Things to do while staying in your Ambleside holiday cottage

For newcomers to the Lakes, Ambleside is a comfortable gateway to some of the best-loved scenery in the UK. The village is only 20 miles from the M6 and sits in pride of place on the main route through the Lake District. Follow the A591 along the gorgeous shores of Lake Windermere, to its northern end.

Here, the boating piers and leisurely restaurants of Waterhead Bay lie only a short stroll from Ambleside’s bustling village centre.

Even if you’re returning to scenery that you know and love, Ambleside’s easy location and first-class facilities make it a base for every kind of holiday. Described by locals as the ‘jewel in Lakeland’s crown’, the village has an interesting industrial history and boasts numerous sites of interest. Nowadays, the centre is an all-seasons hub of relaxed café culture, cosy pubs and vibrant shopping surrounded by endless opportunities for outdoor pursuits.

You may not even need a car to explore the Lake District during your stay. The ‘steamers’ depart from Waterhead Pier to ferry passengers the full length of Lake Windermere, stopping at Bowness and Lakeside.


Lakelovers offer self catering cottage holiday home accommodation, in various areas throughout the Lake District; including Ambleside. View all our available Cottages in Ambleside here.

For exploring

The best of the Lakes is within such easy reach. For example, continue north on the most picturesque stretch of the A591 (famously voted Britain’s best road) to reach tranquil Rydal Water and Grasmere before venturing on to Thirlmere and Keswick with no tricky navigation. For a breathtaking drive, head up to Kirkstone Pass, the highest mountain pass in the Lake District.

For walking

Despite the lively community, you’ll never forget that you’re at the heart of the UK’s most dramatic National Park. With Loughrigg Fell to the west, Red Screes and Fairfield to the north, and Wansfell to the east, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to walks and hikes. Ambleside is traditionally a gathering point for hikers and climbers, so advice and equipment are on hand to help you make the most of your stay.

For food & drink

If you don’t fancy taking to the lake, or to the fells, a day exploring cobbled streets and local treats is a day well spent. Ambleside has everything for every foodie; elegant lakeside restaurants, quirky delicatessens, indulgent cake shops and hearty pub grub. Don’t miss Sheila’s Cottage; one of the oldest restaurants in Ambleside.

Places to eat in Ambleside

Lakelovers Recommends 2013 – Ambleside

Windermere Lake Cruises, Bowness, Ambleside & Lakeside
10% discount off individual public fares on schedule sailings. N.B. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offers; excludes buffet cruises, special events and combined tickets. 015394 43360.

Ambleside Climbing Wall, Adventure Peaks, Ambleside
10% off pre-booked, supervised sessions and 10% off shop products*. Open 7 days a week, sessions run daily from 10am to 5.30pm (approx). Call 015394 33794.

Doi Intanon, Ambleside
10% off all food at this authentic Thai restaurant in Ambleside. Established in 2000, the Doi Intanon is Ambleside’s premier Thai restaurant; having gained an enviable reputation for the very best in authentic Thai cuisine. Booking is highly recommended. Call 015394 32119 to book.

Windermere and Ambleside Wine Stores
10% off all wine: To make your Lake District holiday truly perfect, relax with a bottle of wine from Windermere and Ambleside Wine Stores. With over 600 wines from which to choose, you’ll be spoilt for choice. 015394 46891.

Music in Ambleside


Cinema and live music venue.

The Churchill (Winston’s bar)

This pub is popular with visitors and families at lunchtime. In the evenings it is a venue for younger drinkers, popular with locals and students. Major football matches on a big screen, plenty of pop music, sometimes loud, sometimes live.

The Unicorn

North Road. There is live music weekly, singers and musicians are welcome.