White houses with grey slate roofs surround the northern edge of Lake Windemere. An ethereal landscape which has long produced inspiration for numerous writers, artists, photographers and dinosaurs. April is a great month to visit as the snow has gone and the influx of summer tourists haven’t arrived yet. Luckily the April showers were holding off and I was lucky enough to experience a few small moments of tranquillity. Alone but not lonely, wandering along the rivers edge from Clappersgate to Ambleside. Waves lapping the shore provided the perfect background noise. Until the fighter jets caught up, sadly I found my escape brought reality crashing down around me.
No allowing my feelings to get the better of me, I chose to do one of my favourite activities. Throwing stones in the water. I found an area of grassland which no humans seemed to be on. Little did I realise I was standing in Borran’s Field – a 1900 year old Roman Fort. Galava was a small fort built to house 200 men to protect the England from the invading Scots. I find it amazing to think we can still visit ancient places (FOR FREE!) and see how similar Roman life was to the modern day, well without the technology we have.
The Roman Fort is about a 10 minute walk from the centre of Ambleside, depending on which route you take. I preferred the waterside route, which goes away from the town centre. The town centre didn’t really appeal to me because I often get stood on in crowded places.
The area near the pierhead was my favourite area because of all the animals. You can picnic with sheep, have a coffee with some ducks or if you are like my photographer; get chased by a goose. Though the best part is the sign, be careful to get the whole message in! This area was quite busy as many tourists choose to jump on and off the ferry to see areas around the lake. I can’t blame them, I would have loved to go on the ferry but sadly I didn’t have enough time. Waterhead coffeeshop on the lakeside is a great place to while away an afternoon, the blueberry scones are delightful. I loved sitting on the small patio as it had a great view of the boats and it was out of the way of the passing crowds.
Sadly, whilst in Ambleside I didn’t have much luck with eating out. Each place I tried was either fully booked or closed. But, we did find a café hidden in a garden centre which did great food. Hayes Garden World is a great place to visit, I’ll admit I don’t mind shopping if it is in a garden centre. Back to the food, I ordered a Roasted Mediterranean vegetable, pesto and mozzarella panini which was just as good as a real restaurant. They also do cakes but I had no space left to eat one after devouring my lunch (and some of my photographer’s too).
Ambleside is a great location to get to many areas of the Lakes and to do many nearby activities. I visited Stock ghyll force, Stagshaw gardens and Tod crag. Though if you are feeling more adventurous you can hike to nearby Rydal Cave and even Grasmere. A hike I would love to do in the future.
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