Wild camping in the Lake District at Angle Tarn, one of the best spots in the Lakes


Wild camping Lake District best spot Angle Tarn
Wild camping spot for the night at Angle Tarn in the Lake District - stunning place

Wild camping at one of the best spots in the Lake District 

Angle Tarn in the Lake District is one of the more popular wild camping spots in the Lakes and it's easy to see why as it's got everything you'd want including a tarn, stunning views of the surrounding fells, good position for sunset and sunrise views and its fairly easy to get to from the carpark at Patterdale. In warmer months and on weekends you are likely to encounter others there, but we thought we'd head there on a chilly mid-week night in Spring when it would be much quieter and likely to have the place to ourselves. 

To be honest I'm loathe to share too many wild camping spots on here as the best thing about wild camping is heading into the wilds where you are unlikely to come across many others - but Angle Tarn is no big secret so I thought I would share it as it's a good place to try at least once, especially if you are new to wild camping.

You should note though that legally you should have the permission of the land owner in England to wild camp. However, in the English Lake District, wild camping is tolerated as long as you pitch up above the highest fell wall, pitch up late after the last walkers have left the fells, stay for only one night, leave early and most importantly leave no trace that you where ever there. We noticed a few patches of burnt grass (I see no point in the need for fires and what it leaves behind) and it just spoils it for everyone else who follows you, so please respect the land and keep the area pristine for us all to enjoy.

Wild camping Lake District best spot Angle Tarn
Angle Tarn in the Lake District - what a spot for a wild camp!

Where is Angle Tarn?

There are 2 Angle Tarn's in the Lake District - but this one is near Patterdale and not far from Lake Ullswater. It's fairly accessible as you can park up at Patterdale (see note on parking at the end of the blog) and it's about a 2.1 mile hike (1-1.5 hours) up to the Tarn which isn't too strenuous, but you may want to have a few stops to "admire the views" on the initial walk up to Boredale Hause as you get a sweat on with your rucksack, and from there it's pretty easy going. Once you get to the Tarn there are plenty of options to choose where to pitch, whether by the side of the Tarn, or higher up with more sweeping views.  

Map of Angle Tarn in the Lake District: 

Angle tarn map walk
The easiest way to get to Angle Tarn is from Patterdale where it's a 2.1 mile hike to Angle Tarn. After the initial steepish ascent to Boredale Hause at 399m - its pretty easy going. 

Angle Tarn wild camp walk overview:

Pattedale to Angle Tarn walk distance: 2.1m

Time taken: 1-1.5 hours

After your wild camp is over - you can either walk back the way you came, or even make a circular walk out of it and head to Hayswater and back via Hartsop. 

Wild camping lake district
Wild camping at Angle Tarn in the Lake District 

Photos of this superb Angle Tarn wild camp:

Here we are on the ascent up to Boredale Hause, looking back towards Patterdale and Lake Ullswater. As you can see we gain height quite quickly on this section and it's the steepest section of the walk,  a few stops and you should be right. There's even a bench part way up for you ;-)

Wild camping Lake District best spot Angle Tarn
After Boredale Hause the path flattens out a bit and you can start to admire the views over towards Brothers Water and beyond. 

Wild camping Lake District best spot Angle Tarn
We approach Angle Tarn in the Lake District - what a place to pitch up!

Wild camping Lake District best spot Angle Tarn
We decide to go for the little Peninsula close to the Tarn and there is nobody else about.

Wild camping Lake District best spot Angle Tarn
Our 4 tents all pitched up - for a couple of the lads it was their first wild camp (and happy to say, despite the cold, I don't think it will be their last haha) 

Wild camping Lake District best spot Angle Tarn
Once your pitched up and sorted its time to enjoy a few beers and a bit of craic with your mates - one of the best things about wild camping.

Wild camping Lake District best spot Angle Tarn
As the night draws in the comfort of your tent and warm sleeping bag becomes very appealing.  

Wild camping Lake District best spot Angle Tarn
What a place to wake up to eh! This is why wild camping is so good :-)

Wild camping Lake District best spot Angle Tarn
Time for a cuppa using water from the tarn. Boiling water does kill the majority of germs, but I've been using a superb new water filter bottle, the Katadyn BeFree, which means I can also take water from pretty much anywhere including tarns/streams etc and drink it safely whilst cold straight from the bottle. There's no pumping required like other water filters and for just my needs it's my favourite 'easy-to-use' water filter and a great little product investment which costs about £35 and saves me lumping a load of bottled water about on my camps - you can find out more and buy the Katadyn BeFree here   

Time to get the day going with a dip in the tarn :-) With an air temperature of about 2c on this morning it was certainly refreshing.

After a class night away with the lads and a bit of brekkie it's time to head back down to Patterdale

And there you have it - a little introduction to one of the Lake Districts best Wild Camping spots. The purists will say Angle Tarn is becoming too popular and if you want perfect solitude go somewhere else - but for those new to wild camping - it's a great little spot to get into it. If you go mid-week outside of the summer months - you might just get it to yourself. Let me know how you get on in the comments :-)


I was in two minds whether to share this wild camping spot to make it easier to find as it seems there is a minority of doyles who are spoiling these sort of natural places with their litter - but the aim of my blog is to make the outdoors more accessible for people to enjoy and I'll trust that the vast majority of us have a bit of respect for these stunning natural spaces. So please if you do visit Angle Tarn (or anywhere else for that matter), follow the wild camping code and leave no trace that you've ever been there to keep these places looking pristine for all of us to enjoy. That means taking litter home (take a couple of plastic bags they will come in handy). Don't have any fires that scorch the grass (these are pointless as you can't possibly take enough wood to make a substantial fire anyway) - fires out in the fells are a bit of a bugbear of mine now as I keep coming across scorched grass that just spoils the setting (if your into camp fires - do them in places like woods where others aren't likely to come across the remains or you can easily cover them over). And if you need a crap - burry it and take the toilet roll home with you in a zip seal bag :-) 

Leave no trace wild camping
Please keep our natural spaces looking exactly how you found them

Car parking at Patterdale:

The best and ideal place to park to get to Angle Tarn is on the A592 roadside right near the White Lion Inn - where there is space for free overnight parking for about 4 cars. On weekend days these will usually be taken - but on an evening if your heading for a wild camp you might get lucky. There is the car park for the White Lion Inn right near hear too which is also in the picture - but these are for patrons only. If this free road side spot is taken - the other alternative is the pay and display opposite the Patterdale Hotel not far from here about 100m down the road which is £5 and includes over night, or you could try and arrange a parking spot at Patterdale YHA in advance. Hope that helps!

Other useful Wild Camping blog posts:

Post by Stuart Hodgson 
'The Hiking Photographer'

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  1. Angle Tarn is the first wild camp I took my son on aged 8. It rained he cried and I felt terrible! He is now 25 and a happy wild camper so lm feeling better. Great blog Steve

    1. Well you must have done something right Steve as your son wasn't put off and now seems right into the outdoors :-) wondering at what age to take mine for a wild camp :-P Glad you enjoy the blog - thanks for stopping by


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