Arundel Castle - Littlehampton roofs

Arundel Castle – Littlehampton roofs

Arundel

shop sign in Arundel

Visitor Centre, restaurant, youth hostel, at Littlehampton

Visitor Centre, restaurant, youth hostel, at Littlehampton

Fishbourne Roman Palace gardens

Fishbourne Roman Palace gardens

Fishbourne Roman Palace mosaic: yes, it is curved

Fishbourne Roman Palace mosaic: yes, it is curved

Blue Peter lifeboat

Blue Peter lifeboat, Littlehampton

We spent a few Spring days in Littlehampton. The weather was not kind but we enjoyed ourselves enough to say that we should come back again – when the sun was shining. Littlehampton is a good place for a family day out and a good base for exploring Sussex. Portsmouth, Chichester to the west, Worthing, Brighton to the east are in easy reach by rail – in fact, so is London for that matter. We visited Arundel and Fishbourne during our brief stay.

Arundel castle struck us as hugely expensive to visit. Although there were different levels of charge, it appeared that you had to pay even to visit the gift shop and the grounds. So we limited ourselves to taking photos of the castle from afar and visiting the town. Despite the biting cold, we did find some interesting shops including one that sold better quality fudge (no glucose syrup and a crumbly texture).

Fishbourne Roman Palace was far better value for money. The guided tour (a free extra) was both entertaining and informative. Among other things we learnt that the famous dolphin mosaic is curved and that because it has stretched it is impossible to put it back to a level state without damaging it. You also got to see the excavations as well as a museum. The pattern and planting of the gardens in the grounds were based on archaeological finds but the weather was against us to do them justice. The service in the café was a bit slow but the food was OK.

Littlehampton is a small town and I do not want you to find it! There are a couple of sandy beaches – good for sandcastles but not good for swimming. The river Arun is one of the fastest flowing in the country (if not the fastest) which is why the RNLI have lifeboats stationed here. Fans of BBC TV’s “Blue Peter” may like to know that Blue Peter 1 is stationed here. Meanwhile the Look & Sea centre offers history, hands on for the children, and spectacular views over the town and surrounding countryside. The restaurant that shares the building was satisfactory too.

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