. The cave contains a wide mouth which keeps claustrophobia at bay, and you’re bound to find half-empty camping stove canisters, a collection of groundsheets and tarps plus, most excitingly, a visitors book and pen with comments and tales of outdoor aficionadi who’ve camped high up on the fell titled Dove Crag. Get a Cumbria campervan hire with Camperbug!


Image by Masa Sakano on Flickr



Pack

Do remember that caves are not dry places and as the Priest’s Hole contains a wide opening do make sure to pack in a plenty of warm clothing, adequate equipment to prepare hot food and drink, waterproof bivvy for your sleeping bag and a sheet of tarp to help ease the sharpness of the rocky cave floor. Do pack in the required quantity of water for your stay as the climb down is tiring.

Stock up

You can stock up on food and water at the nearest village, Patterdale while camping supplies are available in the towns of Ambleside or Keswick.

Reach

Lake District is a popular location for camping so you’ll have a cornucopia of campsites to leave your campervan overnight. It’s easiest to reach the cave from the village of Patterdale.


Image by lydsjackson on Instagram



The itinerary

Day one

Enter via the car park and follow the wide pathway which passes the trail of trees laid along the edge of Brothers Water until you reach a farm at Hartsop Hall. Once you reach the farm, continue forward, where you’ll see the path divide into two. Take the lighter path on the far right which will proceed along an uphill climb. You’ll pass a wall line, ruined gates and old stiles along the way until the trees part to make way for the waters of Dovedale Beck waterfall.

Be sure to avoid crossing the bridge to the southern bank. Keep the path to your left as you proceed along the south bank, and soon the track will pass over boulders and rocks, with some old buildings on your right. If the weather is clear, it is from this point that you’ll be able to see the first sighting of the cave. The path becomes increasingly steeper before the terrain evens out with more grass. You’ll need to walk towards a large boulder that rests along of the track.

When you reach the boulder, turn left, and you’ll see a path resembling a sheep track. Follow the route which will snake around a side of rocks to your left. You may have to use your hands to scramble over the rocks however after about five minutes of climbing and walking; you’ll reach the entrance to the Priest Hole.

Day two


Taking the garbage back. Image by Masa Sakano on Flickrr



Did you fill out the visitor’s book? Be sure to add a comment!   Before retracing your path down to the large boulder, collect all waste. Those who wish to make a quick exit may follow the same way that led to the caves. Proceed uphill towards the centre point between the peaks Dove Crag and Hart Crag, if you’d like to explore the region.  Turn southeast to reach the summit of the mountain you spend the night from where you can follow the path back to the cols and proceed towards the peak of Hart Crag.

When you’ve had your fill of the vistas, follow the very noticeable path northeast which proceeds along the range of Hartsop Above How. The path will drop to the north of Low Wood. Turn onto the road and walk back towards Cow Bridge and you’ll reach your start point!


Lovely Old Blue!



Old Blue is a gorgeous classic Niagara Blue Bay Window lefthand drive California campervan, lovingly fitted with modern Van Wurks camping interior. Take a look and if you like what you see, speak to Old Blue's owners for reservations!





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