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A day out in West Sussex: town, country and beach

If you’re looking for a day out in West Sussex combining the beach with town and country, you can’t go far wrong partnering historic Arundel with bucket and spade Bognor. In 8 hours, or less, you can easily fit in a country walk, a spot of shopping, lunch and some history as well as dipping your toes in the sea and savouring a fish and chip supper. Here’s what my #GLO50 Book Club friends and I got up to on our day out in West Sussex.

Mooch around the quaint lanes of Arundel: 1 hour

You can spot the historic castle and cathedral of Arundel long before you get there. Our first stops when we arrived in this hill-top town though were the charming streets and lanes that lead up to the castle. The shops are eclectic and quaint and we quickly lost ourselves browsing through the bits and bobs in antique markets, design and houseware stores, bakeries and even an outlet selling dog-themed everything, alongside lovely painted furniture and other pretty household items. Dinky Donkey Delights comes complete with a gorgeous, real-life resident whippet normally to be found tucked under the cash desk.

Quaint and eclectic shops in Arundel

Quaint and eclectic shops in Arundel

Stop for lunch: 1 hour

There are tons of great coffee shops and cafes in Arundel.  We loved the Motte & Bailey on the High Street. The staff were really welcoming and went to great lengths to accommodate 9 of us during a busy lunchtime.

Motte and Bailey cafe

Motte and Bailey cafe

The food was fabulous, fresh and tasty  too – from soup to brunch and more!


Home-made soups, eggs with brunch and ham and chips were all on the menu and were delicious

Circular walk around Arundel: 2 hours

Fed and watered you’ll be ready for a walk. We did a reasonably easy, 3.5 mile route, starting at the bottom of the town (in the Mill Road carpark by the local museum), rambling alongside the river Arun, with its raised bank that once served as a trading route in the 16th century.

Arundel castle above the pretty town

Arundel castle taken from the banks of the River Arun

Hiorne's Tower

Hiorne’s Tower is said to be haunted by the ghost of a heart-broken young woman from the 1t8h century, jilted in love

This walk took us through Arundel Park and around its lake, up a gentle hill and past Hiorne’s Tower (said to be haunted by the ghost of a heart-broken young woman from 200 years ago who was jilted by her lover). We returned to the top of the town by the cathedral and Arundel castle, looking like something out of a fairytale.

Arundel, complete with castle, cathedral and folly

Arundel, complete with castle, cathedral and Hiorne’s tower


Exploring Arundel castle: 2 hours

Arundel castle has been the ancient seat of the Dukes of Norfolk for more than 800 years. Ancestors have included the 3rd Duke, courtier and advisor to Kind Henry VIII (him of the six wives) who managed to narrowly avoid being executed because Henry died the night before the execution and the less fortunate 4th Duke who was beheaded for plotting to marry Mary Queen of Scots. Although the castle was besieged and damaged in the English Civil War, today it’s in good repair and an impressive sight atop the town. It’s open to the public from Easter until the end of October.

Drive from Arundel to Bognor Regis: 30 minutes

The route from Arundel to Bognor is not the prettiest in the county but you can forgive that once you hit the seafront at Bognor Regis with its shingly beach, fishing boats and cafes along the promenade.

Beachcombing in Bognor: 1 hour
Good old seaside views

Good old seaside views

Go on. Ease off your shoes and dip your toes in the sea (just make sure you do this near to the water’s edge as pebbles are torture to walk on in bare feet!). The beach at Bognor is lovely so long as you don’t mind shingle. I prefer it, as the water tends to be clear rather than the murky stuff you get on a sandy, British beach.  As this resort claims to be the sunniest town in Britain, it’s likely the weather will be nice enough for paddling (at least in the summer!). There are old-fashioned groynes along the shore and fishermen’s boats that launch from this part of the coast. You’re looking at a scene unchanged in many respects for over a 100 years (minus Butlins which is set back from the front).

Evening in Bognor

Evening in Bognor

Beach views at Bognor

Beach views at Bognor

Fish and chip supper: 30 minutes

If you’re peckish by now, there are plenty of fish and chip shops in the town to choose from. We didn’t get a chance to sample their fare, but Ye Olde Fish and Chippe Shoppe comes very highly rated on TripAdvisor

If you want to stay…

It wasn’t an obvious choice of location for our annual Book Club weekend away. But Sea House in Bognor Regis persuaded us. It was a mini wedding cake confection of a building perched right on the shingly beach, with amazing sea views,  a bright white interior and enough room to comfortably sleep 9 of us. There is room outside for BBQs and sunbathing too.

Sea House, Bognor Regis

Sea House, Bognor Regis




    • Emma Hetherington-Royle says

      Sandra you are very welcome. We really enjoyed being beside the seaside at Bognor.

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