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48 hours in Ambleside with Heart of the Lakes

Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of your busy life? Then see what the Lake District has to offer. The largest UNESCO World Heritage site in the UK, the English Lake District must be on most people’s travel bucket lists.

Stay

With over 300 perfectly placed properties from romantic retreats for two to Edwardian Houses that sleep twenty, Heart of the Lakes – Lakes District Cottages has properties from both village centres to remote locations, all in the Lake District National Park.

Have a pooch? That’s no problem, with over 100 dog-friendly cottages, you are sure to find something that is perfect for your needs. 

Eat

A 3 AA Rosette restaurant with stunning views across Windermere. The Samling Hotel’s menu is British inspired with the occasional dash of foreign flair, while the venue’s signature menu boasts timeless classics and native dishes.

If you decide to visit The Samling Hotel do not worry about which drinks to choose to complement your meal as the staff will match your dish of choice with the perfect tipple.

If you are looking for something a little different, the Drunken Duck, with its home-brewed beer and varied menu great for walkers’ lunch. It has a number of strings to its bow. This classic Lake District inn serves food that amounts to so much more than your standard pub food.

Explore

One of Cumbria’s smaller lakes, Rydal Water has one of the finest views to enjoy, being very easily accessible. A great stop-off for families, it offers a good opportunity for mums and dads to take a break while children explore Rydal caves or enjoy a paddle or swim.

The Coffin Route is a lovely, fairly easy, historical walk from Rydal to St Oswald’s church Grasmere in the heart of the Lake District, the latest part of England to be officially designated a World Heritage Status site.

Getting Around

Arrive in Windermere by train and enjoy an open-top bus journey by the side of Lake Windermere.

Once in Ambleside, you are able to explore most things on foot but if you are looking to go a little further afield then why not look at Mountain Goat Tours who offer different tours throughout the Lake District and beyond.

Educate

For a bit of history then take a trip to The Armitt Museum.

It is a unique combination of a museum, library and gallery devoted to preserving and sharing the cultural heritage of the Lake District.

Mary Louisa Armitt founded the Library to foster an exchange of ideas in the local community.

Beatrix Potter was one of the Armitt’s early supporters and the collection holds a number of her family’s books as well as her personal first editions of the ‘little’ books. Her major gift, however, was over 400 exquisite original water colours from her early days as a Mycologists. 

Buy

In and around Ambleside you will find many individual shops where you will find quirky gifts to take home. Hayes Garden World, on the outskirts of Ambleside, has an extensive range of quality gardening and leisure products. 

Capture

Wansfell is around 1.5 miles east of Ambleside, with two moderate peaks to conquer. At 488 metres high, Baystones is the highest of the pair, while Wansfell Pike is considered to be the “true” summit by walkers, despite being six metres smaller, because of its better view of Windermere.

This short family-friendly walk is among the most popular in the Ambleside area, with a descent route down the far side to Troutbeck and along the old Roman road that links Troutbeck with Waterhead.

Music

Enjoy contemporary jazz and world music live performances at Zeffirellis Jazz Bar most Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings.

The Jazz Bar offers great live music events, many of which are free, as well as a bar and food menu including pizzas, pasta, antipasti and delicious desserts.