Ambleside is situated at the head (North) end of Lake Windermere, the main part of the town being about half a mile from the lake. You can take the Windermere steamers to Ambleside starting at Lakeside (at the south end of the lake) or Bowness or Windermere town. Unfortunately you can't get there by rail, and in the busy periods parking is neither easy nor cheap.

Ambleside is picturesque, most of the houses and shops being built from the local slate, even the new ones although this is probably due to strictly-applied planning regulations rather than a desire to harmonise with existing buildings.

The most famous landmark is the house on the bridge, there are stories about it being built there to avoid taxes, but in reality it was once the summer house belonging to Ambleside hall. The remainder of the hall is long-since demolished.

Ambleside contains a plethora of shops selling all types of outdoor gear.

South of the main part of the town, at the head of Windermere is the site of an old Roman fort named Galava.

In the town is a glass making factory where there are regular demonstrations. Pieces range from very modestly priced candle holders to more elaborate lamps etc.