Ambleside is a small town but has a good range of shops for food supplies and outdoor kit. The centre has a great variety of cafés, restaurants and takeaways as well as pubs and a cinema.
Just next to the town, Rothay Park offers a large expanse of grass for sports and dog walks and a separate area with an adventure play park for young children. Ambleside also has a tennis court, crazy golf course and a climbing wall.
Ambleside is one of the few places were traditional Cumbrian sports are held in the summer. Also in the summer there is an annual rush-bearing procession and service, and at the end of November a lantern procession which culminates in the lighting of the Christmas lights.