Cumbria sees upturn in ‘alternative’ places to stay

How does a night under the stars sleeping in a shepherd’s hut sound, or what about a chance to live like a hobbit in an underground hideaway? According to latest figures there has been a steady increase in the choice of ‘alternative’ accommodation on offer to holidaymakers heading to the Lake District, Cumbria over the past 5 years.

As part of its annual review, Cumbria Tourism has analysed the county’s accommodation stock and found that alternative accommodation has grown by almost 1000 bed spaces. The survey showed that the increase is largely due to the rise in sites offering lodgings like yurts, tipis, glamping pods, shepherd huts and wigwams – and even secret underground hideaways.

Ian Stephens, Managing Director at Cumbria Tourism said; “With more visitors looking for something a little different, a variety of businesses are now offering alternatives to the traditional accommodation types and are branching out to offer new and quirky experiences. It’s great to see businesses innovating and adapting what they offer and with so many places to escape to in the region for a break, it makes sense to offer visitors something truly distinctive”.

The Quiet Site in Ullswater recently opened their Hobbit Holes, large underground living spaces which blend into the local scenery. Owner Daniel Holder, said: “With changing consumer expectations and more people wanting that ‘back to nature experience’ we have invested a lot into glamping over the last 10 years with the provision of the Hobbit Holes and Camping Pods. This could eventually make up around 40% of what we offer and with demand seemingly moving towards more alternative places to stay this could grow further within the next couple of years”

Just a few of the other sites on offer are Lanefoot Farm situated near the picturesque village of Braithwaite near Keswick, offering stays in their fully equipped shepherd huts or vintage caravan. Meanwhile, Wallace Lane Farm glamping cabins set in the Caldbeck countryside are the ideal retreat for small families looking to reconnect with nature. Park Cliffe Campsite in Windermere allows visitors an upgrade from a standard tent pitch to their wool insulated camping pods and Inside Out have two luxury, spacious yurts at Seatoller Farm Campsite situated in the beautiful Borrowdale Valley.

The survey also shows that Cumbria’s serviced accommodation – such as hotels, guest houses and B&Bs – has seen almost 500 new bed spaces since 2012. Self-catering accommodation continues to be the largest growth sector with an extra 3,300 bed spaces on the market in the same period.

If you’re looking for somewhere unique to stay in Cumbria, then why not visit some inspiration.

Notes to Editors:

Images attached: The Quiet Site Camping Pod and The Quiet Site Hobbit Hole.

1. For more information, please contact Rebecca Walker at Cumbria Tourism Press Office on: 01539 825003 or email
2. Cumbria Tourism is the lead organisation for tourism in the county and is at the heart of the Cumbria Visitor Economy. It is also the largest membership organisation in Cumbria with more than 2,400 members. In 2015, more than 43 million people visited Cumbria, contributing more than £2.62 billion to the local economy and supporting around 61,000 jobs.
3. For more information about visiting the Lake District, Cumbria, visit:


For further information

Contact The PR Team on
01539 822222 or