Choosing which university to study at and where you will spend the next few years of your life is a huge decision - one of the biggest you may ever make. Finding somewhere that feels like home, somewhere you can see yourself taking on new experiences and exploring your interests is so important.
Ambleside is one of the Lake District’s most popular towns and its stunning setting and bustling atmosphere offers countless opportunities for making memories outside the classroom.
Whether you’re into art, history, socialising, exploring nature, or keeping fit – we have it all here in Ambleside.
Where to eat in Ambleside
Whether you’re in the mood for fresh and comforting classic dishes in a traditional English pub, or to try new delicacies in stylish bars and restaurants, Ambleside’s vibrant and eclectic food scene offers something for all taste buds.
This lively market town is filled with tourist hot spots and hidden gems for you to seek out and enjoy. Dotted along the pretty stone streets, you’ll find Zeffirellis and Fellinis - award-winning sister vegetarian Italian and Mediterranean restaurants, which also house a daytime café, a cool jazz bar, and a cinema. Wander a little further and you’ll find award-winning chef Neil Broomfield’s Great North Pie Co. with outdoor seating and hot, hearty pies filled with delicious locally sourced ingredients to tuck into all year round. If you’re looking for something a little more lively for a meal out with your flatmates or date night, then try the rustic Es Mexican Tapas bar and beer garden. Enjoy crunchy nachos, cocktails, and craft beer to your favourite songs.
Amongst the many other pubs and restaurants that fill the Ambleside streets, is the student cult favourite Rattle Ghyll Delhi and Café. This is the perfect spot to curl up and do some studying or have a catch-up with a coffee and some delicious homemade food.
Where to drink in Ambleside
Opened in 2020, our on-campus bar named 'The Struggle' is the perfect spot to socialise and make friends with affordable drinks and good music, plus it is only a short walk from the campus accommodation.
Or head to the Lily Bar in town for live music, comedy nights, and quizzes, and enjoy their array of cask ales and wines. If games nights are more your thing, then try the Cellar Bar. Regularly buzzing on a weekend night, this quirky bar has pool tables, giant Jenga, and tv screens for your favourite sports fixtures. This is the perfect spot to enjoy a lively atmosphere, happy hour gin and beer, and your favourite tunes.
Some of the town’s more scenic drinking holes include the Wateredge Inn, a pub and beer garden with relaxing views overlooking the lake, and the Royal Oak, a traditional English pub and beer garden, and a known favourite for tourists. Plus there are many more to discover; find your favourite local spot and carve your place in town.
Out and about in Ambleside
Our Ambleside campus is the only university located in a National Park in England. That means it is the only university that offers you the mountains, rivers, and woodland of the Lake District right on your doorstep. As such, we make sure to utilise our unique setting as much as possible in the courses that are based here, to allow our students to immerse themselves in the local community, whilst delving into their passion for their subject.
For example, our Conservation students explore Cumbria's natural habitats in the numerous sites of Special Scientific Interest that are based in our ancient woodlands and nearby fells; Forestry students get hands-on experience hiking to gather samples in the local surroundings; Literature students study texts within the very landscapes that inspired their writers, such as Wordsworth, Ransome, and Ruskin; Geography students get to do fieldwork every week, with our World Heritage Site setting as their laboratory.
At our Ambleside campus, every time our students go outside they are able to enhance their appreciation and understanding of their chosen course.
This Lake District town has a strong history, which can be seen everywhere from its 17th-century architecture, such as the famous Bridge House, to nearby Wray castle, a gothic Victorian castle with stunning grounds overlooking the lake.
For literature lovers, a must-see is the World of Beatrix Potter Museum in Bowness-on-Windermere, and Beatrix’s home at Hill Top. These nearby attractions celebrate the life of the famous English author, who wrote the enchanting tales of mischievous animals such as Peter Rabbit.
If art is your preference, then potter down to the Old Courthouse Gallery, which showcases a variety of the best arts and crafts in Britain today, including wall art, wood/furniture, and metalwork.
If you love sightseeing, you’ll love Ambleside – and many of its top attractions are only a short walk from our campus. Spend the day kayaking, paddle boarding, or cruising across Lake Windermere. Try to spot the nearby wildlife and rare birds, and share your discoveries with our lecturers.
Those who enjoy exploring nature will love the array of walking trails and hikes available, such as nearby Loughrigg Fell - a 9.4km walk of incredible views set in amongst the Lake District’s central fells, and suitable for walkers of all experience levels. Or, you can really challenge yourself by hiking up nearby Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain.
If you need to stock up on supplies for your adventures, Ambleside is packed with shops selling snacks and equipment for walkers, cyclists, and everything in between.
Whether you're looking for a fun night out, a place to study with a coffee, or a chance to get out into the wilds of the Lake District, Ambleside is the place for you. Discover our Ambleside-based courses today.
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