Ambleside is surrounded by beautiful country towns and villages, each with its own unique character. Head out and explore after a hearty breakfast at Elder Grove, discovering award winning attractions, interesting museums, local delicacies and much more. 



At A Glance

Surrounded by mountains and located next to the picturesque Derwentwater, the market town of Keswick is a not-so-hidden gem in the northern Lake District. 

Derwentwater in the Lake DistrictSee & Do

  • Did you know? Keswick is the home of the first pencil – and the Derwent Pencil Museum is the place to go to learn all about it! Walk through a replica graphite mine, see one of the world’s largest colour pencils, enjoy art workshops, and learn all about the humble pencil.
  • A short stroll from the centre of Keswick is all it takes to reach the shores of Derwentwater. A path of around 8 miles runs around the perimeter, making for an incredibly scenic walk which takes in beautiful views of the lake. There’s also the option to get out onto the water aboard the Keswick Launch, or explore at your own pace by hiring a rowing boat. 
  • Keswick is surrounded by some simply stunning walks. Catbells is known for its relatively easy ascent and breath-taking views over Keswick and Derwentwater, while the walk around the 4,000 year old Castlerigg Stone Circle combines history with the great outdoors.


At A Glance

Charming and picturesque, Grasmere lies a few miles north of Ambleside. The village is known as the home of Grasmere Gingerbread, and a visit to the traditional shop which sells this Lakeland sweet treat is a must. 

See & Do

  • Learn more about the life and works of the famous poet, William Wordsworth, who spent much of his life in the Lake District. Dove Cottage in Grasmere was his home for almost ten years, and today it stands as a tribute to the former Poet Laureate alongside the interesting and informative Wordsworth Museum.
  • Tucked away on a hillside overlooking Grasmere, Allan Bank is a lovely country home which was once the residence of National Trust founder, Canon Rawnsley. Today, a trip to Allan Bank makes for a relaxed experience as you explore the house at your own pace, enjoying indoor activities or a picnic on the lawn.
  • Grasmere is surrounded by beautiful countryside, so why not put on your walking boots and head off on a walk! Easedale Tarn is a great option for a walk from the town centre; Grasmere is also within walking distance of Ambleside, either via Loughrigg Fell or Rydal Caves. 


At A Glance

A popular village with a quaint main street, Windermere may be small, but it’s full of charm and character! Around a mile and a half from Lake Windermere itself, stop in Windermere before heading down to Bowness. 

See & DoHomeground cafe in Windermere

  • For an easy and relaxing walk which leads to breathtaking views over Lake Windermere, Orrest Head is the perfect choice. The walk begins in Windermere, taking you through woodland above the town and up to the spectacular Orrest Head viewpoint.
  • Windermere is home to plenty of great local, independent shops selling everything local ales and gins, to quirky Lake District souvenirs. The flagship Lakeland store can also be found in Windermere and is well worth a visit for its imaginative range of kitchenware, and its cafe overlooking the village.
  • Talking of cafes, Windermere is a great place to grab a bite to eat: Homeground Coffee + Kitchen is great for all day brunches and excellent coffee, while Cafe Italia is a popular choice for evening drinks.



At A Glance

This popular Lakeland town boasts a fantastic location on the shores of Lake Windermere, and is known for its great bars, restaurants and shops. Enjoy lakeside walks and award winning attractions in this bustling Lakeland hotspot.

See & Do

  • The World of Beatrix Potter is an interactive experience which is a must-visit for fans of the popular illustrator and author. Explore Jemima Puddleduck’s woodland glade; see Mrs Tiggywinkle’s kitchen; and take a walk through Peter Rabbit’s garden.  
  • Discover works by arts & crafts designers at Blackwell Arts & Crafts House, which overlooks Lake Windermere and makes for an interesting way to learn more about life in the Victorian era.
  • Set sail on a Windermere Lake Cruise to enjoy beautiful views from the water (guests at Elder Grove can enjoy a 10% discount – just ask at reception for more details). Alight at any of the jetties around the lake, including Ambleside and the Brockhole Visitor Centre; or stay on board and see the lake in all its glory.
  • Learn more about Lake Windermere’s boating industry at the Windermere Jetty Museum, which boasts a collection of historic boats as well as a conservation workshop and heritage boat trips onto the Lake.



At A Glance

Known as the gateway to the Lakes, Kendal is a pretty market town known for its vibrant arts and culture scene. It’s also home to independent shops and cafes, as well as boasting proximity to some lovely walks. 

Kendal CastleSee & Do

  • A hub of arts and culture, The Brewery Arts Centre runs a regular program of events throughout the year, including concerts, theatre performances and workshops. There’s also a bar, restaurant and cinema showing the latest releases as well as independent films.
  • An award-winning art gallery located in a Grade I listed villa, Abbot Hall features exhibitions by George Romney, Barbara Hepworth and Kurt Schwitters.
  • Perched on a hill with sweeping views across the town and the fells beyond, Kendal Castle was likely built in the late 12th century. The walk up to the castle from the centre of town is popular with visitors and locals, and well worth doing before heading back into town for coffee and cake at a local cafe.



At A Glance

Nestled amidst the Furness Fells, Coniston is great for outdoor enthusiasts: it boasts proximity to mountain walks, bike trails and water sports; as well as cultural attractions. 

See & DoBrantwood Coniston

  • The Victorian art critic and artist John Ruskin spent much of his life in Coniston: today, his former home of Brantwood stands in tribute to his memory, with exhibits allowing a look into his life and works.
  • Coniston Water is one of the Lake District’s larger lakes, making for a great place to enjoy a picnic or a stroll along its shoreline. Take a cruise of the lake on board a traditional Victorian steam yacht, or head to the Coniston Boating Centre for water sports including paddle boarding and kayaking.
  • Coniston is a walker’s dream, with the 803m high Coniston Old Man proving a popular choice for hikers of all levels. The Coppermines Valley is another great place for a walk, while the beauty spot of Tarn Hows is also reachable by foot from Coniston.



At A Glance

Charming cobblestone streets, whitewashed cottages, independent shops, cosy country pubs…Hawkshead is the definition of a pretty Lake District village, located just a few miles from Ambleside.

See & Do 

  • Wander the cobblestone streets of the village and pop in to the local shops and cafes to be found here. The Hawkshead Relish shop is a must visit for award winning homemade jams, chutneys and relishes.
  • Beatrix Potter’s husband once lived and worked in Hawkshead; his former office is now the Beatrix Potter Gallery, displaying works by the popular author. Explore this 17th century building, before heading off to the nearby Hill Top House to see where Miss Potter once lived.
  • William Wordsworth attended school in Hawkshead at the Old Grammar School, which is now open to visitors. Be sure to take a look at the carvings on the old school desks, where Wordsworth himself left his mark.


We are always on hand to offer our local knowledge when it comes to exploring the Lake District – so don’t hesitate to ask if there’s something you’d like to know!