15 Best Things To Do In Ambleside, England

15 Best Things To Do In Ambleside, England

By will

Welcome to the beautiful Lake District town of Ambleside!

Located in the northwest of England, this quaint village is surrounded by majestic mountains and stunning lakes.

If you’re looking for the perfect place to explore and relax, Ambleside is the place for you.

With a wide variety of activities and attractions, you’re sure to find something to do that suits your interests!

From breathtaking waterfalls and historic buildings to unique galleries and delicious dining spots, here are 15 of the best things to do in Ambleside.

Tour Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s House

'Hill Top', Beatrix Potter's house, Near Sawrey
Photo by Nigel Thompson

Step into the world of Beatrix Potter and explore her beloved home, Hill Top. Located in the quaint village of Near Sawrey, Hill Top is the perfect destination for Potter fans.

This charming, 17th-century house was the setting of many of Beatrix Potter’s beloved stories, and it’s now open to the public. The house is filled with interesting artifacts from Potter’s life, including furniture, books, letters, and paintings.

Visitors can explore the house and garden, as well as the barn and other outbuildings. The garden is especially noteworthy, as Potter was a keen gardener, and it’s full of her favorite plants and flowers.

Hill Top is an enchanting place to explore and get lost in Potter’s world—a must-see for any Potter fan visiting Ambleside!

Explore Stockghyll Force Waterfall

Stockghyll Force, Ambleside, Cumbria
Photo by Christine Matthews

Experience the thundering roar of Stockghyll Force Waterfall, nestled amongst the lush landscape of the Lake District. Just a short walk from the nearby town of Ambleside, the waterfall is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike.

With its cascading waters tumbling down from the surrounding rocky cliffs, the waterfall is a spectacular sight to behold. Take in the breathtaking views as you make your way down the nearby footpaths and admire the surrounding scenery.

The waterfall is a great spot for a romantic picnic or a family outing. Take your time and explore the area, with plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting, photography, and just taking in the peaceful atmosphere.

Enjoy a leisurely stroll to the top of the waterfall, where you can take in the spectacular views of Ambleside and the surrounding area. Whether you’re looking for a tranquil escape or a fun day out, Stockghyll Force Waterfall is the perfect destination.

Take a Boat Ride on Lake Windermere

Motor Boat on Lake Windermere
Photo by Peter Trimming

Cruise around Lake Windermere and take in the stunning views of the English countryside. On a boat ride, you can explore the lake’s serene shorelines and admire the charming villages that line its banks.

Take a trip around the lake to get a real feel of the famous beauty of the English Lake District. Make sure to take a camera with you as you’ll want to capture the magnificent views of the lush green hills and the crystal-clear waters.

With plenty of activities to take part in, a boat ride on Lake Windermere is a must-do for any visitor to the area. You can take a boat tour around the lake and explore its many attractions, including the stunning Tarn Hows and the charming Ambleside.

Alternatively, you can rent your own boat and explore the lake at your own pace. Whether you decide to take a boat tour or rent your own, a boat ride on Lake Windermere is an unforgettable experience that you won’t soon forget.

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Visit the Armitt Museum and Library

You’ll love exploring the Armitt Museum and Library – it’s packed with interesting artifacts and books!

Set in the heart of Ambleside, this museum and library is a great place to explore for all ages.

With collections ranging from natural sciences to paintings and books, there’s something for everyone to appreciate.

There are also several interactive exhibits, giving you a hands-on experience.

You can also take part in lectures and workshops on a variety of topics.

The library is also home to rare books and manuscripts, making it a great place to do research.

Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a fun afternoon, the Armitt Museum and Library is sure to have something to offer.

Climb the Old Man of Coniston

Climb the Old Man of Coniston and take in the spectacular views of the Lake District! Enjoy the challenge of scaling this 803 metre peak and the sense of accomplishment when you reach the summit!

Not for the faint of heart, the Old Man of Coniston is a great option for those looking for an adventure. The climb is fairly steep, so be sure to take plenty of water and snacks on the way up for energy.

At the top, you’ll be treated to unobstructed views of the surrounding landscape and the chance to take plenty of amazing photographs. As you make your way back down the mountain, take a moment to appreciate the stunning views of the lake and the nearby villages.

The Old Man of Coniston is an experience that will stay with you for years to come.

Shop at the Sunday Market

Head to Ambleside’s Sunday market and explore a variety of unique local goods! For those looking to pick up souvenirs and gifts, the Sunday market is the perfect place to shop. You’ll find handcrafted items, such as jewelry, pottery, and artwork, as well as local produce, cheeses, and baked goods.

The friendly vendors are always happy to answer any questions you might have and give you advice on what to get. Be sure to bring cash for these transactions as most vendors don’t accept cards.

The Sunday market is also a great place to grab some lunch or a snack. There are plenty of stalls offering traditional English dishes like hot chips, sausages, and pies, as well as international foods like Indian curries and Chinese dumplings. The atmosphere is always lively and the prices are very affordable.

If you’re lucky, you may even find something you won’t find anywhere else. So, be sure to head to the Sunday market for a unique shopping experience in Ambleside.

Wander Through Ambleside’s Shops

After a morning spent exploring the Sunday Market, I decided to take a stroll through the quaint shops of Ambleside.

With its cobbled streets and picturesque stone buildings, the village is a shopper’s paradise.

There’s something for everyone, from quaint boutiques to cozy bookshops.

I made my way down Lake Road, popping in and out of the little stores.

I found myself drawn to the abundance of antiques and vintage finds, with something new to discover in every corner.

I especially enjoyed the local craft and art galleries, with their unique displays of handmade wares.

I couldn’t help but purchase a few keepsakes to remember my wonderful day.

Check Out the Ambleside Roman Fort

Explore the ancient ruins of the Ambleside Roman Fort, a fascinating reminder of England’s past. Built around AD70, the fort was once one of many Roman fortifications in the area that served as a base for Roman troops. Today, visitors can explore the ruins of several buildings, all of which were constructed during the Roman occupation of Britain.

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The sheer scale and complexity of the fort is truly impressive, and visitors can get a real sense of what life was like for the Roman soldiers stationed here. The fort also offers a great opportunity to learn more about the history and culture of the Roman occupation.

You can take a guided tour and learn about the various buildings, as well as the important role the fort played in the Roman military. Be sure to check out the museum as well, which houses artifacts from the fort and the Roman era. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking to explore a piece of England’s past, the Ambleside Roman Fort is an absolutely must-see attraction.

Take a Hike to Loughrigg Fell

After visiting the Ambleside Roman Fort, I decided to take a hike to Loughrigg Fell. This fell is located in the heart of the Lake District and provides stunning views of the surrounding area. It’s an easy to moderate level hike that is perfect for all skill levels.

The path to Loughrigg Fell is well-marked and easy to follow. There are plenty of areas to take a break and admire the scenery.

Once at the top, you can see for miles in all directions, including the majestic Lake Windermere and the surrounding peaks. It’s a great spot to take photos, and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a scenic hike.

Visit Rydal Mount, William Wordsworth’s Home

Nestled in the English countryside, Rydal Mount is the former home of the poet William Wordsworth, and a must-see for visitors to the Lake District. The house was his home from 1813 until his death in 1850, and today it is open to the public.

A tour of the house allows visitors to see the room where Wordsworth wrote some of his best-known works, as well as the many collections of items he amassed during his lifetime. The gardens are also open to visitors, and they feature many of the same trees and plants that Wordsworth admired during his lifetime.

The grounds also feature a beautiful lake, which was one of Wordsworth’s favorite places to go for inspiration.

Visiting Rydal Mount is a great way to learn more about the life and works of William Wordsworth, and to get a glimpse into the life of one of England’s most revered poets.

Enjoy a Picnic at Grasmere Lake

Grab a picnic basket and spend a peaceful day by Grasmere Lake, located in the picturesque Lake District of England. This beautiful lake is the perfect spot for a picnic with its stunning views of the surrounding hills and its peaceful atmosphere.

The lake is situated in the heart of the Lake District, surrounded by lush green meadows and rolling hills, making it a truly idyllic setting. The lake itself is a fairly large body of water, and is full of fish and other aquatic life, making it an ideal spot for fishing.

There are also plenty of excellent walking and hiking trails around the lake, making it a great spot for an outdoor adventure. The nearby village of Grasmere provides a wonderful place to pick up supplies for your picnic, as well as plenty of pubs and restaurants to enjoy a meal after your day out.

Grasmere Lake is a wonderful spot to spend a peaceful day in the Lake District, and it is sure to be a memorable experience.

Stop by Ambleside Parish Church

Take a moment to marvel at Ambleside Parish Church, a beautiful building that has stood in the Lake District of England for centuries.

Located in the centre of Ambleside village, the Parish Church dates back to the 12th century. It’s a great spot for visitors to admire the architecture of the building that includes a steeple and a porch, as well as a number of stained glass windows. The church also features a very large bell, which is said to have been cast in 1609.

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The interior of the church is just as impressive as the exterior. Visitors can take in the beauty of the wood paneling and the intricate carvings on the pews.

Additionally, the church is also home to a number of artifacts, including a marble memorial to the victims of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania. Although it is no longer a functioning church, Ambleside Parish Church is worth a visit for its rich history and beautiful architecture.

Explore the Beatrix Potter Gallery

Just a stone’s throw away from Ambleside Parish Church lies the Beatrix Potter Gallery, a charming museum dedicated to the beloved author and illustrator.

The gallery is the perfect place to explore the life and works of Beatrix Potter for visitors of all ages. It features original artwork, manuscripts, photographs, and artifacts from the author’s lifelong work.

The museum also provides interactive activities and films to teach visitors about Potter’s beloved characters and stories. The gallery is a great place to learn about Potter’s life, her works, and her impact on literature and culture.

The Beatrix Potter Gallery is a beautiful and peaceful place to spend an afternoon, with its charming atmosphere and inspiring artifacts. It’s a great place to take a break and enjoy some of Potter’s most beloved stories and characters.

There is also a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs, books, and other items related to Beatrix Potter and her beloved characters. Whether you’re interested in literature, art, or history, the Beatrix Potter Gallery is a must-visit destination when exploring Ambleside.

Visit the Ambleside Climbing Wall

Experience the thrill of climbing the Ambleside Climbing Wall and see the beautiful views of the Lake District from the top.

Located in the heart of the town, the Ambleside Climbing Wall is a great spot for climbers of all ages and abilities.

With a range of routes to choose from, the wall offers something for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro.

The friendly team of instructors are always on hand to help you out and offer advice, so you can feel confident in tackling the routes.

The wall is also equipped with a range of safety gear, including a crash mat and carabiners, which help to provide a secure and safe environment.

Once you reach the top of the wall, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

The Lake District provides a backdrop of rolling hills, lush green meadows, and glittering lakes, which you’ll be able to admire as you look out from the top of the wall.

There’s no better way to take in the beauty of the region than from the top of the Ambleside Climbing Wall.

So, don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to experience the thrill of climbing and take in the views of the Lake District!

Have a Meal at The Drunken Duck Inn

Nestled in the heart of the Lake District, The Drunken Duck Inn is the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious meal and take in the breathtaking views of the surroundings. The Inn offers a unique dining experience with its traditional English pub food, cozy atmosphere, and beautiful views of the countryside.

The menu features a variety of classic dishes such as fish and chips, bangers and mash, and steak and ale pie. The pub also offers an extensive selection of ales, wines, spirits, and lagers for the perfect pairing.

The Drunken Duck Inn is a great spot to relax and unwind after a long day of exploring Ambleside. Its cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it the perfect place to enjoy a meal and a drink.

From its stunning views to its delicious food, The Drunken Duck Inn offers a truly unique dining experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.


It’s been a long day exploring Ambleside, but it’s been worth it.
From the Armitt Museum and Library to the Beatrix Potter Gallery, there’s so much to see and do here.
Whether it’s climbing the Old Man of Coniston or having a meal at The Drunken Duck Inn, Ambleside has something for everyone.
It’s a great place to visit and makes for a memorable trip.
Until next time, goodbye Ambleside!

About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.