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Countrystride #103: AMBLESIDE - A town through time which we take a tour of honeypot Ambleside in the company of Blue Badge guide, and lover of all things Ambleside, Alison Pickering. Setting out from Rothay Park, we visit the riverside Roman Fort, once a thriving settlement with strategic links throughout Cumbria, before making our way via the centuries-spanning milling powerhouse of Stock Ghyll into the centre of town to talk about its industrial transition from wool town to tourist mecca. As we wander, under pristine spring skies, we learn about the Roman gifts of damsons and apples; the battle to save Stock Ghyll Park; and the real purpose of diminutive Bridge House, before asking why the town's chapel was only in use for 43 years; and what a Victorian tourist would pack into their busy Lakeland tour.

Rooftops of Ambleside, Fairfield Horseshoe on the horizon.

Alison Pickering, our (Blue Badge) guide for the day.

Paddleboarders on the Rothay as we approach Borrans Park.

Ambleside Roman Fort.

Alison in the fort's strongroom.

The Salutation Hotel - or 'Sallie' - one of the town's oldest coaching inns.

The re-sited market cross, that is not actually a cross.

How Head - one of the town's earliest buildings, in Above Stock.

Bridge House, former apple store of the Braithwaite family.


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