Ambleside: The Gruff Guide by Paul Renouf and Sarah Waterhouse, £9.99

THIS beautiful little guide to a “unique community in the Lake District” is very different to most other guidebooks. Leaving the general hotel and B&B listings to the wealth of other sources available, this book is written by local people offering a true insight into the history, the secrets and the passions of a remarkable community. It includes a walking tour of the pubs and bars, tales of old Ambleside, traditions, sports, notable buildings, flora and fauna and even a chapter covering “a few famous dead residents.”

The typeface used allows this to feel as though you are reading a book handwritten just for you and Sarah's illustrations are at once detailed and hilarious.

If you want to know more about one of Cumbria's most well known towns you can buy a copy of the book directly from and, hopefully very soon, from all bookshops in Cumbria.