Things to do - Ambleside

Ambleside Website

Ambleside BridgeAs a tourist centre Ambleside has a long and favourable history. For well over 150 years the town has earned a living catering for visitors, giving them mostly what they wanted, provided they didn't mind what they got. The last twenty five years have seen a revolution in tourist provision however, as upgrading of catering at all levels has been led by the market and by encouragement from official bodies. Few could nowadays claim that they cannot enjoy the level of catering they expect. All sectors of the market, from campers to gourmets, will find satisfactory establishments in Ambleside and its outlying hamlets and villages.

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Ambleside is a very convenient starting point for excursions, walking, cycling or driving, into all areas of the Lake District, situated as it is at the hub of the area's road system.

What is there to do?

This is a subject of some complexity. It depends on what you are. Some locals often wonder why anyone bothers to come, but they have long since taken their surroundings for granted.

Ambleside weirMainstream activities in the Lake District have an outdoor emphasis, combined with simple leisurely enjoyment of the magnificent scenery and its literary and artistic heritage. The area is justly famous as an escape for stressed out urban dwellers, who come to enjoy a little solitude as they walk the hills. Specialist shops, particularly in Ambleside, offer a welcome variation on High Street chains, while galleries and small museums allow quiet contemplation. The area is equally famous for its high quality mountaineering opportunities, being the centre of English rock climbing and the country's most popular upland walking area.

A good stay in Ambleside for the general visitor might include something of all these interests, combined with an occasional dinner in one of many high quality restaurants and a sampling of the vast selection of real ales available in the pubs. If you are a sober, contemplative, quiet sort of person who enjoys fine landscape, natural beauty and healthy exercise, you couldn't come to better place. If you are a bon viveur, you will not be disappointed in the standards and wide range of catering and accommodation available here. If you are a crag rat, you won't need telling about the great climbs of every class. If you just want a good time, relaxed atmosphere and a disco at night, we've got all that.

Ambleside shopIf the great outdoors is what you want, at local shops and info centres you can buy books and leaflets telling you how to get on to the fells (northern English hills/mountains). For a taste of Lakeland walking, have a look at the walks page. Mostly you don`t need leaflets, you just put one foot before the other in a forwards and upwards direction until the only next step is down. Then you will gaze in wonder at the spectacle below you and vow never to do it again - unless, that is, you become hooked.

At this point you will become a danger to the local community, because before long you will be so addicted to walking hills, even climbing crags, that you will want to buy a second home here and do some ill-paid local out of the chance of a first one. You may then eventually join a local environmental pressure group and complain when the District Council wants to build new starter homes for locals. Believe it, people do!

Ambleside, gateway to the famous Langdale valley, is also a major rock climbing centre. There is nothing made that you can't get here in the way of equipment and guidance.


The Cottages

The Bothy


Self contained and detached offering "upside down" accommodation for 2 people. More...

The Schoolhouse


Self contained and detached facing due south up the fell offering character studio accommodation for 2 people. More...

The Cottage


Traditional character cottage offering sccommodation for 2 - 6 people. More...

The Buttery


Self contained adjoining the barn offering character accommodation for 2 people. More...


Woodend Barn, Woodend, Ulpha, Broughton-in-Furness Cumbria LA20 6DY
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