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best things to do in ambleside, ambleside lake district, ambleside manor, ambleside shops, waterhead ambleside

15 Best Things to do in Ambleside!

The Best Things to do in Ambleside in winter or summer!

I had to create this list of the best things to do in Ambleside as it’s one of my favourite places to visit in the Lake District!

Ambleside is a stunning part of England and a place many locals of the country tend to skips. However, you should put it on your bucket list! There are amazing places to see in Ambleside such as Lake Windermere, Wray Castle and Rydal Mount. Ambleside it breathtaking in summer and is very popular to visit, even to tourists from overseas.

There are attractions in Ambleside for all the family. For example, there are parks for the kids, water activities and of course endless amounts of hikes for us that like the outdoors. Also, there are many great places to eat such as Italian and Thai restaurants in Ambleside.

Check out the best hotels in the Lake District guide!

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Let’s look what’s included in this post;

  • Best things to do in Ambleside
  • Ambleside accommodation
  • Ambleside Restaurants
  • Final thoughts

1. Loughrigg Fell

This is probably one of the best low levels walks you can do in the Lake District. The Loughrigg Tarn will take you on a pleasant journey and you will get pass close by to the Loughrigg Tarn,

You can start at Grasmere, go to the top of Red Bank then along Loughrigg terrace and past the caves. Then, at Pelter’s bridge make sure you turn left and walk on a quiet lane towards Ambleside.

Before you reach Ambleside turn right and up a very steep hill to continue on this track which takes you around the fell towards Elterwater.

Before Elterwater there’s a gate off to the right at the bottom of the path. Here are the breathtaking views of the Langdale Pikes and Loughrigg tarn.

This is an awesome walk that will give you plenty of epic photo opportunities!

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2. Ambleside Waterhead

The Ambleside Waterhead is a stunning place with a very welcoming atmosphere. If you like outdoor activities, then you’ll find plenty here to get involved with without a doubt.

There is plenty of easy walks to do for the family. Also, you can get the Walkers Ferry to Bowness and then get the ferry back to Ambleside later on in the afternoon.

This is definitely one of the best Ambleside points of interest that you need to check out.

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3. Lake Windermere

Lake Windermere is one of the most stunning locations and is known as one of the top 10 places to visit in England! This breathtaking lake is located in Cumbria’s Lake District National Park.

It’s not just its beauty why it’s known as one as the best things to do in Ambleside. There is plenty of things to do for anyone such as couples and families.

Windermere is surrounded by epic mountains with an abundance of hikes perfect for any levels of fitness. Also, there’s water cruises on Windermere as well as plenty of other activities such as swimming and canoeing.

You won’t have to look far to find an ice cream van or somewhere to eat on Lake Windermere.

Check out my Lake District glamping and the Lake District Quite Side posts.

photo of the beautiful ambleside in the lake district

4. Rydal mount

Are you wanting to see some interesting history about the Lakes. Then you should visit Rydal Mount in the heart of the Lakes. This stunning house was once William Wordsworth’s family home and it attracts visitors from all over the world.

Nowadays, the house is still maintained to replicate a family lives there. This is for the tourists that want to go to the house to see what it was like for the place that William Wordsworth once lived. Also, you can explore the spectacular gardens that surround Rydal Mount.

You are not allowed to enter Rydal Mount house with dogs, however, dogs are allowed in the gardens as long as they’re on a leash.

You can also visit Kendal which is not too far from Ambleside.

5. Take some photos at the amazing Rydal Water

It’s fair to say that is a stunning part of the world. Rydal Water is a small but breathtaking lake in the Lake District. There are many hikes near Rydal water which makes it very popular for ramblers or just tourist who fancy a gentle stroll. Most of the paths will give you amazing views of the Lake District.

Also, Rydal water is close to Rydal Mount so you visit both on the same day. You can walk from one to the other if you wanted. Definitely one of the best things to do in Ambleside whilst you’re here.

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6. Stock ghyll force

If you fancy checking out some stunning Ambleside waterfalls on the Lake, then make sure you visit stock ghyll force on your visit.

There is a car park to leave your car at stock ghyll force. However, this may get full in summer. Nevertheless, you should be able to find somewhere to park on the road if it is.

To get to the stock ghyll force you will have to a mini-hike through the lush forest. You can see the waterfall at the start of the walk, or, you can continue to higher grounds to see the waterfall.

I would check out the Ambleside weather before visiting though, the last thing you want is heavy rain.

If you like awesome walks, you should check out the Scafell Pike routes now that is an amazing climb.

7. Beatrix potter gallery and Hawkshead

You need to visit Beatrix Potter Gallery and Hawkshead, even if you’re not a fan of pottery. The artwork and paintings here are amazing. You can relive the memories of the Beatrix Potter stories and reminisce on how much it used to amaze you.

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Ambleside with kids, then bring them here. The children might not have seen Beatrix Potter before. But they will love it here.

This is one of the best things to do in Ambleside in the rain to keep you entertained!

Beatrix potter gallery and Hawkshead best things to do ambleside

8. Learn some history at Wray Castle on your travels

Does everyone love exploring a castle don’t there?! Well, if you do, you’ll enjoy visiting the historic Wray Castle in Ambleside. This is probably one of the best free things to do in Ambleside.

You can walk around the ground of Wray Castle and even go inside to see the castle. If you’re travelling with a dog, you must keep dogs on a leash whilst the grounds of Wray Castle. However, dogs are not allowed inside the castle!

If you have the time, then I highly recommend you visit this epic castle in Ambleside.

9. Stroll around Stagshaw Garden

This stunning woodland will give you a few hours of fun just strolling around and enjoying the views on offer. Stagshaw Garden is part of the National Trush and is well maintained for visitors.

It’s located near to the centre of Ambleside. So, if you’re staying in the centre, you can easily walk to the Stagshaw Garden. You can pack a few snacks stroll here with the family and enjoy the peaceful lush area.

This is a photo of the stunning Ambleside town:

the cinema Ambleside

10. Have a wander around the Ambleside shops

There are some great shops in Ambleside and you can certainly spend a few hours having a wander around all the goods on offer.

The sports shops in Ambleside are brilliant and they sell all sorts of clothing for hiking, winter and just general use. A lot of the prices fo vary but you can find some bargains sometimes.

Here is a list of general shops you will get to see in Ambleside;

  1. Bakery shops
  2. Charity Shops
  3. Footwear shops
  4. Clothing shops
  5. Outdoor clothing shops

You can check out the Ambleside shops here for some more ideas of where you want to visit.

11. Have a beer at the Ambleside pubs

The pubs in Ambleside are all close together so you can easily do your own mini inn crawl. In fact, there are only 8 alehouses in the Ambleside centre! Can you get around all 8 pubs?

Ambleside is well-known in the lake District for the amazing ales sold here. There are plenty of great micro-breweries in Cumbria which provide the Ambleside pubs with these amazing drinks.

The majority of the beer joints also sell all-day tasty food, so, if you fancy breakfast before your hike or even just an evening meal. You can certainly find something in one of these top pubs in Ambleside. Also, the bars do activities such as bingo and fun quiz nights.

Here is a list of popular pubs in Ambleside;

ambleside tavern the unicorn ambleside golden rule, ambleside royal oak ambleside white lion ambleside the lily ambleside the priest hole, ambleside wateredge inn, ambleside

12. Take a steamboat ride around Lake Windemere

What’s a more picturesque moment than taking a boat trip around Windermere? You can sit back, relax and just enjoy a boat ride to see stunning views of the Belle Isle, fells and the beautiful Lakeside houses. You will want to get the boat that departs from the Ambleside pier in Waterhead. Also, If you want to visit the National Trust’s Wray Castle, the Green Cruise will take you there in summer.

Ambleside boat ride windermere

13. Check out Jenkin Crag

Why not do an epic 2-hour hike from the Waterhead carpark to Jenkin Crag. Along the way, you will have plenty of Instagram-worthy photo opportunities. Furthermore, you will want to wear comfortable and sturdy footwear, hiking boots are great, especially on rainy days. Also, take your camera to so you can shoot some epic scenic photography!

Jenkin Crag one of the top things to do in Ambleside

14. Check out the Armitt Museum and Library

The writer and philanthropist Mary Louisa Armitt founded this independent museum and library in 1909, so this top Ambleside attraction has plenty of history to discover. If you’re a fan of Beatrix Potter, you can check out exhibits from Beatrix Potter.

If you looking for the best things to do in Ambleside when it’s raining, then this is one of your best activities to pass a few hours.

15. Try the Grasmere gingerbread shop

The Gingerbread Shop in Grasmere is world-famous for its tasty delights such as the gingerbread and mint cake. Tourists travel from all over the world to see this little shop, that’s why there’s a big queue most of the time here (especially in peak season)!

You will only have to drive for 10 minutes to get from Ambleside to Grasmere. Then you can enjoy some of the tasty delights from The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop. Furthermore, if you do the make the journeys, there’s plenty of coffee shops around to grab some lunch or drink. Also, there’s plenty of shops selling gifts and hiking gear etc!

grasmere gingerbread shop, gingerbread shop grasmere, gingerbread shop, grasmere gingerbread online shop

Stay at the Top Ambleside Accommodation

There is plenty of places to stay in Ambleside. However, if you’re thinking of going in summer, then I would get your room booked well in advance!

Let’s look at some of the best places and hotels in Ambleside;

  • Briery Wood Hotel – Set close to Lake Windermere, just a 5-minute walk from Long Wood Bay Watersports Centre and a 2-minute drive from Ambleside, Briery Wood Hotel is surrounded by peaceful fields and woodland. The traditional property has its restaurant looking out onto landscaped gardens. Each bedroom at Briery Wood Hotel comes with an en suite bathroom and complimentary toiletries. The décor mixes modern and traditional, some with heated towel rails and large sash windows, while all rooms come with a flat-screen TV. Check out the rooms here.
  • Walker’s retreat – Walker’s Retreat is set in Ambleside, 2.1 miles from Rydal Mount & Gardens, and offers a patio, garden, and free WiFi. The holiday home includes 2 bedrooms and a kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave. Check out the rooms here.

Dine at the Ambleside restaurants

There are plenty of great places to eat in Ambleside and there is a menu here for every preference.

If you like Thai food, why not visit the awesome Ambleside Thai restaurant for some tasty red or green curry. Thai food is one of my favourite foods and the Thai restaurant in Ambleside is delicious!

Another top Ambleside restaurant is the Drunken Duck Inn. If you like a quaint environment and great food, then I advise you to check out this top diner!

If you’re an Italian food lover, then you need to try the pasta dishes at Luigis Ambleside on your visit! Furthermore, downstairs is a dog-friendly restaurant area. Perfect for those of us with the dogs.

Final Thoughts

Hope you’ve enjoyed this list of the best things to do in Ambleside, Lake District. I can rate this place highly enough and it will always be one of my favourite places to see in England.

If you like the Lake District, you will like the York points of interest post.

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