Amberley Museum

Amberley Station West Sussex BN18 9LT

Amberley Museum is an amazing place tucked away in the South Downs between Storrington and Arundel, with over 40 buildings that focus on the industrial history of the Southeast. It's a fascinating stash scattered around a huge site, situated in a disused chalk pit immediately below the South Downs Way, and lovingly run by an army of some 400 volunteers. There's a vintage bus service and a little train trundling along a line that once served the pit to save your feet, but much of the fun here is derived from pottering around and chancing upon the abundance of relics and bygones, and chatting to craftspeople – wheelwrights, blacksmiths, etc – who work here variously restoring machinery, running the hot-metal printworks, making besoms, repairing bicycles within a timewarp workshop, operating pole lathes and much else. Of the many museums within are the Electricity Hall, with a nostalgia-inducing gallery of defunct domestic electrical appliances, a 1950s fire station, a vintage wireless exhibition, a huge collection of narrow-gauge industrial railway locos and rolling stock, and a museum of roads and roadmaking. Further exhibits include a working printshop, lime kilns and more. There's also a café, gift shop, playground, nature trails and picnic areas, and the charitable organisation that runs the museum is also particularly proud of the wildlife that lives hereabouts, including peregrine falcons and no less than 129 types of fungi!

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