The small town of Arundel is perfectly placed between the South Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the South Coast. Spanned by the River Arun, the skyline of the town is dominated by the stunning architecture of its Gothic Cathedral, and the imposing structure of Arundel Castle.
For nearly 1000 years, a fort has stood at the top of the hill above Arundel. The castle and grounds are open to the public and both have a procession of interesting features. The Collector Earl’s Garden is a highlight, a tribute to the 14th Earl of Arundel, Thomas Howard and is a horticulturalist and landscaper’s heaven. It may take a whole day to get around the gardens but don’t miss out on the castle, which is one of oldest established castles in the world. Inside the castle you can visit many of its rooms like the Library, and the impressive Drawing Room. There is a good programme of interactive live events at the castle too for all the family to get involved in.
Arundel has one of the UK’s most striking Cathedrals, located on the same hillside as the castle. Completed in 1873 in the French Gothic style. The edifice’s construction was commissioned by Henry XV the Duke of Norfolk. The Cathedral is still a prominent local place of worship but it can be visited by members of the public, and it’s worth it because the inside is just as beautiful as the exterior.
The town of Arundel itself is charming knot of narrow streets and old buildings. Visit the busy farmer’s market, which takes place on the 3rd Friday of every month (at the time of writing), to pick up some decent ingredients for the pot. If you need a break from the self-catering, Arundel has a number of very good restaurants including La Campania, with its traditional Italian food, it promises to be perfect dining experience for any occasion. Elsewhere in town is The Bay Tree, which is a small, friendly establishment with a good base of staff who have worked there for years. They offer exceptional food in a relaxed, informal atmosphere.
“Arundel is the jewel of the south coast with its striking Cathedral and castle gardens…”
Arundel is very close to the coast and reasonable drive out to the coastal resorts of Brighton, Littlehampton and Bognor Regis. All offer different versions of a picture-perfect seaside town from the bustling and popular Brighton, to the sleepy yesteryear resort of Littlehampton. For walks in and around Arundel, why not try the three mile circular that weaves through the centre of town and then north to Swanbourne Lake, a local beauty spot. Also look out for the mysterious Hiorne Tower. There is a wider circuit six miles long that follows the course of the River Arun.
Arundel has a good tourist information centre. Be sure to visit to get local tips and updates about the area on your trip to the area.