Ambleside village itself offers great local shopping including many privately owned shops not usually found on your typical high street. Greengrocers, butchers and artisan bakers make local shopping a joy and if you need to buy walking gear you will find this a great centre with unbeatable choice.
The well-known Zeffirellis cinema in Ambleside has five screens showing the most popular films and the local bowling green, tennis and miniature golf course are all very popular in the holiday season. Eating out? Then you will be spoiled for choice with a whole range of cuisines to choose from - Chinese, Italian, Thai, Indian, English and European will tempt you and there is also a good choice of teashops or cafés for daytime treats. Friendly local pubs offer tasty bar food and local beers.
With some of England's finest mountain walking all around Ambleside you can make the most of the area with very little need to use the car on a daily basis. Without a doubt the Fairfield Horseshoe is one of the most notable high top ridge walks in the Lake District National Park reaching a final height of 2,900 feet on its nine mile circuit. Other summits around include Wansfell and the much loved Loughrigg Fell and Todd Crag with its wonderful views down the lake. Easier rambles abound – take the delightful lane Under Loughrigg and amble along to Rydal from where you can take the picturesque path back through Rydal Hall grounds. You could also explore the easy footpaths to the top of Jenkins Crag and over the top to Troutbeck or wander up the lane to Sweden Bridge with its fine views over the valley.
No visit to The Lakes would be complete without a steamer cruise on England's longest lake, Windermere. Cruises operate all year round from the jetties at Waterhead, near Ambleside allowing you to enjoy the magnificent surrounding scenery. We hope you will also take time to visit the The Armitt local museum/gallery and library which is on Rydal Road. This treasure house of local history is a mine of information covering the story of this area from the Stone Age to the present day and is open Mondays to Saturdays from 10.00am to 5.00pm. One of the highlights of the Armitt Museum is the collection of over four hundred original water-colour drawings by Beatrix Potter. These unique pictures of fungi, roman artifacts and archeological specimens were left to the Armitt by Beatrix on her death. A selection is always on show in the museum gallery as part of the history of Ambleside.
Ambleside also makes a perfect base for touring with easy access by road to all corners of the Lake District...the Langdale Valley, The Kirkstone Pass over to Ullswater, Hawkshead, Coniston and over to the west coast via Hardknott and Wrynose Passes all make excellent days out.
Surely one of the most picturesque Lakeland villages, Troutbeck nestles in its hillside setting at the head of the Troutbeck Valley just a few miles outside Ambleside. The village is famous for its architecture and much loved by artists and photographers who come in all seasons to make the most of the beautiful surroundings. With fantastic views all around, the village is a popular holiday destination from where you can walk amid some of our most magnificent scenery or just relax and watch the world go by. With two well-known pubs in the village you can enjoy fine local dishes and there is also a small village post office/shop which sells basics, bread and milk etc.
Troutbeck is home to some of the oldest property in the area. The National Trust owns Townend (open during the season), which was built in 1626 for a wealthy yeoman farmer and his bride. The property remained in the same family until 1943 and is a fascinating place to visit and especially interesting to children. Many other local farmhouses feature spinning galleries and other character features unique to this area.
Lower down the Troutbeck Valley there are scattered houses and more beautiful views. The Oaks Country Hotel would make a special venue for a treat or celebration whilst Troutbeck Bridge itself has a well-stocked grocery store, petrol station and another popular pub.