Welcome to The Armitt – a museum, gallery, and library full of interesting and unusual objects telling the history and heritage of Ambleside and its people. Tickets to visit the museum and exhibitions can be booked online using the website or alternatively at the museum’s visitor reception. Three exhibitions are running so please explore these as well as the extensive and comprehensive series of collections. We look forward to welcoming you and helping you explore the heritage of the Lakeland world.

Our Current Exhibitions

There was so much more to Beatrix Potter than just her creation of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-duck and Mrs Tiggywinkle. The Armitt shares the stories of a passionate environmentalist and keen farmer, as well as displaying some of her amazing fungi watercolours.  

A new exhibition focusing on the life and work of Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley and his dedication to protecting and preserving the Lake District. A benefactor, patron, donor, and sponsor, he was a true pioneer. The exhibition features items from the Keswick School of Industrial Art that Rawnsley founded with his wife in 1884.

A brand new exhibition showcasing a number of artworks from The Armitt’s collection that have never been shown before. The display encourages the visitor to think about the land as an expression of its people, what they thought important, and how we see, think, and feel about it today.

The Collections

Beatrix Potter
The Armitt has been the home of Beatrix Potter’s fungi, natural history, and archaeological artworks since the 1940s.
These tell a fascinating story of a young person passionate about the environment and world around her. Explore the collection further.

Kurt Schwitters
German-born artist Kurt Schwitters settled in Ambleside in 1945. Many of his paintings are now in The Armitt’s collection, including Silver Howe, Bowl of Flowers, and Dr Johnston. Find out more about the artist and his works here.

The Armitt Sisters
The Armitt was named for, and after, Mary Louisa Armitt who wished that there would be “a place for academic and booklovers and eventually a museum might be made that should illustrate the life of Ambleside, through the long past to the present”. Discover the Armitt sisters’ story.

The mountaineering, along with the climbing and walking, collection at The Armitt has as much interest today as ever, and it covers a variety of material from books and maps to photographs, axes, and boots. Learn more on the material in our archive.

With over 32,000 items in the photographic collection at The Armitt, there is something for everyone amongst the glass plates, negatives, photographs, and objects. It showcases the local, social, and economic history of Ambleside and its surroundings. See some for yourself.

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