Map of places



The Unicorn, a Robinson’s pub, is on a narrow steep pavement less road and claims to be Ambleside’s oldest pub. It is a traditional pub also doing meals. The door opens into the centre of the pub with low white ceiling and white walls, dark beams, horse brasses and red patterned carpet. Red is also the colour of the seats and stools. There is a fireplace to the left and the servery in the right-hand corner. Opposite the servery and either side of the door along the window side is banquette seating and standard tables. Main arae of bar is dotted with small round tables and stools. Stairs to right of fireplace take you down to a small seating/dining area.

Have a pint here

Real Ale :   Dizzy Blond;  Trooper;  Cumbria Way;  Unicorn;  Double Hop IPA

Lager      :  Carling;  Hawkshead Lager;

Cider      :  Stowford Press                                       Guinness

The White Lion (an Ember Inn)is a large pub/hotel on a junction which gives it a large triangular outside seating area. The servery is to the right-hand wall of the inside taking up most of it but for seating around the window.  There are two large rooms that have been joined to make it open plan. However, the far left side has more of a dining area feel with appropriate tables and chairs, while between it and the servery is more a pub area with different styles of tables and chairs. There are alcoves at the window areas although neither are designated as such. An upmarket order food at bar joint.

Dog friendly in and out.  Cheap day for real ale on Mondays. An Ember Inn (M & B).

Have a pint here

Real Ale  :  Ember Pale Ale (Black Sheep) Cumberland (Jennings);  Five Points Pale (Five Points);  

                       Mr Jones Brixton Bitter (Rudgate);  Dave Stouty

Bitter : Tetley’s Smooth

Lager : Stella, carling, Hop House Lager, Estrella, Peroni, Coors

Cider : Aspall;  Stowford press Guinness

Click picture to enlarge....

Most people hate the taste of beer - to begin with. It is, however, a prejudice that many people have been able to overcome

   Winston Churchill

Ambleside is a small town situated on the banks of Lake Windemere. It is also a centre for tourism in The Lake District. Ambleside is not as busy with tourists as Bowness on Windermere, however, It is a centre for hill walking and outdoor pursuits and about a third of the shops are dedicated to selling materials to help with this.


It is easily reached by car from the M6.  A train would take you to Windermere then a short walk to the pier at Bowness on Windermere and a cruise to Ambleside.





What is the origin of the word biscuit?



Waterhead Hotel is right next to and overlooking Lake Windermere. Large beer garden though usual hotel size beer choice and price. There is a Pizza oven within the garden. Inside there is a small servery on the left with dining style tables and chairs beyond.

Half pint if you must

Real Ale:  Mad Pig Ale (Wild Boar)  

Bitter :  Cumberland Cream

Lager : Peroni;  Stella 4

Cider : Guinness

Let us assume that you have come the most attractive way arrive in  Ambleside which would be by sailing into Waterhead the lakeside pier 1 mile from the centre of Ambleside. Boats sail regularly from Bowness on Windermere. From the pier you can get a strange bus to carry you to the centre of town or walk the mile to the centre. Before walking you could have a drink at the Waterhead hotel and then walk up to the left.

Bus, or walk or starting from the centre of Ambleside The White Lion is the starting point (the bus drops you off here). If walking up from the lake then keep on the right-hand side and you will not miss it as you enter the shopping area.

Leaving The White Lion continue up the hill to find The Salutation Spa hotel. keeping on the right hand pavement walk up the narrow hill, North Road, away from the main road. This leads to The Unicorn and round the next corner The Golden Rule. Walking down the hill from here turn left at the bottom to walk back into town. Once at the lights cross over and go down the right-hand side to The Ambleside Tavern.

From here continue down hill and cross over turn first left to go up The Slack, a hill, at the top of which, to the left, is The Ambleside Inn at The Queen's (opposite The White Lion). Continuing on, walk down-hill on the right again, and just passed The White Lion and the drop of point, is The Royal Oak. Keep moving down towards the lake and quickly find Churchill Inn. From here continue down-hill and cross over before the junction to see the large windows of The Lily.

After this it is either walk down to the lakeside or back to the White Lion for the bus.

When you reach the lake walk past Waterhead and just beyond it on the lakeside is The Wateredge Inn and opposite it The Regent Hotel.

Bowness pubs Windermere pubs contact

Drink and Music


Kenny Chesney - You and Tequila

The Salutation Hotel is a Spa hotel offering all that that entails. The reception lobby has comfortable seating and low tables and hosts the small servery. There is an opulence about the main seating area all soft seating and thick carpet. There are dining tables along the far wall with well-priced meals. The restaurant is further into the building.  There is another seating space through an archway.

Have a half pint

Real Ale  :  Gold Wing (Strands)

Bitter :  John Smith

Lager : Stella;  Fosters

Cider : Strongbow Guinness

 The Golden Rule is another white Robinson’s pub decked in flowers and has been a countryside inn since 1723 (according to the £10 t-shirts). The entrance takes you into the main room with the servery on the wall ahead. There are also several other rooms including, one off to either side. There is a low white ceiling with dark beams with horse brasses. The white walls are decorated with brass objects and old pictures.

Carpet and furnishing coverings are in red. Banquette seating around sides with traditional brown tables. The rooms on either side are similar with red banquette seating round three sides, brown tables and couple of stools at each table. The right hand room also has a small snug. Finally, there is a board games and TV room.  Background music, large TV and meals there are not.

A narrow corridor to left of bar takes you to toilets and outdoor seating. This has some large picnic tables close to the door with some under cover and further out in the yard small round tables with seating.

Good Beer Guide ibcluding 2021

Have a pint here

Real Ale    :  Cumbria Way;  Double Hop;  Bridge House Bitter; Dizzy blonde;  Hoppy Ben Kanobi; Trooper Light Brigade

Lager : Hawkshead Lager;  Carling;  Budweisser;  Veltins

Cider : Stowford press                                Guinness

Pub info


All pubs sell real ale, even the fancy hotels feel obliged to have one while most other pubs have a least four


All pubs claim to welcome well behaved dogs with owner on lead. The Royal Oak, The White Lion, The Unicorn and Queen's Hotel also offer evening meals and dog can stay with you.

more Ambleside pubs



empty glasses

Sherlock's favourite pubs for dogs

A pretty good town for dog friendliness - lots of pubs let me in.  The Royal Oak and The White Lion both let me in at meal times. Cuddles were best at the Royal Oak. The Golden Rule and the Unicorn were favourites to visit.

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