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Escape from it all in Ambleside

Ambleside sits in the heart of the Lake District. Wander its winding pavements, strewn with cafe culture, and enjoy a cosmopolitan town akin to any European counterpart.

The town of Ambleside is softly cradled by mountains in mighty formation, muffling the beating, vibrant rhythm of culture that feeds out from Ambleside to neighbouring Rydal, Grasmere and beyond to Keswick in the north; Elterwater and Langdale; Hawkshead and Coniston; and coursing south to Windermere and Bowness.

For many, adventures in the Lake District start in Ambleside. Here’s some of the top Ambleside adventures, matched up with heart-stopping cottages.

1. Ambleside for the kids

  • Hayes Garden World, especially for seasonal events
  • The Rock Shop (and their famous life-size Gem Pit!)
  • White Platts Recreation Ground for tennis and crazy golf and Rothay Park has a children’s play area. Rufty Tuftys for wet weather softplay.

2. Ambleside for dogs

  • Borran’s Park
  • Brockhole-on-Windermere
  • Dogs are welcomed at The Wateredge Inn, which has and enviable lakeside beer garden, and on Windermere Lake Cruises also.

3. Ambleside walks

  • Stockghyll Waterfalls
  • Stagshore gardens
  • Fairfield Horseshoe
  • The Rydal Round
  • Loughrigg Fell
  • Galava Roman Fort and river
  • Jenkin’s Crag and Troutbeck.

4. Ambleside in the day


  • Windermere Lake Cruises to explore the South Lakes and to learn more about the fascinating history of Lake Windermere.
  • Stop at Bowness for a walk along the Promenade and for a spot of lunch and some retail therapy.
  • Stop at Wray Castle or Lakeside to walk the quiet western shore of Lake Windermere
  • Treat yourself to the finest Afternoon Tea at The Gaddum, Brockhole-on-Windermere and a play in the kids outdoor play park.
  • Grasmere is less than 15-minutes away from Ambleside on the 555 bus or take the Coffin Road on foot. Here you will want to visit St Oswald’s Church, Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum as well as the picturesque waters of Grasmere and Rydal.
  • Chesters By The River, Skelwith Bridge, is dog friendly and a popular vegetarian riverside cafe, serving artisan hot food as well as super-tempting sweet treats.
  • The Drunken Duck, Outgate, is one of the most popular upmarket pubs in the area and great for a pint for their onsite beer, a light-bite or more formal evening meal.

5. Ambleside evening entertainment


  • The shoreside beer garden at the Wateredge Inn is the place to watch the sun melt into the waters of Lake Windermere.
  • Zeffirellis Cinema and Jazz Bar are always busy and never let you down when you’re after a cultured evening of top class entertainment.
  • There’s lots of live music in the various pubs across Ambleside and we’re sure it won’t take long to find your favourite. We like The Lily Bar and open mic nights at The Unicorn.

6. Ambleside for culture vultures

  • The Armitt Trust and Museum.
  • The quirky Bridge House.
  • The Cookhouse Gallery and The Peter Hill Gallery.
  • The The Heaton Cooper Gallery at Grasmere is superb also.