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 as 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 are 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, they also have comfortable and 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 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 locally sourced produce.
  • Nanny Brow is set in peaceful grounds 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 Rentalcars 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?


Monthly Weather in Ambleside

Best Hotels in Ambleside

  • Nanny Brow Ambleside 11 rooms from £130

    Lakeside  -  The shores of beautiful Lake Windermere are within a 20-minute walk.
    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
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays, Good Hotel Guide

    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. See More

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  • Rothay Manor Ambleside 19 rooms from £140

    Country Escape  -  Set in pretty woodlands and boasting easy access to Cumbria's fabulous walking country.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit 'Hill Top', Beatrix Potter’s former home, situated near Hawkshead.
    Sailing  -  Learn to sail on Lake Windermere, just a short stroll from the property.
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessParking

    Privately owned, elegant country-house-style hotel with a modern freshness and a highly regarded restaurant. Bedrooms are large and understated while there are lawned gardens for lazy afternoons. See More

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  • The Samling Hotel Ambleside 11 rooms from £220

    Country Escape  -  A smart base offering access to arguably some of the UK's finest countryside.
    Active Holiday
    Sailing  -  Cruise across Lake Windermere and enjoy spectacular views.
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Michelin Travel

    A small luxury hotel boasting both chic interiors and fabulous views of Lake Windermere. Individually styled rooms are light and airy with bold colours, antiques and softly patterned fabrics. Offering exemplary cuisine and a choice selection of wines, this is a rural escape designed for indulging. See More

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  • Holbeck Ghyll Hotel Ambleside (Cumbria) 23 rooms from £260

    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.
    TennisSpaRestaurantGardenPet friendlyViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays, Small Luxury Hotels

    One of the Lake District’s original country-house hotels, Holbeck Ghyll has stunning views over Lake Windermere and impressive Arts and Crafts architecture. Its creative food is another draw; definitely a place for indulgence. See More

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