The southern end of Ambleside is known as Waterhead. Here, at the northern tip of Windermere, are a few hotels and restaurants as well as a large YHA hostel occupying a stunning lakeside location.
The remains of a Roman fort, probably Galava, can be found on the lakeside meadows. This was part of a chain of forts that included Glannoventa, now Ravenglass, on the Irish Sea coast and Brocavum, modern-day Brougham near Penrith. The surviving stone structures include the headquarters and granaries as well as parts of the gates and walls. The area is open to the public at all times and there is no entrance fee.
Waterhead is also home to a Windermere Lake Cruises pier. Bowness is a half-hour boat trip away, and you can also reach Brockhole, Wray Castle, Windermere Jetty Museum and even Lakeside from here.
Nearby is the National Trust’s Stagshaw Garden, known for its collection of rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas which bursts into vibrant colour every spring.