Ambleside, located at the northern tip of Lake Windermere, is a major transport hub for boats, buses and cars (but beware those heavily congested roads in summer). It is home to huge range of hotels (see Ambleside Hotels – Award winning expert hotel reviews, from cheap to luxury hotels in Ambleside), plus it boasts shopping, dining and a host of attractions on the doorstep.

Get your boots on

Character wise, Ambleside feels like more of a walker’s town. The abundance of outdoors shops and places selling OS maps lends a slightly serious air to the place. So pull on your Gore-Tex jacket and break out the Kendal mint cake. If you like your trip more active, then make this place your walker-friendly base.