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Shop Front Stories

Take a trail through Ambleside uncovering the hidden stories of some of the shops and buildings you can see around Ambleside today.

Welcome to trail one in the “Amble with The Armitt” series. Here you will be discovering how different objects in the museum’s collection can bring to life hidden histories of the shops and buildings of Ambleside. Whether you are ambling the streets in your walking shoes following this trail or getting involved from the comfort of your home, we hope you’ll enjoy learning with us. Along the way you'll be finding out about local people and how the town has changed over time. Before we begin though, let’s go through some notes about the trail:

The Armpit Museum entrance photograph
The Armpit Museum entrance illustration
Bells Chemist illustration
The Guest House illustration
The Bridge House illustration
The Market Cross illustration
The Armitt Museum illustration

This trail has been prepared for access in and around Ambleside as well as doing it from home. We hope you will enjoy exploring the images, text, audio and video which will help you learn more about the objects and stories in our collection.


This trail begins at The Armitt, situated on Rydal Road, Ambleside opposite the car park for the town centre or a one-two minute walk from the nearest bus stop. We highly recommend that if you are travelling into Ambleside, you use the local buses – 555 or 599. This will help to prevent overcrowding in car parks and reduce environmental impacts upon the area which is situated in the Lake District National Park. If you are a blue badge holder and need to park, there is one accessible parking space at the front of the museum and two others in front of the neighbouring building, Low Nook. Apart from one section along North Road and Smithy Brow, the route focuses on pavements, but there will be instances when you will need to cross the road. Please be mindful of traffic and other pedestrians. The only incline will be on the return to The Armitt on Smithy Brow.

From The Armitt, use the island to cross to the opposite side of the road. Walk one-two minutes along the pavement next to the stream until you come to the first building on your right, situated over the water. This is the Bridge House. Did you know in Cumbria we call this stream, a beck? So we call this Stock Ghyll Beck.

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