Cottages in Ambleside

Ambleside is bustling! On every Lake District visitors shortlist, this small town attracts millions of visitors every year and is in an ideal location for exploring the national park.

Ambleside is a pretty town at the head of Lake Windermere and has inherited a rich history from ancient times. Its name derives from the Old Norse for ‘river sand bank, summer pasture’ and there was also a Roman fort, Galava, which housed 500 soldiers to protect the South Lakeland fells from invasion by the Picts and Scots.

The main architecture of the town is Victorian however, one of the most picturesque buildings is the tiny 300 year old Grade 1 listed Bridge House. This is perched on top of the bridge over Stock Ghyll. It is thought to have been a store for apples but is now owned by the National Trust. A short stroll from here will take you to Stock Ghyll force, a spectacular 70 foot waterfall which is especially beautiful in spring when the daffodils come out under the trees.

The town was originally a centre for the wool trade and agriculture but is now geared towards visitors to the area with many pubs, restaurants, two cinemas and a wide selection of shops. If you want anything for outdoor pursuits you will find it here. Ferries across Windermere can be taken a short distance away from the town centre at Waterhead Pier.

Ambleside has many famous associations. William Wordsworth lived in nearby Rydal but worked for a time to support his writing as a Distributor of Stamps in Ambleside. There is also the Armitt Museum celebrating other famous figures of the Lake District including Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin. St Mary’s church was designed by George Gilbert Shaw and is of the local blue stone with an unusual sandstone spire.

Whether you are interested in the history of the area or want to enjoy the many outdoor pursuits available in this spectacular landscape, Ambleside provides an ideal base for your holiday in the centre of the Lake District.



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