Ambleside is in a very accessible location and is a bustling central Lake District hotspot. It is not the place to be if you are hoping to get away from it all, but it is certainly a popular choice is you are looking for a stroll round the shops, seek out a bit of culture, or head for the hills.
Stock Ghyll Force is a waterfall of around 70 feet which once powered the mills of the town. Most have now been demolished or converted but you can pick up a leaflet from the Armitt Museum called Town Trail - Ambleside Above Stock for more information and a tour of the notable sites.
Bridge House sits across Stock Ghyll and is a notable landmark. There are only two rooms, one up and one down. Former uses have included an apple store and a summer house. Now owned by the National Trust, it serves as an information centre.
Traffic is funneled through a one-way system making it much easier to navigate the centre of Ambleside on foot once you have parked in one of the two large carparks. There are plentiful cafes, tea rooms and pubs for refreshments, the Giggling Goose tearooms overlooking the ghyll are particularly nice and the well kept secret of Bilbo's Cafe is a must for every visit.
Adventure Peaks have two sites in Ambleside – the children’s shop near the Market Cross and the operations hub on Lake Road with the superb climbing wall, main shop and café. The first floor café features gallery windows which offer a pretty spectacular view of the climbing wall.
Waterhead can be walked in about 15 minutes or you can use the horse and carriage taxi service operating from the White Lion Inn. Waterhead is the northern tip of Windermere where you can catch a steamer and enjoy a sail on the lake. Make sure you include time to visit Borrans Park where you can see the remains of Galva Roman Fort.
Hayes started life as a garden centre but has grown and grown in recent years. It covers a huge area just out of the centre of Ambleside with a newly built pet centre and furniture show room. The selection of goods on sale is extensive and you will be ready for a cup of tea in their first floor tea room in no time!
Zefferelli's is a quaint and lovely cinema right in the centre of Ambleside. The attached restaurant, Fellinis specialises in vegetarian Mediterranean food and comes highly recommended by the author. Check out the meal deals where you can enjoy a meal prior to a film and you will be shown to your seat, reserved by a velvet cloth!
There is some excellent fell walking on offer from Ambleside. The Fairfield Horseshoe dominates the skyline covering nearly 13 miles of glorious ridge walking with views for miles. For those not seeking an all day outing, the smaller fells of Loughrigg and Wansfell are easily accessed from the town. Who can fail to be inspired by the walk along the ridge from Nab Scar?