The Top Ten Things to Do in Ambleside: Exploring the Lake District

Things to Do in Ambleside

One of my favorite areas to visit in England is the Lake District. It reminds me so much of home, with the lakes, waterfalls, hills, mountains, and beautiful scenery. I stayed in the little Victorian town of Ambleside on my visit to the Lake District. I only stayed overnight and was overwhelmed with all the Lake District activities. Here are my top 10 things to do in Ambleside while you are exploring the Lake District.

Things to Do in Ambleside

Things to Do in Ambleside – Walking Around the TownTown of Ambleside

Small waterfall in Ambleside
Beautiful House in Ambleside

As most of you know, I love walking around new towns when I travel. And Ambleside is a beautiful one to walk through. Nestled at the base of mountains and the head of Windermere Lake, this small town has so much to see. From the cute shops, delectable restaurants, picturesque homes, and gorgeous scenery, this town in the Lake District is too good to pass up.

St. Mary’s Church of EnglandSt. Mary's C of E Church

Old Gravestone in St. Mary's C of E Church Cemetery
Old Gravestones in St. Mary's C of E Church Cemetery

So much history can be found while exploring the headstones in the cemeteries of local churches. The Gothic Revival style St. Mary’s Church of England was built in the 1850s. The stone spire makes this church one of the most unique ones built in the Lake District. Walking through the cemetery, I found some interesting gravestones I couldn’t help photographing.

The Bridge HouseThe Bridge House - Things to do in Ambleside

Built over 300 years ago, the Bridge House houses an Information Center for the National Trust. Situated over Stock Ghyll, it could have been a summer house back in the day. Although, I still can’t get over how small the houses used to be compared to the sizes today. The Bridge House is the subject of paintings and beautiful photographs by people far and wide.

Dodd’s RestaurantDodd's Restaurant in Ambleside

Pasta Meal at Dodd's Restaurant in Ambleside

Of course, while traveling, you need to eat. There are several tips to finding a great restaurant, from asking a local to seeing which place has a line waiting outside to get in, or you can do what I do. I happened to stumble upon Dodd’s Restaurant when I was walking around Ambleside. Looking at the menu posted outside, I found several dishes I would like, and the price was reasonable. Dodd’s has a nice selection of Mediterranean dishes that are locally sourced, and they are delicious! Sometimes, you can find an extraordinary meal when you least expect it, which makes traveling so much fun. All the surprises you will find!

Fred’s Ambleside BookshopFred's Ambleside Bookshop - Things to do in Ambleside

Inside Fred's Ambleside Bookshop

I love finding little local bookshops on my travels. Fred’s Ambleside Bookshop is one of my favorites. This cute little bungalow has two stories of books, maps, and guidebooks to continue exploring Ambleside and the Lake District. Opened almost every day of the year, the staff is always available to answer any question. Fred’s is a place you want to check out while visiting Ambleside.

HikingLake District and Ullswater

Ambleside is a fantastic base for you to hike the Lake District. Besides having several stores focused on selling outdoor gear needed for said hikes, there are several trails for you to choose from. You can enjoy gentle walks through the valleys or climb to see magnificent panoramic views from nearby mountains. There is a short walk from town to see the 70-ft Stock Ghyll waterfall. Plus, Ambleside is the gateway to the Langdale Valley, home to one of England’s most popular mountain ranges. You can get a list from the National Trust if you want more hikes.

Sheep, Sheep, and more Sheeptwo sheep jumping over stone wall in front of car

As my sister keeps telling me, there are sheep back in the states. What makes the sheep here so special? I have no idea! I know that these sheep are just begging to get photographed. They can freely roam wherever they want, including sometimes jumping on stone fences and running across roads. Who cares if cars are coming toward them? They don’t! Seeing how these animals think they rule the land is quite a sight. You can read more of my sheep story here.

Sailing/BoatingSailing on Ullswater

Boats on Windermere Lake - Things to do in Ambleside

The Lake District has limitless water sports for you to do here. There is sailing, boating, canoeing, windsurfing, fishing, diving, and paddleboarding, to name a few. Ambleside is a wonderful place to visit in the summer. And with the town located right on Windermere Lake, which happens to be the largest lake in England, you will never run out of things to do in Ambleside.

Ullswater LakeSunshine sparking on Ullswater

Scenic view of Ullswater with rocks in foreground

A short distance from Ambleside, the second largest lake in the Lake District, Ullswater. Ullswater resembles a typical Lake District narrow ribbon-shaped lake, although the mountains have stretched it into a ‘Z.’ You can see many sailboats on the lake due to the numerous sailing marinas around the lake. But I’m also just content to sit by the water and soak up all the sparking sunshine on the water.

Aria Force WaterfallsAria Force waterfall and rainbow

Slow shutter speed of Aria Force waterfall and rainbow

My favorite thing to do in the Lake District and near Ambleside is exploring Aria Force. Aria Force is a nature area that showcases the raw ‘power and beauty of nature, a place to escape the ordinary.’ I couldn’t agree more! There is a peaceful and scenic trail that will take you to the waterfalls through the forest. Once there, you have several choices for viewing the falls. You can view them by hanging over the gorge from the viewing platform, waterfall bridge, or below. All the advantage points of the 65-ft drop of gushing water are spectacular. As I’m always chasing waterfalls, this is one of the nicest and closest I have been able to get to one this large. Aria Force is a must-see activity in the Lake District and Ambleside.


If you are a traveler who craves adventure, there are plenty of things to do in Ambleside. With all of these activities in the Lake District, you might have to make more than one trip to this gorgeous area. I know I have to go back!

If You Enjoyed These Things to Do in Ambleside Post, Sign Up To Receive Posts By Email or…

Join us on Facebook for regular updates and related articles
Check us out on Instagram to see what we are up to in photos
Follow us on Twitter for links to great travel articles curated just for you
View and purchase your favorite of my travel photos on SmugMug. And if you don’t see the one you want on the site, comment below, and I’ll add it.
Or share this “The Top Ten Things to Do in Ambleside: Exploring the Lake District” with others by pinning on Pinterest!

Things to Do in Ambleside Pinterest Pin

Further Reading

If you are coming to England for a visit, check out these posts for further travel inspiration:

This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post that fund my travels at no extra cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more info.

1 Comment

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.