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Ambleside good base for hiking in the area?

Woodstock, Illinois
Level Contributor
491 posts
18 reviews
Ambleside good base for hiking in the area?

I'm starting to do some long-range planning for a Spring hiking trip to the Lake District. It appears that Ambleside has plenty of bus routes going through where I can easily make connections to any number of trailheads in the area.

Am I correct in this, or is there a better town in the area for a base, as far as transportation? I prefer a smaller town and really don't want to stay in Windermere, which looks like a quick bus ride should I feel the need to be more surrounded by other tourists.

I am strictly using public transportation to get around the Lakes District. I have been to the area, once, about 5 years ago so I have some familiarity of the area.

I will be staying in Keswick part of the time to cover more northerly hikes.

Edited: 05 August 2017, 17:20
Chester, United...
Level Contributor
581 posts
299 reviews
1. Re: Ambleside good base for hiking in the area?

Yes Ambleside would be a good choice for what you want to do particularly as you intend to move on to Keswick as well.

You can get the bus up to Grasmere or down the Langdale valley which will give you any number of excellent hiking opportunities.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Lake District
Level Contributor
4,314 posts
70 reviews
2. Re: Ambleside good base for hiking in the area?

Ambleside and Keswick are two excellent spots. Plenty to keep you busy from there. Low-level, mid-level, and higher.

Guildford, United...
Level Contributor
2,977 posts
83 reviews
3. Re: Ambleside good base for hiking in the area?

Between Keswick and Ambleside you can cover the majority of the central Lake District with bus assistance. The only really difficult places to reach would be anything east of the Kirkstone Pass and the SW part around Wasdale and Ennerdale.

Scafell Pike is better reached from Borrowdale (bus from Keswick) as a circular walk can be made, from Langdale there is really only 1 way up and down.

Winchelsea, United...
Destination Expert
for West Sussex, East Sussex
Level Contributor
6,358 posts
15 reviews
4. Re: Ambleside good base for hiking in the area?

One word of warning - if you are expecting not to be surrounded by other tourists in either Ambleside or Keswick, you will be disappointed. Both are major bases for visitors. They have plenty of outdoor shops to assist hikers.

Recent visits to both confirmed to me that (IMHO anyway), "The Golden Rule" is the best pub in Ambleside and "The Dog and Gun" in Keswick.

Cockermouth is smaller and has rather better pubs and less tourists than either - but I will have to concede that it's trickier to get to and just outside the National Park proper. That's where we always stay though.

Mike

Woodstock, Illinois
Level Contributor
491 posts
18 reviews
5. Re: Ambleside good base for hiking in the area?

Thanks for responses. I'll go onto the process of looking at the best hikes in the areas and figure out how to get to them on bus.

Workington, United...
Level Contributor
977 posts
45 reviews
6. Re: Ambleside good base for hiking in the area?

Cockermouth on the X4 and X5 bus routes to Keswick/Penrith one via back side of Bassenthwaite lake so options for walks, linking up with buses to borrowdale/Buttermere from Keswick, an all day ticket is £11 think you can get a multi day / week ticket for £28 check stagecoach.com for more info, the X4/5 buses run every hour during peak times of the day up to every half hour,

London
Destination Expert
for Lake District
Level Contributor
1,899 posts
160 reviews
7. Re: Ambleside good base for hiking in the area?

Ambleside is a great base for hiking: there's a reasonable amount you can do straight from the town, and plenty more you can do with a bus ride. However, as argyle-mikey points out, it's really not the place to go if you want to escape from the tourists. To be honest, I'm not sure that such a place exists if you also want it to be a good base for hiking and well connected by public transport.

Grasmere might be worth considering. It is more of a village than a town, certainly smaller than Ambleside. It's also served by buses and has some superb hiking direct from the village with no buses needed. On the other hand, it's one heck of a tourist trap.

Liverpool, United...
Level Contributor
3 posts
56 reviews
8. Re: Ambleside good base for hiking in the area?

Ambleside is an excellent base. As well as the buses there are the Windermere launches to transport you for other hikes. The 555 bust takes you to many places. There is a useful book called '55 from the 555' which details 55 walks from the route.

9. Re: Ambleside good base for hiking in the area?

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