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Photo of Ambleside

About Ambleside

Ambleside is a pretty little town on the northern shore of Lake Windermere, built in the grey stone that becomes so familiar if you drive around the Lake District. Here you’re surrounded by fells and mountains and amazing views, thus it’s a popular spot for walkers and explorers. The town caters to them well, with a slew of very good pubs and cafes. The best places to stay in Ambleside range from spectacular country house hotels to converted hunting lodges to famed gastro pubs.

What Not To Miss

  • Stretch those legs on one of the many walking routes at Loughrigg Fell with the view from the summit more than ample reward for the uphill climb.
  • Visit Hill Top - Beatrix Potter's cherished home left filled with many of her favourite items - the gardens are also wonderful and set the scene of many of her iconic stories.
  • Walk and cycle to your hearts content through the scenic woodland at Grizedale Forest. There's also an outdoor activity centre with everything from ziplines to segways, guaranteeing that there's something for everyone.
  • Pay a visit to Wray Castle featuring dramatic towers and turrets making it look every inch the fairytale castle. There's activities for all the family too, with opportunities to dress up, or play on the rope swing.
  • Soak up the views at Ambleside Waterhead with visitors being able to watch the world go by or hop on one of the boat cruises. You can even pick up a world famous Ambleside Sheepskin from the stores there.

The Hotel Guru's selection of the best places to stay in Ambleside features places that will be extremely popular, especially in the peak season summer time.

The Best Places to Stay in Ambleside

To Relax

  • The Samling Hotel is a beautiful 11 room hotel, close to Ambleside, in the hills surrounding Lake Windermere. The hotel’s views are incredible, but they also have comfortable but sumptuous decor and Michelin standard chefs.
  • Slightly further from town is the Holbeck Ghyll Hotel, converted from a hunting lodge into a luxurious, 20 room country house hotel with a fabulous restaurant and a small spa.

For Walkers

  • For something a bit simpler try the Drunken Duck Inn, arguably Lake Windermere’s most famous gastro pub, but also housing 17 stylish, comfortable rooms. You’re in the heart of the Lake District, and there are some amazing walks, so you’ll appreciate the great food to come back to.
  • The Eltermere Inn is a bit further from Ambleside, around Elterwater, but this Georgian beauty is worth considering if you’re looking for somewhere traditional - think roll-top baths and high ceilings. There’s also a great restaurant serving a locally sourced menu.
  • Nanny Brow is set in peaceful grounds though only five minutes from Lake Windermere, this elegant, Arts and Crafts B&B is full of period details and furnishings. Bedrooms are vast and with lofty views up Langdale Valley. There’s a bar and terrace, too.

For an apartment or cottage

  • If you'd prefer your own space, don't hesitate to visit our online partner, Booking.com for everything from central cottages to waterside properties.

Travel Information

  • Fly to Manchester Airport located 157km (98 miles) from Ambleside. The airport is of a good size and caters to a big range of International and domestic destinations.
  • Catch a train to Windermere, only a short bus ride from Ambleside.
  • If you want to rent a car to explore the stunning Lake District, visit our online partner, Holiday Autos for prices.
  • Best time to visit - the summer months from June to early September provide the warmest weather for enjoying the outdoors.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Ambleside

  • Nanny Brow 11 rooms from $169


    Set in peaceful grounds though only five minutes from Lake Windermere, this elegant, Arts and Crafts B&B is full of period details and furnishings. Bedrooms are vast and with lofty views up Langdale Valley. There’s a bar and terrace, too.

    Great walks  -  Fantastic for walkers - Miles of great walks over Loughrigg Fell
    Views  -  Beautiful views stretching for five miles of the Brathay Valley
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum
    Back to Nature
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays, Good Hotel Guide
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  • The Samling Hotel 11 rooms from $287


    Charming hotel located in the hills surrounding Lake Windemere. Beautiful views, Michelin chefs, separate cottage.

    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith
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  • Holbeck Ghyll Hotel 23 rooms from $339

    Ambleside (Cumbria)

    Luxurious former Hunting Lodge overlooking Lake Windermere makes for an intimate hideaway. Classically styled rooms offer comfort and views. Michelin starred food and an extensive wine list welcome you at the dining room. Whether enjoying the spa or exploring the grounds - relaxing is on the cards!

    Total relaxation  -  Unwind in Victorian English style with pampering suites overlooking Lake Windermere, spa services and impeccable service.
    Active Holiday  -  Walkers and ramblers bring your wellies and explore this stunning part of the country.
    Great walks  -  Ask at the front desk for an outline of the wonderful walks around the lake and beyond.
    Private Hot Tub  -  Miss Potter Suite and Ghyll Side cottage both feature a private hot tub.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Johansens, Sawdays, Small Luxury Hotels
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