Situated in the heart of the Lake District National Park, Ambleside has much to offer residents and holidaymakers alike with its unique blend of poetic, pastoral beauty and modern market town amenities.
Ambleside has been delighting visitors for centuries. Although Lakes aficionados like William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy had already discovered the delights of the area in the early 1800s, it was the advent of the railway in 1847 that really put Ambleside on the map. Today, the town is largely Victorian in style, with elegant buildings in classic grey stone and slate lining the many streets, lanes and ginnels.
Surrounded on three sides by a horseshoe of fells, with Lake Windermere to the south, Ambleside occupies an unrivalled position, offering the tempting prospect of picturesque walks, lake cruises and a wide range of leisure and entertainment options on the town’s doorstep. The town centre features plenty of independent shops, cafes and restaurants and more than a few buildings of historical interest, including the Armitt Museum and gallery. Check out Bridge House which straddles Stock Beck and is one of the most photographed buildings in the Lake District.
Everyday needs are well catered for, with amenities including grocery shops, banks, cafes, bars and restaurants, as well as outdoor clothing stores, there are artisan bakers, a deli and chocolatier. The town is also home to one of the area’s most successful cinema and restaurant businesses, with a choice of menus and a chance to see the latest cinema releases at Zeffirelli’s and Fellini’s. Garden centre Hayes is popular with plant lovers across the Lakes.
It goes without saying that Ambleside is a magnet for walkers, hikers and ramblers the world over. Whether you prefer a gentle stroll through Rydal or a challenging climb to enjoy the views from Loughrigg and Wansfell, you won’t be disappointed. The short walk to spectacular Stock Gyhll Force will repay every step. From Ambleside you can explore the mountain ranges of the Langdale Valley or take a leisurely lake cruise along Windermere from nearby Waterhead Pier.
There are primary schools in Ambleside, as well as neighbouring Grasmere and Hawkshead. Most students progress to the Lakes School at Troutbeck Bridge for their secondary education, although fee-paying schools can be found in Windermere. The Ambleside campus of the University of Cumbria offers a wide range of courses in what surely must be one of the country’s most spectacular settings.
The town’s White Platts park includes mini golf, tennis courts, play equipment and a bowls lawn but there are other playground areas and lots of green space close by. Just a few miles down the road is Grizedale Forest with walks, biking trails and the famous Go Ape treetop experience.
Ambleside is only 20 miles (approximately 35 minutes by car) from M6 junction 36, with the nearest railway station 4.5 miles away at Windermere. This station links to the west coast mainline at Oxenholme which offers direct services to London Euston, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh.