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A functional tourist desitnation
Ambleside in General
Member Name: jodenton
Ambleside in General
Advantages: useful shops, lots to do in the evening, charming
Disadvantages: lack of parking
Ambleside is a pretty functional village in the Lake District National Park about half an hours drive from the M6 motorway. The park is situated in the county of Cumbria in the Northwest of England on the shores of Lake Windermere, England's largest lake. It has many many B&Bs and hotels at varying prices. The most expensive hotel is probably the Salutation Inn in the centre of the village (it is part of the Best Western chain but in local decor) and the cheaper end of the B&B market probably approaches £30 a night. There are also numerous self-cating appartments e.g. Kirkstone Foot apartments where I stayed on my most recent visit there. These were very comfortable. There is also a youth hostel some walk out of town.
Anywhere you stay within Ambleside is no further than a 10 minute walk (at a reasonable pace) from the centre of the town. The town is mainly a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts and most of the shops in the town are outdoor shops of some variety or another.
Footpaths up many of the local fells ( e.g. Wansfell ~ 480 m, and Loughrigg ~350 m) can be found from the town itself and summiting these fells offer amazing views of the surrounding area.
The potential drawback of the area is the weather which is notoriously hard to predict and changeable but you don't get beautiful scenery in the UK without lots of rain so I guess it is just one of those things!! There are also a lot of tourists in the main season and parking can sometimes be an issue.....you would almost certainly have to pay to park in Ambleside itself.
There are numerous cafes in the town as well as pubs and restaurants as well as fish and chip shops!! Whatever your taste it will surely be catered for. The pubs serve a variety of excellent real ales and there is also a pub...the sportsman...that shows most sporting events and has a disco downstairs on certain nights! There is also a good independent cinema showing up to date films which is worth a visit.
Interesting activities that can be undertaken if you are not really a hill walker is the boat trip to Bowness where you can go to the Beatrix Potter museum...or you can take a bus trip to nearby Dove Cottage where Wordsworth lived.
Summary: Definitely worth a visit but better if you can avoid the school holidays and pray for the weather!