Visit Ambleside in the Lake District

Ambleside Lake Windermere

The name came from Old Norse Á-mel-sǽtr = “river — sandbank — summer pasture”.

If someone says you have to Visit Cumbria ! then you have to visit Ambleside a small town on the edge of lake Windermere.Steamers (in reality diesel-powered ferries) run to Bowness-on-Windermere and Lakeside offering fine views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Ambleside is a base for hiking, mountaineering and mountain biking. It has a selection of shops, hotels, guest houses, pubs and restaurants.

To the south of Ambleside is the Roman fort of Galava, dating from AD79.[1]

The Armitt Library and Museum provides a source of local history with a collection which represents many of the local artists and writers of the past.

In 1650 the town was granted a charter[2] to hold a market and later, in the reign of James II, another charter was granted for the town to collect tolls.[3]

On the west, Loughrigg Fell rises above the town; to the north are Red Screes and the hills of the Fairfield group; to the east is Wansfell.

Ambleside is administered by South Lakeland District Council and forms part of the Lakes civil parish but from 1894 to 1935 it was a separate urban district council.

Ambleside is also home to the headquarters of Brathay Exploration Group, a youth charity based just beyond Clappersgate on the road to Hawkshead.

History of Ambleside

Ambleside was granted a market charter in 1650, and its Market Place became the commercial centre for agriculture and the wool trade. The old packhorse trail between Ambleside and Grasmere was the main route between the two towns before the new turnpike road was completed in 1770. Smithy Brow at the end of the trail was where packponies were re-shod after their journey. With the coming of the turnpikes, the packhorse trains were superseded by horse-drawn stagecoaches, which regularly travelled between Keswick and Kendal via Ambleside[4