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One of the best spots from which to explore both Lake Windermere, and the surrounding area

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Hills & Lake Views
Bridge House
Stock Ghyll Force

Views over Ambleside and Lake Windermere
Photo Chris Poole
Windermere, in the Lake District National Park, is the largest lake in England. At its northernmost tip lies a small, attractive town called Ambleside, which has an official population of only 2600. However, the place usually seems a lot busier than that, thanks to the continuous presence of the tourists, who arrive all year round. For decades, Ambleside has been known as one of the best spots from which to explore both the lake, and the surrounding area.

Ambleside from Loughrigg Fell
Photo foshie
After dropping their bags off at one of the plentiful hotels, many visitors choose to go straight outside again, to explore the hills on foot. Hiking is one of the most popular activities to do here and with good reason. The views are truly spectacular, with the lush woodland, and the lake stretching off into the distance. The sight seems to get better the higher you go, meaning that for those with the energy ascending one of the higher peaks can yield an unforgettable photograph opportunity.

Local woodland
Photo magnusfranklin
These same surrounding hills and mountains provide ample chance to indulge in many other hobbies. For those who can handle the slopes, bicycles are available for sale and hire. Keen rock climbers will be spoiled for choice, as this area is known as one of Britain's climbing hot spots. And if you're missing any crucial equipment, then don't worry, because despite its small size, Ambleside is home to many shops selling outdoor equipment, including the biggest independent outdoor shop in the country.

Ambleside's main street
Photo HaxxahAndKraZug

Golden Rule

The Golden Rule is a traditional multi roomed pub, tucked away off the main road in Ambleside. Ever popular, the Golden Rule is a welcoming place to have a drink and a chat. Serving excellent ales by Robinsons and Hartleys. There is limited bar food available. Smithy Brow, Ambleside, LA22 9AS.
Of course, its lakeside location means that the town has plenty of boating opportunities. Visitors can hire small craft for themselves, or hop aboard one of the larger cruises. There is also a ferry dock, providing access to Windermere's other destinations.

Ambleside from Lake Windermere
Photo foshie
But before you leave Ambleside, remember that there's also plenty to see in the town itself. The major landmark is Bridge House, a tiny two-storey home built directly onto a small, arched bridge. Apparently it was built there to escape land tax! The weathered stone building looks frail, but it's been standing for more than three centuries, and it's in no danger of falling down yet. For several decades now it has been owned by the National Trust, and it now serves as an information centre for the area.

Bridge House
Just outside the town lies another famous sight the old Roman fort of Galava. It was originally built in 79AD, and although only its ruins still remain, visitors to this intriguing spot can get an idea of how impressive the building must have looked in its heyday. Those who are interested in the Windermere area's past should visit the Armitt Library and Museum, which covers around two thousand years worth of local history.

Drunken Duck Inn

Photo houghtonbirds (cc)
Situated approximately 3 miles from Ambleside (towards Hawkshead), this is a very stylish and civilised Inn offering bar, restaurant and rooms. The Inn has a more informal feel during the day when it's very popular with walkers. The Bar is quite small with beams and oak panelling, it serves it's own brewed Barngates Ales, continental draught beers and 17 differing wines by the glass. There are 3 restaurant areas and very good bar food served all day. Outside are tables and benches with spectacular fell views. Barngates, Ambleside, LA22 0NG.
Another must-see for any visitor is located three kilometres away, in the woods. If you walk down a beautiful path, surrounded by a sea of daffodils you will eventually arrive at Stock Ghyll Force, a 70-foot high waterfall that is considered to be Ambleside's symbol.

Stock Ghyll Force. Photo foshie
This town is full of incredible views and sights, making it one of the best places in the country for a calm, relaxing getaway.
Visitor Information
Ambleside Tourist Information Centre, Central Buildings, Market Cross, Ambleside, LA22 9BS. Tel: 015394 32582
Armitt Library and Museum is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm. Entry is FREE. Rydal Road, Ambleside, LA22 9BL. Tel: 01539 431212

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