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“Everything under many roofs - a multi-interest day out”

Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre
Ranked #2 of 30 things to do in Arundel
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: TEMPORARILY CLOSED. OPENING 7th MARCH 2018 Step back in time at Amberley Museum, a remarkable heritage site in the Sussex South Downs, between Storrington and Arundel, focusing on industrial and transport history. Most days the bus service and narrow gauge railway run, which take visitors to the far end of the site where the electricity, communications and railway exhibition halls can be found. Further exhibits include the working printshop, lime kilns, road steam engines, standard gauge line, stationary engines, greenwood village and more. The Museum is home to traditional craftspeople, such as the woodturners and blacksmith, with a cafe, gift shop, playground, nature trails and picnic areas. It’s well worth a visit and there is plenty to do in all weathers. Right next to Amberley railway station, with direct trains from London, Bognor and Portsmouth (check before you travel), we have a large, free carpark. Please see our website for further information.
Reviewed July 5, 2014

Since my last visit, probably over twenty years ago then with my young family, a lot has been added. This time I arrived with my friend by train, taking advantage of the 2-for-1 admission offer for train ticket holders, so we paid only £10 for the two of us (seniors) which included the Gift Aid donation. [Check with train operators for this offer - voucher required]. The Museum entrance is just a minute's walk from Amberley train station.

The Museum comprises many exhibitions and historical collections which are museums in themselves, and those new to me included the Roadmakers' (paviors) museum, the "Connected Earth" telecommunications hall, the Narrow-Gauge railway exhibition, and the Electricity Hall. Like other visitors, I looked to see which electrical appliances in the museum are identical to ones which I still use in my house - my coffee percolating jug was one. And it's obvious why Sussex has so many rough and pot-holed roads: the proper repair equipment such as the tar-boiler and the road-rollers (steam and diesel machines) have been consigned to the museum. The Sussex roadman's wooden caravan containing a woodburning stove is there, once pulled by a steam traction engine or steamroller. I saw the modern equivalent elsewhere in Sussex recently - it's called a Welfare Unit in big letters on the side of an expensive new white van.

We also visited other museums within the Museum, and had a train ride to the far end of the site. An old Bristol VR double-deck bus was offering slow-speed trips round the site, whilst a splendid fleet of ancient Southdown buses was on view in "Storrington Bus Garage". A revisit is essential if we want to see the many things which we did not have time for.

The ladies' loo opposite "Connected Earth" was in a disgusting condition, possibly not cleaned for weeks or perhaps longer as evidenced by staining. We reported this to Reception.

The gift shop was adequate and sensibly stocked. As another charitable rural attraction not far away had just had a burglary involving the loss of high-value goods, it seems sensible to stick to basics such as guide books, cheap toys, pictures and postcards etc. in this kind of setting. I bought a small reproduction Southern Railway poster for framing.

I noticed that there are plenty of things to interest children of all ages, not least a properly-designed fenced woodland play area.

2  Thank oldrambler62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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437 - 441 of 614 reviews

Reviewed June 15, 2014

This is a gem of a place! For all those with an interest in British history, it is well worth a visit. The museum aims to capture Sussex industrial history and try to keep it working. There is a narrow gauge railway, a bus museum, fire engine museum, pumps, electrical equipment, broadcast equipment, local crafts........ The list goes one.

The museum is located right next to Amberley rail station, so is easy to get to. If you are driving, there is free parking.

Give it a go

3  Thank Alan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2014

Just got back from Amberley Museum, we took our grandchildren, age 6 &9, they both had good time. We got there just after 11 am & did not stop till lunch time, then it was back on the bus to the pottery shop where they both made something in clay, everything here is interesting from the workshops to the adventure trail & the playground.
We left the museum at 4-45 . All the staff were helpful even thou there did not seem to be enough on duty & it looks a bit tired, we still enjoyed ourselves, the lady on the train was very good & let the children pull the whistle when we stopped at the station.
I would recommend a visit to this place.
Museums like this struggle to survive, its run only buy volunteers & need all the help they can get.

2  Thank Philip L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2014

We had a great day at the museum, and wouldn't hesitate on going back.
The staff we met were great and the two guys in the printers were the best.
The food was reasonably priced for an attraction of this type.
the gift aid tickets were not a surprise to us and in our experience there are a lot of places that have 2 prices and don't offer any extra for it. the gift aid price is that there is a flat admission price and the extra is classed as a donation ( therefore you should have the option of paying it though).
Anyway 5/5 for us and next time we are in the area we will be back.

1  Thank Shots1926
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2014

We have been to this museum previously and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, but this was the first time we brought someone in a manual wheelchair, so the experience was different in a number of ways. Firstly, this is a brilliant place to visit, so much to see and do, and the staff are all so helpful. The option of the museum offering a powered wheelchair or scooter for hire, would be a helpful one. We have been to a number of other places in the area which offer powered chairs for hire or reservation on production of the blue badge and it makes for a much easier day.

Access to the ticket office is via a ramp as is the exit, so no problems there. There are a number of displays up near the entrance and access is easy to all of them. A fascinating set of workshops and some working machinery along the route to the café. The café also has a ramp access, though the café doors are a challenge, you have a struggle to push the wheelchair through whilst trying to hold the door at the same time. Not helped by visitors having their conversation in the entry and declining to move to allow us to get through! That's not the museum's fault though.

We had easy access to all the exhibits and displays further down the site and were able to find shady spots in which to park the chair and watch the train etc. The biggest problem was getting access to the toilets that are situated towards the further end of the site. There is a disabled facility up near the entrance but its a long way to return to, pushing the chair. So we automatically assumed that there'd be a disabled toilet in the other block. Sadly, not. Trying to get the chair into the toilet block, then close enough to the toilet and help the person into the cubicle was a conundrum worthy of MENSA. PLEASE can the museum install one more larger access toilet for those in need? This didn't spoil our day, we had a good laugh about it later but it does cause stress.

If you are able bodied, this is a great place for a day out. Kids will love it, you can ride on the train, and there are plenty of activities for them. If you're disabled or with someone who is, its still a good day out but be prepared to cope with a few difficulties, which I am sure the museum will address, now they are aware of them.

3  Thank Bigardafan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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