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Lake Windermere from Jenkins Crag

Obviously, Ambleside is closed at the moment, but when you can get back here again, it’s such a fantastic, central location, sitting between Windermere and Grasmere. This bustling market town is crammed full of things to do, places to go and see, shops, cinemas, cafes and restaurants, all welcoming your visit and business, when things open up again. 

Loughrigg Fell

Loughrigg Fell

Where to walk

Ambleside is a walker’s paradise! The central high fells are all around you…

Stock Ghyll Force

A short walk from the village leads you to Stock Ghyll Force, a spectacular 70-foot waterfall, with easy walks all around and a carpet of daffodils in the spring.  In years gone by many watermills were driven by the sheer power of Stock Ghyll. There are many long walks from here and you can head up to the ancient packhorse bridge: High Sweden Bridge, which then takes you out onto the higher fells.  

Loughrigg Fell

This lovely walk takes you up to a fabulous viewpoint right across Rydal and Grasmere.  You’ll walk around the lakeshore and explore Rydal cave on your way through. It’s about 6 miles circular from the centre of Ambleside,  check the route here.

Stagshaw Gardens, Jenkins Crag and Skelghyll Woods

Just up the road from Waterhead, you’ll discover the National Trust owned Stagshaw Gardens, with a fine collection of rhododendrons and azaleas.  Further on from here through the woods is Jenkins Crag, and Skelghyll Woods, where you can follow the fascinating ‘Champion Tree trail’, where you’ll find Douglas Firs, Wellingtonia, along with the tallest tree in Cumbria – a Grand Fir.

Stock Ghyll Force

Stock Ghyll Force

What not to miss

Windermere Lake Cruises

Jump on a Windermere Lake Cruise, and you can head off around the Lake, alighting at Bowness, Wray Castle, or Lakeside (with a connection to Fell Foot Park), or Brockhole Visitor Centre.  Or you might just want to stay on and enjoy the leisurely hour-long sail around the lake

Zeffirelli’s Cinema

Zeffirelli’s is a long-established part of the culture in Ambleside, and as well as the usual cinema programme, you can see art-films, mountain and outdoor films and they are a major part of the various Film and outdoor festivals.  They also have a rather good vegetarian restaurant where they have Jazz and musical nights too.  

Bridge House

Located in the centre of the village is one of the smallest houses in England, and probably the most photographed and instagrammable scenes in the Lake District. It sits over Stock Ghyll Beck and has 2 tiny rooms which apparently various families have lived in down the years. 

Ambleside Climbing Wall

Ambleside Climbing Wall is a great place for a rainy day, whether you’re a complete beginner or experienced.  There’s a good café, and friendly staff to help you on your way.

Hayes Garden World 

Just off Lake Road, this is a great spot for a rainy-day visit.  Lots of gardening know-how, along with plants and gifts for sale, and a tearoom and free parking. At Christmas, it is a veritable winter wonderland!

MV Swift

MV Swift. Photo credit: Windermere Lake Cruises

Food and drink

You’ll be spoilt for choice, from fine dining to cosy pubs, to friendly cafes. Lots of options for veggie & vegan too so you can eat and drink your way around the town. For a small town, you’ll find over 20 restaurants or pubs, at least 13 cafes or takeaways. 

For fine dining, our 2 award-winning the Old Stamp House (Michelin Star) and Lake Road Kitchen are renowned for modern British cuisine. 

Lots of informal dining, try Lucy’s on a Plate, Zeffirelli’s and the Rattle Ghyll Café. 

If you fancy a pint in a traditional pub, we’ve lots of cosy pubs all within 5 minutes of each other, with great beers and comfort food.  Choose from The Priest Hole, the White Lion, Churchills,  The Queens Hotel, The Lily, The Royal Oak  Golden Rule, the Unicorn and the Ambleside Tavern. Many are dog friendly, some have live music, log fires and traditional décor.

High Pike, Ambleside

High Pike, Ambleside

You are never far from anywhere when you stay in one of our Ambleside holiday cottages. Lakelovers holiday cottages in Ambleside are easy to reach, making for a relaxing and easy holiday.