Don’t worry if you haven’t brought the ideal equipment with you. Ambleside is full of excellent climbing and walking stores. We recommend a preparatory visit to one of the excellent independent bookstores in town to buy a walking guide. There are many to suit your requirements, including guides for climbers. Plus ones for committed and less committed ramblers, those with limited mobility, those with dogs. And even for those who only wish to undertake a walk if it has a welcoming country pub en-route! An Ordinance Survey map is a wise supplement to the guide, especially for longer routes. Wearings’, Fred Holdsworth’s, and Henry Roberts’ bookshops are all on Lake Road and Rydal Road in the town centre.
Walking has to rank as one of the very most popular things to do near Ambleside, and the range of walks available directly from and nearby the town, and in the surrounding area, is astounding. The following are among our recommendations, and feature in many of the local guidebooks:
One of our favourites because it takes in the fantastic views from Loughrigg Terrace, overlooking Grasmere and Rydal lakes. You can begin in Rothay Park before heading up onto Loughrigg Fell and making your way round to Grasmere and back to Ambleside via Rydal. Not the the toughest walk, but takes in some height and very beautiful. 3-4 hrs round trip.
You can choose whether or not to include the steep climb of Wansfell, with its wonderful views, but either way this walk is full of lovely scenery, and The Mortal Man pub in Troutbeck provides an excellent watering hole en-route. 2-3 hrs there and back. For a shorter ramble, just make your way up to Jenkin’s Crag in the woods near the Ambleside end of the walk to enjoy the lovely views over valley and lake.
Be sure to make the short trip up hill through woodland to Stockgyll Force waterfalls, especially after some rainfall. Begin on the road behind Pavers Shoe store and Edinburgh Woollen Mill, near the car park for the Salutation Hotel. 1-2 hrs there and back.
Set back from the lake just as you leave Ambleside for Windermere, this national trust garden is well worth a wander, and you can access Skelgyll Woods from here for an extended walk and see some of the tallest trees in Cumbria along the way.
Begin either at Rydal or Ambleside and ascend to the famous ridge running in its iconic horseshoe curve and offering several miles of breathtaking mountain walking and views.