It's easy to be active when staying at 2 Cambridge Villas B&B!
The Lake District is famous for its fell-walking and stunning scenery – it’s why most people visit!
2 Cambridge Villas, Ambleside is the perfect location for exploring the area on foot. No need to use your car for the whole of your stay with such an abundance of walks from our door. From high mountain walks up Wainwrights such as Fairfield Horseshoe, Red Screes, Wansfell and Loughrigg to beautiful lakeside and valley walks such as Rydal Water and the Coffin route to Grasmere; Wray Castle on the shores of Windermere; Scandale and High Sweden Bridge, to name but a few.
A short drive away is our favourite valley, Langdale, giving fell-walkers access to many of the finest and biggest mountains in England – Scafell Pike, Great Gable, Bowfell, Crinkle Crags and the Langdale Pikes.
For an easy, short walk from the village, Stockghyll waterfalls is always popular (very dramatic after rain!), as is Skelghyll Woods and National Trust’s Stagshaw Gardens - a woodland garden full of azaleas and rhododendrons.
We are happy to offer suggestions for walks – both Kate and Mark are qualified Mountain Leaders and know the area well. We have maps and guide books for our guests to borrow. Walking poles are also available.
Mark and Kate also offer guided walks at Mountain Journeys and Climb Scafell – please phone in advance as we book up quickly.
Ambleside is a superb place to base yourself for both mountain/gravel bikers and those who prefer the roads. If you love the challenge of road hills then there is no shortage, including the iconic Kirstone, Wrynose and Hardnott passes, all part of the Fred Whitton challenge. We have some great circuits nearby for anyone wanting a flatter route, i.e. circuits of Coniston Water and Thirlmere. Bike hire is available in the village at Ghyllside Cycles. We cycle too and are always happy to offer suggestions of where to go.
For mountain-biking Grizedale Forest is an excellent venue offering a range of trails and paths from family friendly trails to routes for experienced mountain bikers such as the North Face Trail.
Bike hire is also available here.
Ambleside is a fantastic base for anyone wanting to have an adventure! Whether it be rock-climbing or abseiling; ghyll scrambling or mountain scrambles, we can help – ask Mark or Kate or visit Mountain Journeys.
We are close to several lakes which are suitable for water sports. Both Windermere and Rydal Water are a short walk away. Coniston and Ullswater are only a short drive away.
There are several places nearby that offer water sports courses or hire kayaks, paddleboards -
Low Wood Water Sports centre; YHA Ambleside; Windermere Canoe and Kayak.
Wild Swimming in the Lake District has become an immensely popular pastime over recent years and understandably so with so many lakes, tarns and rivers in the area. We are happy to offer suggestions of places to go from popular roadside lakes to wild and out of the way tarns.
Fell and Trail Running
Any fell and trail runners will be in paradise in the Lake District, the home of Fell-running. From Ambleside one can run in all directions on a variety of terrain without having to ever get in the car. High mountain runs such as Fairfield Horseshoe, the Langdale Pikes and Kentmere Horseshoe are all within reach for anyone wanting a big day out. Shorter runs over the lower fells are in abundance; Wansfell, Loughrigg, Nab Scar and Silver Howe to name but a few. As are lakeshore and valley trails along Rydal Water to Grasmere and along the stunning valley of Langdale etc. If you would like advice or suggestions of where to go then please ask. We both fell-run and Kate is a UK Athletics fell-running coach.
Places to Visit
Below is a small selection of places to visit, all within a few miles of Ambleside.
- Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount
Both homes of one of the most famous romantic poets, William Wordsworth and where he wrote many of his famous poems.
- Hill Top (National Trust)
Beatrix Potter’s 17th century farmhouse where she wrote many of her famous children’s books.
- Townend (National Trust)
A farmhouse built in 1626 for a wealthy yeoman. Full of nooks and crannies, large imposing chimneys and a lovely cottage garden.
- The Armitt Museum
A small museum telling the history and heritage of Ambleside and the surrounding Lake District.
- Brantwood House and gardens
Home to John Ruskin, one of the greatest Victorians - a writer, philosopher, art critic, amateur geologist etc. The house is on the shores of Coniston Water with fantastic views of the lake and fells beyond.
- Roman Forts – Galava and Hardknott
The Lake District has a rich history and the Romans were a big part of it. The Lake District was the roman frontier and so a place of military forts and supply routes. Hence there are forts and Roman remains from Ravenglass on the west coast, over the Hardknott Pass to Ambleside, then over High Street (828m) to Brough.
- Wray Castle
A Victorian folly now owned by the National Trust. It’s right on the Windermere lakeshore, a great spot for picnics and swimming in the lake. There’s a nice café too for lunch.
- Lake cruises on Windermere
Explore the longest lake in England – 10.5 miles and see the spectacular Lake District scenery on historic steamers or modern launches.
- The Jetty
A museum dedicated to the boats, people and the rich history of Windermere (England’s largest natural lake).
- Holehird Gardens
Beautiful gardens in the Troutbeck valley with stunning views over the Lakeland fells. A must place to visit for all gardeners! The walled garden is fabulous, always full of colour, year-round.
- Blackwell House
A real gem of a house! One of the UKs finest examples of Arts and Crafts architecture and with tremendous views over Windermere and the Coniston fells.
- Grasmere Gingerbread shop
Invented by Victorian cook, Sarah Nelson and now world famous. The gingerbread has a unique spicy-sweet cross between a biscuit and a cake.
- Rydal Caves
A large man-made cavern and famous beauty spot above Rydal Water, the result of slate quarrying in the 19th century.
Another awesome man-made cavern, in Little Langdale. It derives its name from the huge pillar inside the main cavern.