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Your studies at our Ambleside campus will be unrivalled. We are the only UK university within a National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Set in the heart of The Lake District, you’ll get unrivalled access to a 912-square-mile picturesque patchwork - with more than 150 high peaks, 16 lakes, an abundance of rivers and its rich and unique habitats and wildlife. Whatever course you embark upon at Ambleside, you’ll quite literally have an idyllic outdoor classroom on your doorstep.

Ambleside is a wonderful place to live and study; the campus is compact and friendly, located just two minutes walk from the town centre. On a clear day you can even enjoy amazing views over the Lake District from the top of the campus. The range of study facilities on offer include a library, lecture theatres, student residences and The Barn; a flexible learning space with social and study areas. As a student studying at Ambleside you will also have access to our very own climbing wall.

The University of Cumbria works collaboratively with a range of collaborative regional partners and is proud to have been part of the successful UNESCO bid.

Find your course at Ambleside

The Lake District - A World Heritage Site

In July 2017, the Lake District National Park was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, the Lake District is the ideal place to visit for outdoor enthusiasts.

Our Ambleside campus is right in the middle of the action, so come along and enjoy studying in the heart of a beautiful World Heritage site.


Set in the heart of the Lake District, Ambleside is the perfect backdrop for University life and your Student Experience. We offer a variety of accommodation, all of which provide excellent facilities for study and recreation. We have added bespoke student halls to Ambleside Campus, which opened in September 2016.

Ambleside accommodation

“Ambleside was perfect for me as it gave me the academic stimulation I need, coupled with the freedom I crave. Stunning mountains, rivers, lakes, woodland all on your doorstep. A charming old town in a beautiful setting. It felt like home and I miss it dearly.”

More student stories

Getting to Ambleside

Ambleside Campus The Barn, Rydal Road, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 9BB Phone: 015394 30274


Ambleside is just north of Windermere, Cumbria. Postcode for sat navs is LA22 9BB.

  • From the North: Take the A591 which brings you directly onto Rydal Road. The campus is on your left hand side.
  • From the South: Take the A591 from Windermere which brings you onto Lake Road. At the start of the one-way system bear left onto Wansfell Road and then right onto the A593. Follow this road round through the town centre and at the traffic lights turn left onto Rydal Road. The campus entrance is on your right hand side.

Pay and display parking

Pay and display parking is available for students, staff and visitors without a parking permit. Please see the table below for prices.

Pay-and-display parking charges

Length of timePrice
0-1 hours £1.40
1-2 hours £2.70
2-4 hours £4.60
4-8 hours £5.80
8-10 hours £7.00

Parking permits

Visitors (including open days, course interviews and conferences)

Open day attendees, course interview candidates, conference delegates and other visitors should be provided with parking information and permits by their hosts.

This will involve either a dedicated visitors parking area, supply of a visitors' parking permit, or use of pay-and-display. Visitors' parking permits might be provided in advance or arrangements made for their collection on arrival.

Unless a dedicated visitors' parking area has been provided, visitors' parking permits are valid in any non-allocated parking space.

Where an area is designated for visitors parking, staff and students with a parking permit or pay and display ticket must not park there.

For the avoidance of doubt, the following definitions are used in deciding eligibility:

  • ‘Bona fide’ visitors are people who have been invited to the university and are not being paid. This includes people who are paying to attend an event but who are not students. This would include open days, conference delegates and registration events.

  • Contractors and consultants are regarded as permanent employees for parking purposes. This means that they would need to use pay and display parking or purchase a twelve week or annual parking permit.


LocationPermit typePrices
All campuses Salary Band 1 – Up to £10,500 £50.50
All campuses Salary Band 2 – £10,500 - £15,000 £107.40
All campuses Salary Band 3 - £15,000 - £25,000 £132.40
All campuses Salary Band 4 - £25,000 - £35,000 £154.20
All campuses Salary Band 5 - £35,000 - £42,000 £197.90
All campuses Salary Band 6 – Over £42,000 £232.10
All campuses Car Share £41.00
All campuses 12-week permits £43.70
All campuses Zero VED permit 50% discount on any of the above permit prices

Apply for a staff parking permit

Changes to/reissue of permits

For any change to an existing permit, including re-issue in the event of loss or damage, an administration fee of £5 is payable.

On-street parking

Staff and students are asked not to park on neighbouring residential streets and to respect all Residents Parking areas.

Off-campus parking

For off-campus parking, long-term parking permits for South Lakeland District Council car parks are available online.  Drivers of “A” rated vehicles (CO2 emissions under 100g/km) are eligible for a discount.


Student parking permit charges
Permit typePrices
12 months £64.00
Car share £33.00
12-week permit £25.50
Zero VED permit 50% discount on any of the above permit prices

Apply for a parking permit

On-campus parking

Parking permits are available for all students. 

Off-campus parking

For off-campus parking, long-term parking permits for South Lakeland District Council car parks are available online. Drivers of “A” rated vehicles (CO2 emissions under 100g/km) are eligible for a discount.

On-street parking

Staff and students are asked not to park on neighbouring residential streets and to respect all Residents Parking areas.

Parking access

Staff, student and visitor permit holders can use any car parking space within the University campus at Ambleside (including, for avoidance of doubt, the Pay and Display areas) but not spaces that are specifically allocated and signed for any other purpose.

Pay and Display parking is available in the lower car parks on the campus. It is possible to pay for this by coins or by phone. Instructions for both are available at the Pay and Display machines.

Do not attempt to drive large vehicles (anything larger than a standard wheelbase van) up Nook Lane - if you are at all unsure, it is recommended to walk the route first before committing in a vehicle. If you require a large vehicle to attend, for example due to emergency or breakdown, please contact University staff in the Barn who will advise whether access can be provided via the North Entrance. Despite this, it is unlikely that large vehicles would be to access the front of CMB (visitor and disabled parking).

Priority spaces

Disabled parking spaces are available immediately outside the main entrance to the Charlotte Mason Building.

Car share priority spaces are available in two locations on campus: adjacent to Borrowdale and Scale How.

Unloading and contractors parking permits are available from Ambleside Reception at The Barn.

Download the Traffic Regulations and Car Parking Policy


The issue of permits, management of University car parks and issue of Parking Charge Notices is currently managed by Excel Parking Services Ltd.  Excel have a dedicated email address for University of Cumbria enquiries: Alternatively, you can use their general enquiry phone number: 0114 261 7111.

Any correspondence relating to the issue of a PCN must be directed to Excel Parking Services Ltd. This is not dealt with by the University. If you are dissatisfied with the issuing of a PCN you can appeal to Excel Parking Services Ltd. If you are not satisfied with the response from Excel Parking Services Ltd, you can appeal to the national Independent Appeals Service. Details of this will be provided with the PCN.

If you believe that there is a problem with a University Car Park (eg, the Pay and Display machine isn’t working), please report this to the site reception.

If you have any other queries about this policy please contact FM Administration in the first instance. They can be contacted at: 01524 590831 / email:

Travel questions?

If you have any queries about travelling while at the University of Cumbria, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Phone: 01524 590 831

Bicycle parking

Bicycle parking is available on campus - please see the Ambleside campus map for details.

Anyone using the bicycle parking must ensure that they lock their bicycle securely to the racks. The university does not accept liability for any property that is lost, stolen or damaged on campus.

Public transport

The town of Ambleside is small enough that you can get most everywhere on foot.

Train travel

Windermere is the nearest train station to our Ambleside campus. There is a bus to Windermere every hour.

Rent a moped

If your usual home address is in Cumbria and you face difficulties getting to our university, it might be possible to loan you a moped at a heavily discounted rate. The moped could be used to get to one of our campuses or to get you to a bus stop or train station.

The moped loan scheme called Wheels 2 Work (W2W) is operated by Inspira and all arrangements would be made with their W2W Co-ordinator.

To be eligible for a loan:

  • You must be under 20 years old and your permanent address must be in Cumbria.
  • You will have difficulty accessing one of our courses because of transport problems.

If a loan is agreed:

  • The maximum hire period for accessing an education course is ten months.
  • A one-day training course is provided and must be completed before the moped is handed over.
  • The loan fee includes full outer clothing, helmet and insurance, you just need to add fuel.

Your journey would be assessed by Inspira.

For more details please phone Deborah Naylor on 01900 604674 or email

There is so much to do and get involved in at Ambleside. Whether that be joining one of our sports clubs, being part of our student union or taking part in a fundraising event for the local community.

Use your downtime to explore further, make the most of the campus sporting equipment, and immerse yourself in this spectacular landscape, from the UK’s largest lake to the highest mountain in England. Make the University of Cumbria your world.

Find out more about this unique area from Cumbria Tourism and the Lake District National Park

The Barn Café

Opened in January 2014, The Barn Café forms the social hub of the Ambleside campus - a great place to catch up with friends, hold informal meetings or take a break from your studies. Situated in the same building as the library and near to the IT facilities, it’s ideally located to help you make the most of your time on campus.

The Barn’s menu offers a wide range of sandwiches and snacks as awell as excellent tea and coffee and a wide range of cold drinks. Vending facilities are also available outisde of the cafe’s main opening hours.

Opening hours

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 8:30am - 4pm
Wednesday and Friday 8:30am - 2pm

Phone: 015394 31450

Climbing Wall

Practise your climbing skills before hitting the fells on our climbing wall.

Our climbing wall is located on campus, so it's very convenient for students wanting to practise for their next practical session or just keep fit.

Students' Union

The University of Cumbria Students' Union (UCSU) represents the views and interests of our students.

The Students' Union organises a range of events - from Freshers' week right through to Graduation - to help you meet new friends, develop skills, celebrate success and provide opportunities to enhance your student life.

They also run a wide variety of student groups, societies and sports teams.

Find out about the Students' Union

What’s happening at Ambleside?

Ambleside News

Friday March 13 2020

Staff and students row for Sport Relief

Staff and students from the University of Cumbria have been taking part in a national rowing challenge for #sportrelief2020. Two teams took to Lake Windermere for Row Britannia, which is raising funds for Sport Relief. A team of staff led by Vice Chancellor, Professor Julie Mennell took on a team of students. She led them to victory, smashing a record for the 10 mile row from Windermere’s southern tip at Fell Foot to Brathay in two hours 11 minutes, beating a previous best set by an RAF team.

Row Britannia Sport Relief news release

Tuesday March 3 2020

Push for outdoor citizen status for every child

As national attention focuses on the payback of outdoor experiences for children, a leading academic takes centre stage to explain how risk management and adventure need to be embraced. Professor of outdoor and environmental education at University of Cumbria’s Institute of Science, Natural Resources and Outdoor Studies, Heather Prince will share a passion that all young people should have access to potentially life changing activities.

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