Amberley Village and Museum

Coordinates: 50°53'N 0°32'W
Grid ref: TQ031131

Amberley village is situated at the foot of the South Downs, noted for its many thatched cottages.

Amberley is one of many West Sussex villages crossed through by the South Downs trail. Neighbouring villages are Storrington, West Chiltington and Arundel. Amberley has its own railway station on the Arun Valley Line, with regular services to Bognor Regis, Portsmouth and London. Strangely, despite its name, the house named 'The Thatched House' is one of the village's few non-thatched houses!

Amberley Thatched Cottage - now the Pottery

Amberley also has a castle, now a hotel (see below) and next to it is a Norman Church, the Parish Church of St Michael.

Amberley Church of St Michael

To the north of the village is the tidal plain of the River Arun, known as Amberley Wild Brooks. This wetland area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest which floods in winter and is well known for its wide range of wildfowl species.

Amberley Wild Brooks in flood

Good views of the Downs can be had from the Sportsman Pub at the east end of the village, known as crossgates. The Black Horse in the centre of the village often has Morris Dancing in Summer. Under the railway arch from the Working Museum (see below) and at the end of the bridge and is the aptly named Bridge Inn, which often has live music in summer.

The Bridge Inn, Amberley

Amberley Working Museum & Castle

Amberley Museum opening times - See website

A registered charity, the huge 36 acre museum was founded in 1979 in a former chalk quarry by the Southern Industrial History Centre Trust. Open mid February to early November, it is a genuine working museum, with workshops and displays of our industrial heritage and vintage transport - see museum opening times. On site are lime kilns where the quarried chalk was converted into lime for mortar. Additional buildings have been relocated or replicated on the site and exhibition halls added. The museum includes:

The centre of Amberley Working Museum

You can stay at 900 year old Amberley Castle, although not cheap, and have privileged access to a residence that is actually a fortified manor house that has been home to bishops and leased to the Crown. It is a romantic Relais and Chateaux hotel with a comfortable lived-in feel, plush rooms and an atmospheric restaurant and 19 rooms and suites in total, 14 within the castle walls. Rooms are furnished with richly coloured fabrics and antiques. They all have whirlpool baths and most have four-poster beds.

Stay at Amberley Castle

About the South Downs

The South Downs Way covers Hampshire, West Sussex and East Sussex in England and is part of the South Downs National Park, created in 2011. Along the 100 mile (160km) South Downs National Trail you can walk, cycle or ride along grassy chalk and flint ridges, wander up challenging hills and take in the fantastic views of hills, downlands, woodlands, grasslands, coast and estuaries.

Want more of the Downs? See YouTube heritage video channel videos

South Downs Sounds

South Downs Interactive

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