Hotels in Ambleside, United Kingdom
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Escape the city and head to the tranquillity of Ambleside
The small town of Ambleside in the north of England is steep in history and serves as a base to explore the rugged nature of the Lake District National Park. Set to the north side of Lake Windermere, the town is within minutes of the waterfront that provides many leisure activities for visitors. Being an historic market town, since the seventeenth century, Ambleside has always seen many travellers come through and that is an element that is still present today, with much of the town’s industry catering to the tourism market.
A village rich in history
Although the town dates back as far as Roman times, much of its architecture is from the Victorian era. St Mary’s Church is an excellent example of this, just to the east of the town centre the building dates to the mid nineteenth century and with its tall and distinct spire, it is one of the most recognisable buildings in the town. The renowned English poet, William Wordsworth once had an office in Ambleside and lived nearby, as a consequence there are multiple references to him across the town. The Armitt Museum founded in the early twentieth century by the writer Mary Armitt, houses a large literature collection and exhibition featuring work from Wordsworth and many others, including a special section dedicated to Beatrix Potter. Indeed the town is a fascinating area for history lovers of all kinds and staying in one of the older hotels in Ambleside allows visitors to truly immerse themselves in this history.
A region centred around water
One of the highlights and most photographed scenes in the region is the Bridge House, now a National Trust listed building which is set over the Ghyll stream. The Bridge House dates back to the seventeenth century and is truly picturesque, attracting tourists from afar to appreciate its history and pleasing aesthetic. Further downstream visitors will find the Stock Ghyll Force, a seventy foot waterfall which previously used to power a dozen watermills. Although the mills have since closed, the views from the falls give an idea of how the industrial Ambleside used to look. The falls are just a short walk from all of the hotels Ambleside houses, but provide a nice half-day trip out of the town. To the south of the town lies the Windermere lake, home to many of the activities on offer in the region. Steamer ferries leave from Ambleside Pier to towns further south such as Bowness and Lakeside; taking a steamer trip is an extremely popular activity with tourists. The lake also offers a variety of outdoor activities such as sailing, windsurfing and outdoor swimming, all contributing to make it a favoured area with families. Many of the Ambleside hotels can be found alongside the waterfront including several independent bed and breakfasts.
Hiking from Ambleside
There are countless trails and hiking opportunities in all directions of the town to suit adventurers of all abilities. Consequently Ambleside is often used by a variety of visitors wishing to access the nature of the Lake District National Park and find a hotel to base themselves from. As the range of trials and walks is endless; newcomers to the region are recommended to pick up one of the guides on sale or talk with the locals in the various hiking shops or tourist information centres in Ambleside town. Day trips can be taken in the local hillsides, meandering through small and seemingly nondescript villages which offer a quaint and quieter side to the larger towns. Longer trips up to the highlands, known locally as fells, can be started from Ambleside. Popular fells include Langdale, Coniston and Loughrigg, all quintessential examples of the scenery which makes the Lake District so greatly loved.
Out into the hills of the Lake District
Given the smaller size of Ambleside, visitors spending more than just a few days in the area are likely to venture further afield. The closest larger town in the region is that of Windermere, some eight kilometres to the south. Windermere provides rail transport links and is often a hub which visitors heading to an Ambleside hotel are likely to pass through. The town itself offers a wider range of shops plus further tourist attractions such as The World of Beatrix Potter, but overall it is mostly another town to base a Lake District trip from. Further north from Ambleside lie the villages of Rydal and Grasmere, both offer additional examples of the Victorian architecture which is common in the region. There are indeed further accommodation options in these smaller villages which can provide a hotel with greater ambiance than in central Ambleside.