Ambleside is a town in Cumbria, in north-west England.
It is situated at the head of Windermere, England's largest lake. The town is within the Lake District National Park. Before 1974, it was in Westmorland.
The name came from Old Norse Á-mel-sǽtr = "river — sandbank — summer pasture".
Steamers (in reality diesel-powered ferries) run to Bowness-on-Windermere and Lakeside offering fine views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Ambleside is a base for hiking, mountaineering and mountain biking. It has a selection of shops, hotels, guesthouses, pubs and restaurants.
To the south of Ambleside is the Roman fort of Galava, dating from AD79.
The Armitt Library and Museum provides a source of local history with a collection which represents many of the local artists and writers of the past.
The town is rather unusual in that it has two town charters; one republican and the other royalist.
On the west, Loughrigg Fell rises above the town; to the north are Red Screes and the hills of the Fairfield group; to the east is Wansfell.
Ambleside is administered by South Lakeland district council and forms part of the Lakes civil parish but from 1894 to 1935 it was a separate urban district council.
Ambleside is also home to the headquarters of Brathay exploration group, a youth charity based just beyond Clappersgate on the road to Hawkshead.
Bridge House was built over Stock Ghyll
more than 300 years ago probably as a summer house and apple store for Ambleside Hall. The building was purchased by local people in 1926 and given to the National Trust
. It is now used as an information centre for the National Trust, and is part of the Trust's Windermere and Troutbeck
University of Cumbria
University of Cumbria, formerly St. Martin's College and Charlotte Mason College, can be found at the northern end of the town; courses held at the college include teacher training, leisure and outdoor studies.
William Wordsworth's house at Rydal Mount
In 1959 Frank Davies opened The Climbers Shop
- the first outdoor shop in Ambleside. Walking and climbing now form an important part of the local economy and lifestyle of the local people in the area. Ambleside is also home to Gaynor Sports, the UK's largest independent outdoor equipment store. It houses 5 departments over 3 floors. Gaynor sports also sponsor the Langdale and Ambleside mountain rescue team.
Ambleside has a relatively large number of pubs for its size with some ten pubs and bars within a quarter of a mile radius. The high number of drinking establishments is maintained by both the tourist industry, so essential to the town, as well as the student population associated with St Martin's College (formerly Charlotte Mason College).
The town maintains the busiest volunteer mountain rescue team (Langdale & Ambleside MRT) in the UK.
Bridge House — Information from a notice at Bridge House.