Explore the South West Lakes

Camping, walking, fishing, sailing, kayaking, paddleboarding, watching wildlife and exploring scenic retreats by the shores of a lake offer many options for a magical spring break for visitors to the south west.

Whether your passion is watersports, angling, walking, cycling or simply enjoying nature with loved ones, you’ll find the perfect setting at South West Lakes’ picturesque locations in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and on Exmoor this spring. You can choose to escape everyday life at the majestic Wimbleball on Exmoor (less than a two-hour drive from Bath), the idyllic Roadford on the edge of Dartmoor and Cornish lakes including Upper Tamar near Bude, Siblyback near Liskeard and Stithians near Redruth. Hike along the rolling hills of Dartmoor, cycle around the edge of Bodmin Moor or admire Exmoor’s impressive dark skies. With footpaths and cycle trails to explore, woodlands to discover and play areas to enjoy, everyone can get involved and benefit from being outdoors. It’s your outdoors – so go and explore this spring and stay at one of South West Lakes’ five lakeside campsites.

Wimbleball Lake, Exmoor
Nestled within the rolling hills of Exmoor National Park, this 530-acre lake has something for the whole family to enjoy. The family- friendly campsite offers five bell tents and two wooden camping pods as well as a choice of hard standings, electric and non-electric pitches for tents, motorhomes and caravans. You can also hire a fire pit, purchase wood and charcoal made onsite, rent a telescope and discover why Exmoor National Park is a designated Dark Skies reserve. You can explore Exmoor, walk to Haddon Hill from Wimbleball and see if you can spot the great range of wildlife at the lake, such as the iconic Exmoor ponies and deer. The closest town to Wimbleball is Dulverton but it’s also worth venturing slightly further to explore the popular towns and villages of Tiverton, Porlock, Minehead, Watchet, Wiviliscombe, Taunton and Wellington. Campsite opens 2 March.

Roadford Lake, Devon
Surrounded by countryside, and nestled amongst the beautiful surroundings of the Wolf Valley with the dramatic tors of Dartmoor as its backdrop, Roadford is the perfect location for your next family escape. The scenic campsite offers a choice of spacious electric and non-electric pitches for tents, caravans and motorhomes as well as a bell tent called Bertie. A new play area will be opening in the spring. Roadford is the perfect base to explore the spectacular Dartmoor National Park. Enjoy a day trip out and discover some more of South West Lakes’ Dartmoor sites including Burrator, Fernworthy, Meldon, Avon Dam, Kennick, Tottiford and Trenchford. Within easy reach of Roadford are the historic towns of Launceston and Okehampton and some of the best beaches in Devon and Cornwall are less than an hour away. Campsite opens 18 February.

Hike along the rolling hills of Dartmoor, cycle around the edge of Bodmin Moor or admire Exmoor’s impressive dark skies

Siblyback Lake, Cornwall
With the striking backdrop of Bodmin Moor, a designated International Dark Sky Landscape, Siblyback Lake lies within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Right next to the lake, the small campsite has a choice of electric and non-electric pitches for tents and motorhomes. A must-do on your visit to Bodmin Moor is Dozmary Pool, where, according to legend, King Arthur rowed out to the Lady of the Lake and received the sword Excalibur. Campsite opens 1 May.

Stithians Lake, Cornwall
Surrounded by farmland and moorland, Stithians is the largest inland water in West Cornwall. Stithians Lake’s family friendly campsite has a choice of electric and non-electric pitches. If glamping is more your style, you can stay in one of the luxury bell tents, furnished with comfy double beds and the option of camp beds for up to two children. Everything you need will be in your tent, including storage for clothes, bean bags, fairy lights, lighting and a charging point for your gadgets. Each bell tent has an undercover outdoor cooking area with table and seating. Just pack your duvet and pillows and you’re all set! Cornish landmarks the Minack Theatre, Glendurgan Gardens and Pendennis Castle are all within easy reach. Campsite opens 1 April.

Tamar Lakes, Cornwall
Tucked away on the Cornwall and Devon border, Tamar Lakes is bordered by peaceful countryside. The campsite has a choice of electric and non-electric pitches for tents, caravans and motorhomes. Or you can choose the onsite four-berth glamping pod – furnished with two bunk beds, a table and chairs, cutlery and a cool-box – which is perfect for those not wanting to carry lots of camping gear. There’s a solar powered light, but no other electricity supply – so it’s not really cheating, right? The Cornish coastal town of Bude, with its sea pool and popular beaches, is nearby. Under an hour’s drive from the lake are Dartmoor National Park and the ever-popular beach resort of Newquay. Campsite opens 1 April.

Acti­­­­vities on offer
Whichever of the five lakes you choose to stay near, you’ll find an action-packed programme of adventurous activities. There’s something for all ages and abilities to enjoy, from stand up paddleboarding, canoeing and kayaking to sailing and windsurfing. You can hire a variety of watersports equipment, launch your own craft or learn something new by taking part in an activity session. At Wimbleball and Roadford, you can also enjoy an aerial adventure on the high ropes course or hit the bullseye on the archery range.

Featured image: Wimbleball Lake