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Troutbeck Head Review: Our Stay in a Wheelchair Accessible Glamping Pod in the Lake District

While Allan and I love the great outdoors and exploring some of the UK’s most beautiful spots nestled amongst the trees, often the accommodation on offer isn’t wheelchair accessible. Allan loves camping, but that isn’t an accessible option for us. But glamping is. So when we were invited by Experience Freedom to visit Troutbeck Head and stay in their universally accessible glamping pod, we couldn’t say no.

A view from inside the omnipod, looking out to Emma sitting on the decking in her power wheelchair. Emma is looking out at the view of the site with trees and hill. The door mat is in view at the bottom of the photo, it has the Experience Freedom logo.

Troutbeck Head Glamping Pods in Lake District

The Troutbeck Head site is set in Penrith, Cumbria, perfectly located for exploring the beautiful Lakeland countryside with Ullswater and Keswick nearby.

While staying at Troutbeck Head, you will feel as though you are nestled in the middle of nowhere with stunning views of Blencathra, one of the most famous mountains in the Lake District.

However, you are only a short drive from the main motorway and nearby towns for shops, pubs and restaurants. There is also a shop on-site for food and drink essentials, but supermarkets including Aldi, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s are only 10 miles away in Penrith

Before we set off from home, we packed our wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) with everything we needed (and more as I always do – better safe than sorry, I say) for our winter getaway in the Lake District – puffy jackets, chunky knitwear, woolly hats, fleecy blankets and of course some food.

Emma sitting in her power wheelchair wearing a Christmas jumper. She is holding a cup of tea. Allan is standing next to Emma, he is wearing a Christmas jumper and reaching across to pick up the cup of tea. They are both enjoying a festive glamping break in a wheelchair accessible glamping pod.

Visiting the Lake District in December is very pretty, but as you’d expect, very cold too. As soon as we arrived in our glamping pod, we turned on the underfloor heating as well as the convector heater and cosied up under our blankets. It was our cosy festive glamping break – complete with Christmas jumpers.

It took a few hours to heat up and we found by keeping the heating on low throughout the night and while out for a few hours during the day, that the pod does well at containing the heat. And to our delight, the duvet covers were thick and cosy which kept us warm all night. I was, if anything, too warm. Unheard of for me.

Wheelchair accessible glamping pod at Troutbeck Head. A car is parked on the bricked driveway next to the pod. Behind the pod is shrubs and trees. The sky is blue with white wispy clouds.

What was the Wheelchair Accessible Glamping pod like?

We entered the Troutbeck Head site via a barrier after Allan checked us in at reception. He was given the key to our Experience Freedom glamping pod and the barrier pass for exiting the site.

The accessible glamping pod is accessed via a wooden ramp and a large sheltered decking area. The level threshold into the pod brings you directly into the bedroom and living/dining area.

Emma sitting on the deck outside the wheelchair accessible glamping pod. Emma is wearing a red puffy jacket.
An wide angle shot showing the entire pod including bed, kitchen and dining area.
Emma wearing a Christmas jumper and smiling at the camera. She is sitting next to the door inside the glamping pod. The end of the bed is in view as well as the dining table, TV and sofa bed.

Profiling Bed

For me, two of the most important features when staying in any accommodation is the bathroom and the bed. So let’s start with the bed which I’m delighted to say is a profiling bed meaning you can adjust your position for support or to ease pain/discomfort.

I have a bed like this at home and always miss being able to raise my head and legs when I’m on a trip.

Profiling twin beds in the wheelchair accessible omnipod at Troutbeck Head glamping site.

The twin beds were pushed together against the wall, allowing one side to be free for wheelchair transfers in and out of bed. The bed was 23 inches from the floor to the top of the mattress with a few inches of clear space underneath the bed for a mobile hoist to roll under.

I use a Molift Quick Raiser hoist at home which would be able to slot under with no problems.

There is an emergency pull cord next to the bed. This will notify the site team if you require assistance in an emergency. The team live on-site so they will hear the alarm if you activate the alarm even after office hours.

As I already mentioned, the duvet was lovely and warm and we had one each so there was no fighting over the covers. There was only one pillow each so if you like to sleep with more, you may want to bring your own or ask the team if it’s possible to have a few more pillows.

We actually took my own head pillow and a few pillows I use at home for supporting my arms and legs in bed. It gives me the essential support and comfort I need.

Emma, a female power wheelchair user is sitting in the accessible glamping pod next to the profiling bed. She is smiling at the camera. The photo shows the entire pod including bed, kitchen and dining area.

Living and Dining Area

I had good intentions of reading, finishing my first embroidery pattern and doing some watercolour painting with my new paints and supplies I got for my birthday.

But in the end, we just played games, listened to music, chatted and watched TV. There are a couple of books, a game of Connect 4 and a pack of cards in the pod.

Emma and Allan sitting at the dining table playing a game of Connect Four.
Emma sitting in her wheelchair at the dining table in her accessible glamping pod. She is holding a mug of tea in both hands and looking to the left while smiling. Behind and to the left of Emma is the bed and kitchen.

The TV is attached to the wall on a swing-away bracket so you can move it around to watch while in bed, on the sofabed or sitting at the dining table.

The dining table is mounted to the wall and can fold down to create more space when not in use. Although manageable, I did find the table too high for my arms to reach and comfortably eat at. Situations like this won’t be an issue once I get a new wheelchair with a seat riser.

An close up shot showing the kitchen and dining table in the accessible glamping pod at Troutbeck Head, Cumbria.
Emma is sitting at the dining table eating a veg curry. Emma is looking down at her plate and smiling. She is wearing a colourful fairisle pattern jumper and a woolly hat.

There are two remote controlled blinds in the living/bedroom area and one in the kitchen. They are perfect if like me, can’t physically reach to open and close them manually. I took it upon myself to be the chief blind operator during our stay.

It’s these little things I like being able to do to help. One of the blinds wouldn’t close, but after calling reception someone from the team came up to our glamping pod and popped it on charge for us.

Kitchen

Whenever we stay in self-catering accommodation, we usually take too much food with us, which either gets wasted or takes up space in the car. This time we planned for a couple of days of low maintenance and fuss-free cooking, only taking the essentials.

The kitchen is equipped with a kettle, toaster, microwave, hob and fridge for simple snacks and meals. We found this more than enough for what we needed, but there are local pubs and restaurants if you are looking for something a bit more hearty or fancy.

Kitchen with lowered worktops and applicances in the wheelchair accessible glamping pod at Troutbeck Head in the Lake District.

For convenience, Allan prepared a meal at home which was vegan chicken pieces marinated in sweet chilli with vegetable rice and broccoli. We simply put it in the microwave and this did us for dinner on our first night.

The following day we picked up sushi and a falafel wrap for lunch and a microwave meal for dinner from Morrisons supermarket in Penrith.

Emma a power wheelchair user is in the kitchen of the wheelchair accessible glamping pod at Troutbeck Head. She is wearing a purple knit jumper, black jeans and black concerse. She has dark long hair and is smiling. Her right hand is holding a mug which is on the worktop.

The kitchen worktops are lowered and under the sink has a slight recess, however not enough for my wheelchair to roll under. On the worktop next to the hob, was a Uccello Easy Pour Kettle and tipper, which enables you to safely and easily pour boiling water.

The microwave is positioned on a shelf under the hob at a height that many wheelchair users may find easier to reach.

The following were provided:

  • Pots
  • Plates
  • Glasses and mugs
  • Cutlery
  • Cooking utensils
  • Tin opener
  • Tea, coffee and hot chocolate
  • Cleaning products

Wetroom Bathroom

Remember I said the bathroom is one of the most important factors when I stay away from home? Well, I’m pleased to say that the accessible glamping pod has a nice little wetroom with turning space for my power wheelchair.

Wetroom bathroom in the wheelchair accessible glamping pod at Troutbeck Head.

The toilet was positioned in the far corner of the bathroom. There was a fixed grab bar on the left-hand side and a pull-down grab bar on the right alongside an emergency pull cord.

From floor to toilet seat, it measured 22 inches. There is no toilet lid or back support and the flush push buttons are placed a little higher on the wall behind the toilet.

Next up is the bathroom sink with space underneath that allowed me to roll under and get a little closer. The sink had a mixer tap and space on top to display toiletries for easy reach.

Roll-in shower in the wetroom bathroom in the wheelchair accessible glamping pod at Troutbeck Head.

The roll-in shower had a wall mounted fold down shower seat which also measured 22 inches from floor to seat. There was a grab bar on each side of the shower seat and the height of the handheld showerhead unit was able to be adjusted if needed while the controls were within easy reach.

When we visited in December it was very cold, but there is a heated toilet rail in the bathroom that helps ease the chill.

Parking and Decking Area

The accessible glamping pod is the very last pod in the row with a parking bay directly next to it. We loved being at the end as it felt more private. The bricked driveway was perfect for parking our WAV and provided ample space for larger vehicles.

Bricked driveway with Emma and her wheelchair accessible vehicle. The vehicles back door and the wheelchair ramp is down showing inside the vehicle. The accessible glamping pod is behind Emma.
Bricked driveway with Emma and her wheelchair accessible vehicle. There is a wheelchair accessible picnic table on the driveway as well. To the right of the photo shows a wooden ramp and the Experience Freedom accessible glamping pod.

There was a brick BBQ station and wheelchair accessible picnic table next to the parking bay. Although a little cold during our stay, this would be lovely in the spring and summer months for outdoor dining. One disposable BBQ is supplied for free.

Wheelchair accessible picnic table and a brick BBQ station is next to the glamping pod at Troutbeck Head.

I loved the large sheltered decking area as it provides a lovely spot to sit out in any weather (just make sure you wrap up extra snuggly in the winter). There was plenty of space to move around in my wheelchair and there was also a small table and chairs which would be nice to enjoy al fresco breakfasts in the warmer months.

And I can totally see Allan and me spending long summer nights sitting out chatting and listening to music when it’s warm out.

We were lucky to experience a clear night sky during our stay, resulting in a spectacular star-filled sky.

Emma is sitting on the wooden deck under a sheltered canopy roof. The door to the accessible glamping pod is directly behind Emma. She is wearing a red puffy jacket, black jeans and black converse. Emma is smiling.
Emma sitting on the decking in her power wheelchair. Emma is looking out at the view of the site with trees and hill. She is wearing a black jumper with a fairisle pattern, black jeans and black converse shoes.
A side view of Emma sitting on the wooden deck under a sheltered canopy roof outside the accessible glamping pod at Troutbeck Head. She is wearing a purple jumper, black jeans and black converse. Emma is smiling. A purple, pink and orange sunset is behind Emma.
Allan and Emma from the waist up. They are on the deck area of the glamping pod at Troutbeck Head. The sun is setting behind them.

Things you need to know about Experience Freedom Glamping Pods

The following facilities are available on site:

  • Wash room / toilets
  • Dish washing
  • Laundry facilities
  • Playground
  • Car parking
  • A small shop is now available in reception, selling essential items
  • Wi-Fi is not available. 3G/4G and phone signal are limited at this site

How much does it cost to stay in a Glamping Pod at Troutbeck Head?

Booking a stay in a glamping pod at Troutbeck Head will vary in price by day of the week and time of year. Lead-in prices for 2022 are £69 per night, but this will vary depending on when you stay – peak season etc. However, for a two-night stay in December, when we stayed, it would cost around £178. This is cheaper than many hotels with the added bonuses of beautiful surroundings and home-from-home comforts.

Troutbeck Head glamping site season runs from March to January.

Emma sitting in her power wheelchair in the glamping pod. She is wearing a black Christmas jumper with gingerbread men and candy canes, black skinny jeans and black converse shoes. She is looking off to the side and hold a mug in her hand.
Emma and Allan sitting on the wooden deck under a sheltered canopy roof. The door to the accessible glamping pod is directly behind them. Emma is wearing a red puffy jacket, black jeans and black converse. Allan is wearing a dark blue puffy jacket, black jeans and walking shoes. They are both smiling.
Wheelchair accessible glamping pod at Troutbeck Head. A car is parked on the bricked driveway next to the pod. Behind the pod is shrubs and trees. The sky is blue with white wispy clouds.

Places to visit near Troutbeck Head Glamping Site in Penrith

Although we only had one full day to explore, we managed to squeeze in a lot especially considering we were racing against the fast-fading daylight.

So if you’re keen to do a little exploring around the Penrith area, here are some nearby sights we visited.

Lowther Castle and Gardens

Around 15 miles from Troutbeck Head, Lowther Castle and Gardens was our first stop of the day. In medieval times, Lowther Castle was home to the Earls of Lonsdale, but now the castle ruins and gardens are a lovely visitor attraction.

I instantly wanted to visit as soon as I saw an image of the castle online. It’s uniquely beautiful and surrounded by acres of woodland and ancient gardens.

We walked around the castle ruins but unfortunately, it was just too cold so we didn’t manage to explore the gardens. But we both agreed we’d like to return in the spring or summer to see all the flowers in full bloom.

There is also a cafe, shop and playground making it a great place to visit with the whole family. I’d love to bring my nephews here.

Emma, a power wheelchair user is looking at an information board at Lowther Castle and Gardens. She is wearing a red puffy jacket and black jeans. Her long dark hair is styled down. The Castle and grounds are in the background.
Lowther Castle and Gardens on a dull day.
Emma, a power wheelchair user is driving through the grounds of Lowther Castle and Gardens. She is wearing a red puffy jacket and black jeans. Her long dark hair is styled down. The Castle and grounds are in the background.
Emma, a power wheelchair user is driving through the grounds of Lowther Castle and Gardens. She is wearing a red puffy jacket and black jeans. Her long dark hair is styled down. The Castle and grounds are in the background.

Penrith

We drove into Penrith Town Centre in search of some lunch. We popped into Morrisons and grabbed a few bites, but later discovered a vegan cafe as we drove through Keswick Town. It’s called Kat’s Kitchen and looks lovely, so that’s top of the list for our next trip.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

I climbed a hill. At the top of the hill was one of the oldest stone circles in the country, Castlerigg Stone Circle. Similar to Stonehenge, but at Castlerigg Stone Circle it’s free to enter and you don’t have to book a time slot.

We parked on the road and were able to enter one of the gates into the fell. It was a short roll up to the top of the hill where the stone circle is. We enjoyed fantastic views of the surrounding landscape and a dramatic atmosphere.

We didn’t spend much time here – maybe 10 minutes. It is a cool sight, so if you’re nearby and fancy a look, go for it.

Emma is sitting her wheelchair while looking away to the left. She is at Castlerigg Stone Circle. The clouds are grey and look very dramatic. Emma is surrounded by mountains.
Emma is sitting her wheelchair in the middle of Castlerigg Stone Circle. The clouds are grey and look very dramatic. Emma is surrounded by mountains.
Emma and Allan on a hill at the top of Castlerigg Stone Circle. Emma is smiling and Allan has his right arm up while also smiling. The clouds are grey and look very dramatic. They are surrounded by mountains.

Derwent Pencil Museum

I was keen to visit Derwent Pencil Museum, but unfortunately, we ran out of time. The museum is located in Keswick which is the home of the first pencil – how cool!

You enter the museum through a replica graphite mine, which I’ve read is narrow with twists and turns. Someone wheelchairs may manage, but you can enter through the exit doors if you’d prefer. Once inside, it’s interactive and there is also a cafe, shop and an accessible toilet. It’s also on our list for the next time we visit the area.

Derwentwater

Derwentwater was our last stop of the day before heading back to the glamping pod. We drove around 10 minutes from Keswick town centre and found a car park next to the water. I was able to get down to the water edge where we were greeted by a team of friendly ducks.

There was no one around, just us and the ducks enjoying the tranquil lake and the beautiful view. It was getting dark which made it all the more peaceful.

Emma is sitting in her powered wheelchair wearing a woolly hat and red puffy jacket and black jeans. Derwentwater is behind her as a beautiful backdrop.
Emma in her power wheelchair driving towards the water edge of Derwentwater, Keswick.
Allan is standing next to the water edge of Derwentwater. He is leaning forward feeding four white ducks at his feet.

Troutbeck Head Glamping: Watch Our Travel Vlog

If you’d like to see more of our stay at Troutbeck Head Glamping site plus a tour of our wheelchair accessible glamping pod then please do check out our video below…

Troutbeck Head Glamping – Final thoughts

Troutbeck Head is an excellent site to enjoy a glamping holiday. The wheelchair accessible glamping pod was ideal for our two-night stay and I was able to easily move around without difficulty. The profiling bed, wetroom and underfloor heating made our stay more comfortable.

Troutbeck Head is in one of those perfect locations – you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere, but in fact, you are super close to the main roads with so many things to do in the surrounding areas.

If you’ve always fancied glamping but never considered it to be accessible, then I’d recommend you check out Experience Freedom glamping pods. I love that glamping is now an accessible option for us when visiting remote places and I’m looking forward to more glamping trips with our family.

Welcome to Troutbeck Head Experience Freedom glamping site sign. A sunset sky is behind the sign.

My stay at the Troutbeck Head Glamping site was a complimentary press trip. As always, all opinions are my own and 100% honest.

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Meet Emma

Meet Emma

Hello I’m Emma. My mission is to show you the possibilities of accessible travel through my travel guides, tips and reviews. I also share personal stories, live event reviews and more.

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2 Responses

  1. Gosh you did well to get Castlerigg pretty much all to yourselves. Even in winter I’ve never been there without other people. It can get very boggy getting through the gates, but it is one of my very favourite places. Was the ice cream van there? I’ve seen it parked up with snow falling.

    1. That’s amazing its one of your favourite places 🙂 No, the ice cream van wasn’t there when we visited, but I can imagine its very popular when it is. I think we were lucky when we visited that there wasn’t many people around 🙂

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