I have fond childhood memories of visiting the Amberley Museum with my mum when I was small, and then as a school trip in year 5 or 6 (I remember someone being sick on the coach too!) so was really looking forward to heading round to find out what’s changed and seeing the museum from a more adult perspective too. Until the end of April you can get 2 for 1 tickets if you travel via public transport, and lots more attractions are involved too, more info at the end of the post!
When we first arrived we were given a map which explained where everything was, but there are signposts all around to point you in the right direction, and you can get the bus or the train to the other end too!
Near the entrance is a cafe with indoor and outdoor seating, where we had lunch. There are plenty of grassy areas and picnic benches though if you wanted to bring your own food!
We strolled through the Vintage Wireless exhibition, mainly because my dad is a HUGE wireless fan and probably has at least half the amount that were in display! I took a load of photos to email him but when he next comes down to visit I think we’ll be taking a trip back! After that we headed in the direction of the traditional crafts area, where there were broom makers, potters and woodturners (to name a few!) all working and showing their trades in traditional ways. It was really amazing to see people working as they would have done hundreds of years ago!
There is so much to see and do that it is worth spending a whole day out there, we arrived just before lunch but managed to see quite a lot, though I imagine that when Athena is old enough to ask questions that it would take a lot longer (plus she will want to go on the train more than once or make something at the pottery shed!) We explored the Connected Earth and The Energy Electricity Halls, both of which were incredibly fascinating to Sam, but ever so slightly less so to me so after I’d gone round each one once (I played with Athena in the grass, where we saw this lizard!)
We then toured through the pottery, the brick drying shed and moved on to the Fire Station, which housed 3 ancient fire engines, one from Hove! Many of the buildings in the heritage centre have been transported here and rebuilt brick by brick to retain history for future generations, with information about how they would have been used originally. The centre is so much bigger than I remembered from my school days, which lots more to see and do. You can view all the exhibitions here, and all their special events here. We’ll hopefully make it back for the Ale, Food & Music festival in August!
To encourage more visitors to travel by bus and train, 13 attractions are offering 2-for-1 entrance fees for people arriving by bus or train under the ‘Discover More of the South Downs for Less’ initiative which runs until the end of April. There are really decent train routes throughout the South Downs National Park, and travelling by train helps reduce air pollution, and reduce congestion.For further information about the attractions included in the offer, and how to get to them by bus and train, please visit www.southdowns.gov.uk/discover. We chose to visit Amberley Museum, which is is on the Arun Valley Line, and is served by frequent train services from London Victoria and the south coast. If you visit www.southernrailway.com you can plan your journey and buy tickets.
We were given free entry to the Museum, had a thoroughly lovely day and will be going back again soon of our own accord!