Inside - and there's only a modest entrance fee - you'll find plenty on the history of Ambleside, art, archaeology, books, geology, photography and much more. For those scholarly folk there's also a library upstairs. And at the museum shop you'll find some unusual gifts.
There's always fascinating tit-bits in historical collections and I particularly like this featured on the Armitt's website. It's a list of suggested improvements made in The Ambleside Herald of April 3, 1880:
- That the Bowder stone should be broken up to pave High Street: a similar use being made of the Kirkstone, in case material should run short.
- That Brother's Water should be drained and an asphalt Skating Rink be erected in its place.
- That Loughrigg should be adorned by a statue of Bodgers, the late eminent philanthropist.
- That a People's Coffee-house be erected on Helvellyn.
- That Scawfell should be made easily ascendable by means of a hydraulic lift.
- That a merry-go-round, with fife and drum band, be placed within a convenient distance of Rydal Mount.
* On June 23 2011 there will be a talk on "Ambleside and the Importance of Oral History" at the Armitt Library and Musuem. It starts at 6.30pm and admission is £3. Space is limited so contact the library on 015394 31212 to reserve a place.
TOURIST TIP: As you drive into Ambleside (from Keswick) ignore that giant sign which says "Main Car Park" and points to the right. Turn left instead and you'll drive into the public car park in front of the Armitt museum where parking fees are half the price!