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214 Mountains
67,671 hectacres of woodland

Home to rare and endangered species including ospreys, red and roe deer, otters, red squirrels and atlantic salmo
A UNESCO World Heritage Site

"Welcome to our Ambleside homepage. We think we have the most exciting university campus in the world, right in the middle of the iconic Lake District World Heritage Site and National Park. Whether you are a conservationist, a forester, a geographer, an outdoor specialist, interested in our literary heritage and culture, or our visitor economy, there is something here for you in this very special place."

- Professor Lois Mansfield, Director of Campus

 Life on Land,

Our partners


Set in the heart of the Lake District, Ambleside is the perfect backdrop for University life and your Student Experience. We offer a variety of accommodation, all of which provide excellent facilities for study and recreation. We have added bespoke student halls to Ambleside Campus, which opened in September 2016.

Ambleside accommodation

“Ambleside was perfect for me as it gave me the academic stimulation I need, coupled with the freedom I crave. Stunning mountains, rivers, lakes, woodland all on your doorstep. A charming old town in a beautiful setting. It felt like home and I miss it dearly.”

More student stories

Getting to Ambleside

Ambleside Campus The Barn, Rydal Road, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 9BB Phone: 015394 30274


Ambleside is just north of Windermere, Cumbria. Postcode for sat navs is LA22 9BB.

  • From the North: Take the A591 which brings you directly onto Rydal Road. The campus is on your left hand side.
  • From the South: Take the A591 from Windermere which brings you onto Lake Road. At the start of the one-way system bear left onto Wansfell Road and then right onto the A593. Follow this road round through the town centre and at the traffic lights turn left onto Rydal Road. The campus entrance is on your right hand side.

Pay and display parking

Pay and display parking is available for students, staff and visitors without a parking permit. Please see the table below for prices.

Pay-and-display parking charges

Length of timePrice
0-1 hours £1.40
1-2 hours £2.70
2-4 hours £4.60
4-8 hours £5.80
8-10 hours £7.00

Parking permits

Visitors (including open days, course interviews and conferences)

Open day attendees, course interview candidates, conference delegates and other visitors should be provided with parking information and permits by their hosts.

This will involve either a dedicated visitors parking area, supply of a visitors' parking permit, or use of pay-and-display. Visitors' parking permits might be provided in advance or arrangements made for their collection on arrival.

Unless a dedicated visitors' parking area has been provided, visitors' parking permits are valid in any non-allocated parking space.

Where an area is designated for visitors parking, staff and students with a parking permit or pay and display ticket must not park there.

For the avoidance of doubt, the following definitions are used in deciding eligibility:

  • ‘Bona fide’ visitors are people who have been invited to the university and are not being paid. This includes people who are paying to attend an event but who are not students. This would include open days, conference delegates and registration events.

  • Contractors and consultants are regarded as permanent employees for parking purposes. This means that they would need to use pay and display parking or purchase a twelve week or annual parking permit.


LocationPermit typePrices
All campuses Salary Band 1 – Up to £10,500 £50.50
All campuses Salary Band 2 – £10,500 - £15,000 £107.40
All campuses Salary Band 3 - £15,000 - £25,000 £132.40
All campuses Salary Band 4 - £25,000 - £35,000 £154.20
All campuses Salary Band 5 - £35,000 - £42,000 £197.90
All campuses Salary Band 6 – Over £42,000 £232.10
All campuses Car Share £41.00
All campuses 12-week permits £43.70
All campuses Zero VED permit 50% discount on any of the above permit prices

Apply for a staff parking permit

On-street parking

Staff and students are asked not to park on neighbouring residential streets and to respect all Residents Parking areas.

Off-campus parking

For off-campus parking, long-term parking permits for South Lakeland District Council car parks are available online.  Drivers of “A” rated vehicles (CO2 emissions under 100g/km) are eligible for a discount.


Student parking permit charges
Permit typePrices
12 months £64.00
Car share £33.00
12-week permit £25.50
Zero VED permit 50% discount on any of the above permit prices

Apply for a parking permit

On-campus parking

Parking permits are available for all students, these are restricted for students living in halls. 

Off-campus parking

For off-campus parking, long-term parking permits for South Lakeland District Council car parks are available online. Drivers of “A” rated vehicles (CO2 emissions under 100g/km) are eligible for a discount.

On-street parking

Staff and students are asked not to park on neighbouring residential streets and to respect all Residents Parking areas.

Parking access

Staff, student and visitor permit holders can use any car parking space within the University campus at Ambleside (including, for avoidance of doubt, the Pay and Display areas) but not spaces that are specifically allocated and signed for any other purpose.

Pay and Display parking is available on this campus, the university operate a cashless parking system. It is possible to pay for you parking, by Pay by Phone, App or Connect Cashless Parking website.

Do not attempt to drive large vehicles (anything larger than a standard wheelbase van) up Nook Lane - if you are at all unsure, it is recommended to walk the route first before committing in a vehicle. If you require a large vehicle to attend, for example due to emergency or breakdown, please contact University staff in the Barn who will advise whether access can be provided via the North Entrance. Despite this, it is unlikely that large vehicles would be to access the front of CMB (visitor and disabled parking).

Priority spaces

Disabled parking spaces are available immediately outside the main entrance to the Charlotte Mason Building.

Car share priority spaces are available in two locations on campus: adjacent to Borrowdale and Scale How.

Unloading and contractors parking permits are available from Ambleside Reception at The Barn.

Download the Traffic Regulations and Car Parking Policy 2020-21


The issue of permits, management of University car parks and issue of Parking Charge Notices is currently managed by Excel Parking Services Ltd.  Excel have a dedicated email address for University of Cumbria enquiries: Alternatively, you can use their general enquiry phone number: 0114 261 7111.

Any correspondence relating to the issue of a PCN must be directed to Excel Parking Services Ltd. This is not dealt with by the University. If you are dissatisfied with the issuing of a PCN you can appeal to Excel Parking Services Ltd. If you are not satisfied with the response from Excel Parking Services Ltd, you can appeal to the national Independent Appeals Service. Details of this will be provided with the PCN.

If you believe that there is a problem with a University Car Park (eg, you cannot make a payment), please report this to the site reception.

If you have any other queries about this policy please contact FM Administration in the first instance. They can be contacted at: 01524 590831 / email:

Travel questions?

If you have any queries about travelling while at the University of Cumbria, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Phone: 01524 590 831

Bicycle parking

Bicycle parking is available on campus - please see the Ambleside campus map for details.

Anyone using the bicycle parking must ensure that they lock their bicycle securely to the racks. The university does not accept liability for any property that is lost, stolen or damaged on campus.

Public transport

The town of Ambleside is small enough that you can get most everywhere on foot.

Train travel

Windermere is the nearest train station to our Ambleside campus. There is a bus to Windermere every hour.

There is so much to do and get involved in at Ambleside. Whether that be joining one of our clubs and societies, challenging yourself on our campus climbing wall, relaxing in our green spaces or hanging out with friends at our new on-campus bar, there really is something for everyone.

Our Campus Bar

New for 2020 we are delighted to offer our students our very own campus bar. Named 'The Struggle' after the iconic Kirkstone Pass a short stretch from campus famously known for its steepness. The pass is nicknamed 'The Struggle' and is a sought after challenge for runners and cyclists to try.

Our on-campus bar offers a social space with affordable drinks for our students to get together and enjoy with friends.


Our Ambleside campus is the perfect place for our students to get fit and live the adventures they have always wanted.

Our campus benefits from having it's very own climbing wall used for demonstrations and available for our students and societies to use within their own leisure time.

New in 2019 we also opened our very own on-campus gym offered at an affordable price to our students with a range of the latest gym equipment.

Taking advantage of our stunning and unique location in the heart of the Lake District National Park we also have a range of outdoor equipment for students to borrow including our climbing equipment and our own boating equipment from our store on the shores of Lake Windermere. Students are able to participate in a wide range of training and class activities organised by the university and once we are happy that you are confident and safe using our equipment, we allow you to borrow these within your own leisure time.


Students' Union

The University of Cumbria Students' Union (UCSU) represents the views and interests of our students.

The Students' Union organises a range of events - from Freshers' week right through to Graduation - to help you meet new friends, develop skills, celebrate success and provide opportunities to enhance your student life.

They also run a wide variety of student groups, societies and sports teams.

Find out about the Students' Union

What’s happening at Ambleside?

Ambleside News