Situated in the heart of the Lakes, Ambleside is the ideal base for exploring the beautiful English Lake District
Historically within the county of Westmorland, Ambleside is situated at the head of Windermere, England’s largest lake. The town is within the Lake District National Park. With it’s own ‘Olde Worlde’ character, Ambleside is a major Lakeland activitiy centre which has excellent facilities for shopping and dining.
Ambleside is also a popular base for hiking, mountaineering and mountain biking. There are a number of shops selling equipment for walkers and climbers in town, and Ambleside maintains one of the busiest volunteer mountain rescue teams in Great Britain: The Langdale & Ambleside MRT.
A short walk from the center of the village leads to Stock Ghyll Force, a spectacular 70 foot waterfall which may be viewed safely from a railed viewpoint. In spring the area under the trees is a carpet of daffodils. Once there were 12 watermills driven by the force of Stock Ghyll and other local becks.
Many well-known characters have been associated with the town. William Wordsworth worked in Ambleside, as Distributor of Stamps for Westmorland, from 1813, while living in Rydal Mount in the nearby village of Rydal. This government position induced Shelley to write a sonnet of mild reprimand to Wordsworth, but it gave Wordsworth the financial security to pursue his poetry. In 1842 he became the Poet Laureate as resigned his office as Stamp Distributor.
Ambelside Civic Trust has produced a leaflet entitled ‘Ambleside Heritage Trail’, which guides you through some of the most interesting parts of Ambleside, especially old Ambleside, highlighting buildings of interest, including How Head. This is the oldest building in Ambleside, and incorporates stone from the old Roman Fort, and river cobbles.
Every year on the first Saturday in July, Ambleside celebrates its Rushbearing Festival. This custom dates back to the days when the earthern floor of the church was strewn with rushes for warmth and cleanliness.
This provides a source of local history with a collection which represents many of the local artists and writers of the past.
Built over 300 years ago, this National Trust property, used initially as a summer house and apple store, is now used as an information point for the Trust and is part of the Trust’s Windermere and Troutbeck property. The 17th century Bridge House over Stock Ghyll is one of the most photographed scenes in Lakeland.
Built in 1850 to accommodate the enlarged congregation as tourism developed after the opening of the Kendal and Windermere railway in 1847. Designed by George Gilbert Scott in the Gothic Revival style, it has a stone spire which is unusual for Westmorland churches and makes it the tallest building in the town.
Ambleside caters for all tastes. It is very central and provides easy access to other Lakeland Towns and villages of interest including: Grasmere, Hawkshead, Bowness-on-Windermere and Keswick. The below links will help you make the most of your stay when visiting Ambleside.