Bridge House, Ambleside.
Roughly in the
centre of the
S on the A591
NW on the
One of the most popular towns in the Lake District, and with good reason, Ambleside is unquestionably a town that you must visit and enjoy. Charming side streets reveal the picturesque vernacular architecture of the area, so much more pleasing and characterful than the grander styles of the average European city. Many and varied shops cater for such interests as books, climbing and all the other out door activities of the area and more. There are of course some fine pubs and restaurants.
The majority of the town is built with local green slate making for the unique look of the Lake District. Although I have enthused about the local building style St. Mary's Church is also worth a mention, designed by the legendary Sir George Gilbert Scott, (architect of St.Pancras Station and Hotel and the Albert Memorial in London among others in a distinguished career), between 1850 - 1854 in his typical neo-gothic style. As well as being noteworthy for its looks the church also has an interesting interior with a chapel dedicated to that quintessential Lakeland poet, Wordsworth; and a wall painting by Gordon Ransom depicting the Ambleside Rush Bearing festival, a traditional festival held in many towns in Cumbria and the north of England, involving a procession through the town. Historically the festival was to replace the rushes covering the church floor.
Ambleside nestles in the valley just a short walk from Lake Windermere and makes a very charming picture when seen from the road through the fells to Kirkstone Pass high above the town to the north, providing a majestic panorama. When viewed from the foot of the town the dramatic Snarker Pike, ( 2096ft/639m), to the north and the Hundreds to the east make an impressive backdrop. These fells provide excellent walking and hiking for those with the required stamina. If you want a more relaxed amble the walks around the lake would offer the perfect answer. There are of course many more walks around the nearby countryside. The Lake District is probably the premier walking region in Britain and has a great many well looked after and defined routes through some of the most dramatic scenery in the world.