The main road through Ambleside is the A591, which links
the southern part of the Lake District
(Bowness, Windermere, Ambleside, Grasmere) with the north (Keswick).
From Ambleside there are two more important roads:
A593: To Coniston
At Clappersgate, half-a-mile from Ambleside, there is a left turn (B5286) to Hawkshead.
On the A593 about 1.5 miles beyond Skelwith Bridge there is a right turn to Little Langdale and, beyond, Wrynose Pass (unclassified road, steep and not recommended in snow or ice). Next, after a sharp-right at a bridge, turn immediately left, where there is a warning sign about the dangers of Wrynose. Past Little Langdale hamlet (Three Shires Inn) is the final junction – left to Wrynose, right to Blea Tarn and Great Langdale.
At Skelwith Bridge there is a turn-off, right,where the B5343 leads to Great Langdale (Elterwater, Chapel Stile and Dungeon Ghyll).
Kirkstone Road and the Struggle
At the mini-roundabout 150 yards north of the
Bridge House on the A591, the Kirkstone road leads to The Struggle
and, after 2.5 miles of steep climbing, Kirkstone Pass, where
the A592 to Patterdale is joined. Kirkstone Pass is 1500ft
high and can be impassable in winter conditions.
There are five pay-and-display car parks in the town centre and one at Waterhead.
– Rydal Road: Entrance is just beyond the Bridge House,
immediately left after the mini-roundabout
(the turning for Kirkstone Pass). Long-stay;
– Lake Road: Just past Kelsick Road as you travel
south from the town centre. Turn right immediately
after Adventure Peaks. Long-stay;
– Low Fold: Beyond the filling station on the left,
immediately after a bus stop (bus shelter). Long-stay;
– Kelsick Road: Opposite the library, a short-stay
car park. Closed on Wednesdays for a market;
– Rothay Road: Miller Field – on the left on the one-way
system from the south, just before the White Platts recreation area.
– Waterhead: Directly opposite the waterfront promenade.
Long-stay. Also in Waterhead there is limited free parking
on an area adjacent to the Ambleside Pier building.
– There is also a car park at Ambleside School in Vicarage Road
(after 5pm on school days), where visitors are invited to put m
oney in a contribution box.
There is a considerable amount of on-street parking in the
town centre, chiefly on Compston Road, Lake Road (near the Tesco store),
Church Street, King Street, Kelsick Road and Lake Road (south of the
Loughrigg Avenue turn on the western side of the road). Between 10am and
6pm you can park for free for ONE HOUR but you must use a PARKING DISC
These are available from many town centre shops
and from the library and The Hub (post office).
There is no train service to Ambleside. The nearest train station is
at Windermere, four miles away, where a branch line links to the main
West Coast Line at Oxenholme.
The following Stagecoach services run through Ambleside:
516: Ambleside-Elterwater-Old Dungeon Ghyll
The main bus stop is in Kelsick Road, opposite the public library
There are a number of services on Windermere run by Windermere
Lake Cruises, the most popular being between Waterhead and Bowness.
There is a shuttle bus that runs daytime between Ambleside
and Waterhead, a strange-looking but rather charming machine
(see picture below) that picks up/drops off at the pier and
outside the White Lion in the centre of the town. Tickets
are £2 for adults and £1 for children.
There is a taxi rank at Market Cross, outside the post office
(by the Salutation Hotel)