Ambleside is a beautiful town set in the centre of the Lake District. Based at the North end of Lake Windermere (the UK's largest natural lake), and at the foot of the popular route over Kirkstone Pass, this is the perfect place to explore the South Eastern Lakes. Here are our top 5 things to do when visiting Ambleside.
1) Stock Ghyll Force
Follow the short half-hour trail up to the 60 foot waterfall of Stock Ghyll Force. You'll find this walk signposted behind the Old Market Hall at the bottom of Stock Ghyll Lane. The falls are truly a sight to behold so make sure you have your camera ready.
If you fancy a longer hike, you can walk across the top of Wansfell and enjoy incredible panoramic views over Windermere, before circling back via Troutbeck, Skelghyll Wood, and the Jenkin's Crag viewpoint. In total, this is a four-hour walk of approximately 6 miles.
2) Great Langdale
The Great Langdale valley occupies over 12,170 acres of land and it's gateway is via on one of the most beautiful villages in the Lakes, Elterwater.
This famous valley spans from Ambleside through Clappersgate, Skelwith bridge, Elterwater, Chapel Stile, to the glaciated valley of Mickleden.
It's surrounding fells include Pike O’Blisco, Crinkle Crags, Rossett Pike, and the Langdale Pikes – Pike O’Stickle, Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark.
3) Walk around Loughrigg Tarn
Loughrigg Tarn is a stunning place and was favoured by the great William Wordsworth, who, in his Epistle to Sir George Howland Beaumont Bart, likened it to "Diana's Looking-glass...round clear and bright as heaven".
You can begin in Ambleside or we recommend starting from a car park near Little Loughrigg Caravan Park, just off the B5343. From the car park follow a trail through the wooded fell in a northernly direction to Crag Head. From here, turn east and cross the quiet tarnside road to access the tarn itself on the north side. You can enjoy a gentle and relaxing ramble all the way around the tarn and if you look up to the north west you'll see striking views of the Langdale Pikes.
4) Bridge House, a 17th Century wonder
Bridge House stands over Stock Beck in the centre of Ambleside and is a hugely celebrated tourist attraction. The Bridge ws built in the 17th century and In 1858, Harriet Martineau wrote about it in her Guide to the English Lake District. She said: ‘the odd little grey dwelling ... is the ancient house which is considered the most curious relic in Ambleside of the olden time. The view of the hill and rocky channel of the Stock ... is the one which every artist sketches as he passes by.’
5) Rydal Mount
The home of William Wordsworth, Rydal Mount & Gardens is set between Ambleside and Grasmere and has incredible views over Lake Windermere, Rydal Water and the surrounding Lake District fells. This was Wordsworth's beloved family home from 1813 to his death in 1850. It was here that he found the inspiration to create many of his greatest poems.