Perched on the edge of the spectacular South Downs National Park, on the banks of the River Arun, the ancient market town of Arundel has much to offer visitors. Amongst its winding medieval streets and quaint Victorian architecture you'll find countless interesting shops, tearooms, pubs and restaurants, as well as many fascinating attractions that demonstrate the town's long history and beautiful natural setting.
The Comfort Inn Hotel Arundel is a great base to begin your explorations of the surrounding area. Located just five minutes from Arundel Train Station, with a prime location on the A27 between Arundel and the seaside town of Littlehampton, it's within easy reach of many of the area's top sights and activities. Whether you're interested in culture, entertainment or outdoor adventure, there's something for every taste in this breathtaking corner of West Sussex. Here are some of our favourites:
Start your visit to this charming town with a visit to the imposing Arundel Castle, the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk for many centuries. Visit the elegant, carefully preserved interiors to admire priceless artwork, furnishings and historic treasures, then explore the finely landscaped gardens, which include a variety of exotic flowers, vegetables, fruits and herbs. You may even catch a jousting tournament in the grounds!
Then check out the Roman Catholic Arundel Cathedral, a handsome French Gothic structure dating from the 19th century, before heading to the Arundel Museum to learn about the town's rich history, from Roman and Saxon times right up to the present day. You can also see the remains of a Roman house and farm at Bignor Roman Villa, just a 15-minute drive away from Arundel – the stunning mosaics are well worth a look.
Brave sorts may wish to explore the haunted prison cells at the Arundel Ghost Experience (or catch live music, theatre, comedy and more at Arundel Jailhouse venue during the evening), while those interested in industrial history and traditional crafts may wish to make the short drive to the Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre, deep in the heart of the South Downs.
Nature lovers can embark on an exciting boat safari through the Arundel Wetland Centre to learn more about the plants and wildlife that call the area home. Visitors of all ages can also get involved in pond dipping and guided walks to get a closer look at the wonders of this complex eco-system – from waterfowl and birds of prey, to dragonflies, fish and other water-loving creatures.
There are also a number of spectacular gardens in West Sussex, for anyone who fancies spending some peaceful time in nature. Denmans Garden is only a ten-minute drive away, while West Dean Gardens and High Beeches Woodland & Water Garden can both be reached in about a half hour.
One of the best ways to familiarise yourself with Arundel and its colourful past is to join a guided historic walking tour of the town centre – or, you can even set out on a thrilling treasure hunt to learn more about the local area and possibly even win a prize. Arundel is a compact, easily walkable town that is also fun to explore on your own – be sure to pop into some of the many antique shops for unique, vintage finds, or stop by the popular Arundel Farmers' Market on the third Saturday of every month for local produce and foodstuffs.
For those keen on outdoor adventure, Arundel is also the perfect base for walking, cycling or horse riding in the South Downs National Park – you could even try traversing a section of the scenic South Downs Way, which stretches all the way from Winchester to Eastbourne. Or, head to historic Swanbourne Lodge at the edge of the vast Arundel Park, where you can stroll through the park's 1000 acres of hilly woodland, or rent a rowboat to explore picturesque Swanbourne Lake.
On warm days between May and September, the two heated pools at the Arundel Lido are a splendid place for a refreshing outdoor swim; or, head out on the River Arun Ferry to enjoy views of the surrounding landscape from the water. For avid fishing fans, Chalk Spring Trout Fishery is one of the top stillwater trout fisheries in the country, with around five acres of crystal-clear pond fed by natural springs and stocked with an impressive selection of rainbow and brown trout daily.
Golfers are also spoilt for choice in Arundel – both the Avisford Park Golf Club and the Littlehampton Golf Club are just a short drive away. Meanwhile, those interested in the arts should try to visit during August, when the lively Arundel Festival gets underway – it's one of the largest multi-arts festivals in the south of England, with a variety of exciting performances and activities for all ages.
These are just a few of the many exceptional things there are to do in Arundel – start planning your visit today and get set to experience everything this vibrant town has to offer!