Local Activities

Things to do around Ambleside including family and dog friendly

Ambleside Local Events

The Lake District Summer Music Festival takes place in Ambleside and throughout The Lakes each year.

For over 200 years Ambleside Sports have been enjoyed by locals and visitors alike, just one of the many events in the Traditional Ambleside calendar. Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling, Fell Racing, Hound Trailing are just some of the annual events.

The annual Rushbearing Ceremony is very much a community event with bands playing and a parade past the gates of the Old Vicarage and on through Ambleside, followed by the children’s sports and fell races.

The Great North Swim takes place each year from Lowwood Bay on the edge of Ambleside and raises lots of money for sponsored charities and then there’s the Brathay Marathon and the “Ten in Ten”.

And let’s not forget the AMBLESIDE FATHER CHRISTMAS CRUISE AND CHRISTMAS LANTERN PARADE & LIGHTS SWITCH ON! Families from near and far come along each year to make paper lanterns in various shapes and sizes and parade through the town. It’s a  stunning sight which attracts many visitors. After the parade the Christmas lights are switched on and then everyone gathers at the fair or the park for fireworks. We have the best view from our balcony as we are right next door to the park!

The Old Vic

During your stay at The Old Vicarage we have plenty around the building that you can do. Inside you can relax in front of our open log fire, play pool, play board games, take advantage of our free wifi or use our own indoor swimming pool, hot tub & sauna.

We have our own gardens and woodlands for you to enjoy and a delightful outside terrace where you can sit outside and enjoy mother nature with a cup of tea or if you like, bring your own bottle of something stronger!


If you enjoy walking then you are in for a treat in The Lake District as there are plenty of walks you can access straight from our doorstep. You can be down by the side of Lake Windermere or up on the nearby fells within minutes.

We love walking with our dogs too and will be happy to recommend our favourite walks around Ambleside and The Lake District to you, while you are staying with us at The Old Vicarage. We have a few of our favourites written up on our blog.

Cinema & Music

If you would like some evening entertainment Ambleside is lucky to have two fantastic cinemas, Zefferellis and Fellinis, both with Vegetarian restaurants and within a 5 minute stroll from our front door.

Between Zefferellis and Fellinis there are 5 cinema screens with state of the art Dolby® Digital technology, 2 of which have Dolby® 3D capability. The cinema shows the latest movies and selected Art House films and was voted best independent cinema 2007 RAAM and included in The Guardian top 10 best independent cinemas 2010. To find out what’s on click here >>

Zefferelllis also has an upstairs Jazz bar and cafe with live music on every week. To find out more about up and coming shows click here >>


Being a family run B&B and having kids of our own, we know all about what’s on offer for children in the area.

Apart from the children’s play area and Rothay Park being a stones throw from our front door and Lake Windermere being a short walk away, there are lot’s of other child friendly activities in the area. Here are just a few.

Brockhole – Just a 10 minute drive away (or you can go by boat!) Brockhole is an excellent family day out where you can enjoy indoor or outdoor play areas, beautiful gardens, and exhibitions. There is also the tree top treks – more than 1,500 metres of giant trampolines, walkways, slides and tunnels made out of netting – all safely suspended between trees up to 9 metres off the ground! They also have a cafe with stunning views over lake Windermere and a shop selling locally sourced products.

The World of Beatrix Potter – If your children enjoy Beatrix Potter books then they will love this place. The tales are brought to life  and they can meet all of their favourite characters and dine in the Beatrix Potter themed tearoom.

The Ambleside Climbing Wall – For those little adventurers there is a great local climbing wall.

South Lakes Safari Zoo – Safari on foot and explore the animal kingdom. Come face to face with and discover Rhinos, Lions, Tigers, Bears, Hippos, Wolves, Snow leopards, Jaguar, Giant otters, Primates, Vultures, Penguins and much, much more at the UK’s most interactive animal park and Europe’s only Safari Zoo.

Go Ape  – Fancy a tree top adventure, we have a local Go Ape for you to visit which also offers the new Forest Segway Experience at Grizedale Forest.

Don’t forget that several of our rooms and suites can be converted into family rooms, give us a call to find out more.