windermere panoramic
AmblesideKendal
Lake District
Cumbria LA22 9BS
 
 

Ambleside is a reasonably large commercial centre at the northern end of Lake Windermere in the heart of north-west England’s Lake District. It is situated about 5 miles (8Km) from Windermere.
 
This largely Victorian town has plenty of accommodation, shops (particularly wet weather clothing stores), restaurants and pubs, and is a good base for exploring the region.
 
An excellent network of roads and frequent ferry services give the visitor easy access to places associated with William Wordsworth, John Ruskin and Beatrix Potter.  Fabulous scenery lures walkers and climbers and winding mountain passes challenge and thrill cyclists and motorists.
 
Langdale Pikes and the Hardknott Pass
Leisurely drives along the narrow minor roads are the best way to discover charming ancient villages, farms and tarns, and the majestic Langdale Pikes.  If you are an experienced motorist, beautiful Eskdale valley is accessible via the challenging Hardknott Pass.   A good alternative is to join Mountain Goat Tours which specialises in affordable, small group minibus trips to beautiful places.
 
Old Bridge House (National Trust)
Ambleside is built along the banks of Stock Beck and is surrounded by towering mountains.  One of the most photographed buildings is the tiny 16th century Old Bridge House which spans the stream and is now a National Trust shop and information centre.  Web:  Bridge House
 
The stream is fed by Stock Ghyll Force, a spectacular 70 foot (21 metres) waterfall just a short walk from the centre of town.  The path to the waterfall starts behind the Salutation Hotel and leads up to a safety railed viewpoint.
 
The stream joins the River Rothay and enters Lake Windermere just south of the town at Waterhead.  The area’s tourism potential was realised in the 19th century when the steamer pier was built in 1845.  Waterhead Pier is the ferry terminal for Ambleside and Windermere Lake Cruses Ltd run regular sailings around the lake calling in at Bowness-on- Windermere and Lakeside Piers.
 
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Co-ordinated Ferry services around Lake Windermere
These ferries coordinate with services run on the heritage Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway at the southern end of the lake providing an enjoyable day out.
 
Ambleside is a very old town although it hides it well.  It grew up servicing the Roman fort of Galava built in 79AD, the remains of which can be seen near Waterhead on the southern outskirts of town beside Borrans Park at Waterside.  The Vikings were Ambleside residents and the abundance of fast flowing water powered multiple mills along Stock Ghyll grinding corn and making bobbins and cloth.
 
Ambleside's Hidden History
Ambleside Civic Trust has produced a leaflet entitled Ambleside Heritage Trail which guides visitors through some of the interesting parts of old Ambleside illustrating the town’s hidden history. 
 
For example it mentions ‘How Head’, the oldest building in Ambleside which incorporates stone from the old Roman Fort and river cobbles; and identifies the house in Church Street where Wordsworth carried out his role as Collector of Stamps for Westmorland – it seems writing poetry did not provide enough support for his growing family!
 
Wordsworth’s family home of Rydal Mount is near Ambleside, standing on a hillside on the way to Grasmere Village.
 
The Armitt museum and library opposite the main car park entrance has interesting displays on William Wordsworth, John Ruskin, Canon Rawnsley (founder of the National Trust) and Beatrix Potter.  They have a superb collection of Beatrix Potter’s beautiful paintings of fungi.
 
Ambleside's Small University Campus goes with an active night life
Ambleside has a small university campus so the town has quite an active nightlife with pub entertainments, bars and discos.  At Outgate on the road between Hawkshead Village and Ambleside is the Drunken Duck Inn, home to the award winning Barngates Microbrewery and a very pleasant spot to stop for a drink.
 
Accommodation - Search & Book through Agoda here:
 
Contact & Further Information 
To find out all the wonderful things Ambleside can offer, pay a visit to the Ambleside Online website link below:
 
Getting There
- By Car
The town is easily reached by road, being 20 miles from the M6 motorway
 
- By Coach
National Express services Windermere which is 4 miles away. Local bus and taxi services are available.
 
- By Rail
Local bus and taxi services are available from the Windermere Station. There is a direct frequent Windermere to Manchester Airport rail service with journey time of some two hours. For timetables, seat availability and ticketing go to National Rail Enquiries website.
 
Google Map - Ambleside Town