photo by zoer
Ambleside, a quaint town in Cumbria, North West England, gains its name from Old Norse Á-mel-sǽtr = “river — sandbank — summer pasture”.

Ferries that run from Bowness-on-Windermere and Lakeside offer fantastic views of the lake and the adjacent mountains. Ambleside is a favourite spot amongst hikers and those interested in mountaineering and mountain biking.

A fort beside Borrans Park named Galava was built by the Romans in AD79 to thwart the invasion of Picts and Scots.

Many famous authorities of literature and arts have been associated with Ambleside, including William Wordsworth, Hardwicke Rawnsley, John Ruskin and Beatrix Potter. More about these people can be found in The Armitt Library and the Armitt Museum which is right opposite the main car park entrance.

Ambleside has the unique distinction of having two town charters; one republican and one royalist.

Loughrigg Fell rises above the town on the West Side offering spectacular views; Red Screes and the hills of the Fairfield Group rise on the northern side while Wansfell beautifies the eastern side.

Ambleside is governed by South Lakeland district council and is a part of the Lakes civil parish. 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.

The well known Brathay Exploration Group which is a youth charity organization situated beyond Clappersgate on the way to Hawkshead has established its headquarters at Ambleside.

Famous Buildings at Ambleside:

Bridge House

The Bridge House built in the 17th Century over Stock Ghyll is one of the most photographed locales in Lakeland, and is now a shop and information centre for the National Trust. Once upon a time the building was used as a summer house and storage space for apples. It is now part of the Trust’s Windermere and Troutbeck property.

University of Cumbria

Formerly known as the St.Martin’s College, the University of Cumbria which offers courses on teacher training, leisure and outdoor studies and other vocational programs is at the northern side of the town.

Wordsworth’s house

The house of the famous poet who saw a thousand daffodils at a glance – William Wordsworth’s house is at Rydal Mount and is a popular attraction amongst tourists.

Outdoor shops

The first outdoor shop of Ambleside – The Climbers Shop was opened in 1959 by Frank Davies. Walking and Climbing are integral to the culture of the people of Ambleside more so because of the wonderful bounty of nature that Ambleside is blessed with. Gaynor Sports, the largest independent retailer of outdoor sports equipment also has its headquarters at Ambleside with an office that spans over 3 floors consisting of 5 departments. Gaynor Sports is also the proud sponsor of the famous Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue teams.


Ambleside has a large number of pubs and drinking places for its relatively small size. One can find ten pubs and bars within a quarter mile radius. This is to promote the tourism industry in Ambleside on which its economy is heavily dependent. The students of St.Martin’s College are also frequent visitors to the pubs and bars of Ambleside.

Source: Wikipedia – under the GNU Free Doc Licence