The Armitt is a unique combination of museum, library, and gallery devoted to preserving and sharing the cultural heritage of the Lake District, situated in arguably the most picturesque village in the Lake District, Ambleside.
We have remarkable collections of objects, artworks, and books. We invite you to delve into the interesting Lakeland world and hope you leave feeling inspired to come back again.

Our current exhibitions are:

Beatrix Potter:
More than just storytelling – 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.

Visions of Land:
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.

Defender of the Lakes – 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.


November 2021 – March 2022
Wednesday – Saturday 10:30am – 4:30pm, last entry at 4pm

The Armitt will be closed for the season from:
19 December 2021
and will reopen on:
16 February 2022

Adults £6 including gift aid
Students £4
Children (under 16) Free
Museum Association
and Art Fund Members Free

Admission tickets can now be booked in advance online here

If you would like to make a donation to the Armitt – please use the donation button below




Children’s Trails:
Pick up one of our trails from visitor reception and hunt through the museum to find all the answers. Enjoy, find, and learn as you explore through our exhibitions!

Behind the scenes at The Armitt:
Discover hidden treasures in our archive in these special ‘Behind the Scenes’ events. In our new Friday evening series, we will explore different collections on topics including Beatrix Potter, Kurt Schwitters, Charlotte Mason, and the Ambleside Roman Fort. Attendees can delve into our museum stores and see our most treasured artefacts – you might even handle some yourself! Starting from Friday 20th August running through to Friday 29th October. Tickets must be booked in advance and there are limited spaces, so book now! Book tickets by clicking here

October Half Term Art Workshop:
Artist, Claire Griffel will share lots of ways to use Autumn colour with acrylic paints and a mixture of chalk and oil pastels using different sizes and shapes of paper and card. You can even find ideas about Autumn from Beatrix Potter’s paintings of animals as well as patterns and shapes . . . all there waiting for you to find them in the museum. Everyone will have some finished art work by the end of the session to keep or to give to friends and family. Tickets must be booked in advance. Book tickets by clicking here

A Lake District Christmas: Tales and traditions of Cumbrian Yuletides past:
Alan Cleaver, author of the newly-published book ‘A Lake District Christmas’, will ease us gently into the festive season with tales of those days when snow fell heavy on the fells, there was skating on Windermere, minstrels sung carols under your bedroom window… and a Christmas ghost was never far away! Drawing on archived diaries, newspaper reports, books and memories from locals, Alan will talk about how Christmas was celebrated in the historic counties of Cumberland and Westmorland. Join us at The Armitt for an evening of festive cheer, nostalgia and mulled wine. There will even be a chance to do some Christmas shopping. Book tickets by clicking here


The Armitt continues to take every reasonable step to ensure you can have a safe and enjoyable visit to the museum.

We are still displaying the NHS track and trace poster or asking for your details on entry, have counter screens and sanitiser at the visitor reception for staff, volunteer, and visitor comfort, and the one-way route is remaining in place.

We would like to ask everyone (unless exempt) to be respectful and wear a mask around the museum. Our staff and volunteers will continue to do so when not behind a screen or working at a desk. Please also maintain social distancing with anyone not within your group and do not attend if you have COVID symptoms, or have come into contact with anyone who has had symptoms of COVID in the last 14 days.


From the south, leave the M6 at junction 36 and follow the signs for Kendal, Windermere and Ambleside. Travel into Ambleside, following the A591; pass the Bridge House, cross the mini-roundabout, then take the first right turn signposted University of Cumbria Ambleside Campus.

From the north, leave the M6 at Junction 40 and follow the A66 west towards Keswick. Just before Keswick, turn off on the A591 towards Ambleside and Windermere. Follow the A591 past Grasmere and into Ambleside, past Green Bank Road. Take the left turn sign-posted University of Cumbria Ambleside Campus just before the mini-roundabout.

There is a South Lakeland District Council pay and display car park on Rydal Road, just across the road from the Armitt. There is also pay and display parking on the University of Cumbria Ambleside Campus.

The nearest train station is Windermere. There are regular buses between Windermere and Ambleside, including the 555 and the 599. The 555 route between Keswick and Lancaster travels via Ambleside.
Bus timetable information is available here.

The stair-lift is currently out of action but we are working on getting this going again as soon as possible.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

The Museum has accessible toilet facilities and a gift shop that sells a range of souvenir items and mementoes.

We support the ‘Kids in Museums’ Manifesto and welcome families in the museum and library.


We, the Friends, exist to support the Armitt Collection and encourage research and general interest in the English Lake District.

Amongst the many ways we help are by:
assisting in the purchase of additions to the collection; sponsoring specific projects by the Trust; providing a forum and interest group for the many volunteers who put so much time into the Trust; and helping to publicise the Armitt.

Friends benefit from:
FREE ENTRY to the Museum and Library; invitations to attend special Friends’ events including private views, visits to places of interest and social events; the chance to meet like-minded people who share an enthusiasm for ensuring this unique collection flourishes into the future.

The Friends of the Armitt is a charity.

Join us today!
Please contact
The Membership Secretary,
Timothy Bartlett,
c/o The Armitt
Tel.015394 47939 E-mail:


Please get in touch with any questions or queries by using this form or call us on 015394 31212



Rydal Road • Ambleside • LA22 9BL

Tel: 015394 31212


Charity number: 1054762