Ambleside is a beautiful area in affluent West Vancouver with a sandy beach, lovely park, seawall walking paths along the water and a trendy shopping village.
Ambleside Park and Beach
One of the North Shore‘s most popular parks, Ambleside has a paved walkway along the water. While sections of the walkway go by the road/parking lot, the majority are along the grass parkland and sandy beaches.
The best sections of West Vancouver’s seawall are east from 13th Street toward the Lions Gate Bridge, which also has a cycling route. John Lawson Park at 16th heading west toward Dundarave is beautiful as well.
Where is Ambleside?
Ambleside Park is located at 1150 Marine Drive in West Vancouver. It runs from the bottom of 13th Street (where its main entrance is) all the way to the mouth of the Capilano River. Just south of the eastern part of the park is Park Royal mall.
What is Ambleside Park Like?
Ambleside is a perfect place to spend summer days at the beach and go for strolls year-round while admiring the views of Stanley Park across the water and ships going under the Lions Gate Bridge.
From Ambleside, you can walk all the way to Dundarave, another little village area in West Vancouver. You will pass soccer fields, children’s playgrounds and sandy beaches along the way.
The main beach at Ambleside is beautiful. The sand isn’t always the cleanest, as it sometimes gets a fair bit of debris from the ocean such as small pieces of wood. Nevertheless, it is still very picturesque and a wonderful place to spend the day. The pier at Ambleside is also very popular, especially with people fishing.
The concession stand at Ambleside is a convenient place to grab a snack while enjoying some fresh air. From late May until July 1st it is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 5 pm. From July 2nd until the first week of September it is open from 11 am to 7 pm Mondays to Fridays and 10 am to 8 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Ambleside Village lies along Bellevue Street and Marine Drive where you’ll find lots of small shops, coffee shops and restaurants.
Ambleside is the location of West Vancouver’s main festivals. These include the Persian New Year Fire Festival in mid-March, West Vancouver Community Day in early June, the Harmony Arts Festival in early August, Ambleside Live Rock Festival in late August and the Coho Festival in early September each year.
From May until October, Ambleside is also home to West Vancouver’s weekly farmers market. The market takes place on Sundays from 10 am until 3 pm at the entrance to the park.
Additional Facts About Ambleside:
- Except for the sandy beach, the park at Ambleside is wheelchair accessible.
- You can fish off the Ambleside Pier and use crab nets – just be sure to have a saltwater license.
- There is a walking trail and a bike trail (although the bike path does go through the parking lot for a bit).
- There is an off-leash dog park in the far East section of the park.
Ambleside is a fantastic place to admire the sun setting on the horizon, especially during the darker months from October to March. Check out February North Shore Sunsets for more Ambleside sunset photos, as well as some from Dundarave and North Vancouver.
Dog-Friendly Park at Ambleside
Dogs are only allowed on-leash on the seawall at Ambleside. However, there is also an area for the pets to stretch their legs off-leash at the East end of the park (closest to the Lions Gate Bridge). To access this area, walk along the seawall past the pond and the golf course. There, you will find a beach and a small grassy area for the animals to play on.
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips to help you make the most out of your visit to Ambleside.
TIP #1: Take your golf clubs for the pitch and putt at the Ambleside Par 3 Course. It’s a fun little course open in the warmer season.
TIP #2: The beach at Ambleside is beautiful and a great place to spend time in the sun on the sand. However, the water isn’t the cleanest. That’s because the main sewage outlet for the North Shore empties into water not too far away. The water at Ambleside is safe to swim in, but not as clean as in other parts of the Lower Mainland.
Click the following link for more information about Metro Vancouver’s other top beaches.
See West Vancouver to learn more about the city and its other great attractions.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- West Vancouver’s Dundarave
- Places for a Walk, Jog or Cycle
- Vancouver on a Budget
- The North Shore
- Vancouver Parks and Nature
- Marine Drive on the North Shore