One of West Sussex’s greatest advantages is that our 50 miles of breathtaking coastline are just a stone’s throw away from our gorgeous countryside. This itinerary encapsulates just that, exploring the coast and countryside in one fabulous weekend.
This itinerary is one for the campers out there, but if that’s not quite your style you can use our accommodation list to find something to suit you.
Ideal for: Couples, families, friends
Interests: Camping, beaches, castles, nature, heritage, gardens, food & drink
Main areas: Arundel, Littlehampton, Parham, Worthing, The South Downs
No matter how you arrive at Billycan Camping, the journey through West Sussex to Arundel is spectacular. Situated in 650 acres of farmland with seasonal camping from May until the end of August, Billycan Camping provides a unique opportunity to sleep in a fully fitted-out canvas Bell Tent, a yurt or your own trusty tent. Enjoy the stunning views and set up camp ready for a day of adventure.
Once you’re settled, head over to Littlehampton for a day at East beach. There are three Pay & Display car parks on the seafront, and if you’re using a satnav the best postcode is BN17 5LG. As well as sandcastle building and tide pool exploring, you can enjoy an ice-cream whilst sitting on Britain’s longest bench!
Enjoy lunch at the East Beach Café where a classic English menu is served right on the beachfront with breath-taking views of the sea.
After lunch, make your way to Arundel and visit the iconic Arundel Castle. Set high on a hill, the castle boasts magnificent views across the South Downs and the River Arun. As well as exploring the castle, there are a wide variety of events to get involved with too. Aside from the castle, Arundel is a great place to spend some time. With a collection of beautiful independent shops, contemporary art galleries and a great selection of pubs, cafes and restaurants, it’s easy to discover more than you’d expect.
Depending on what you fancy, head back to your campsite to cook dinner under the stars or enjoy a bite to eat at The Black Rabbit – the perfect example of a traditional country pub.
If you’re camping, be sure to toast marshmallows on the fire and reflect on day one of your West Sussex adventure.
Having woken up in the beautiful West Sussex countryside, have breakfast, pack up your things and take a trip to WWT Arundel – a beautiful nature reserve that’s open all year round and is home to thousands of birds, mammals and other wildlife. You can discover lots of fantastic water birds, spot water voles from the boat safari and stroll gentle pathways to quiet spots to take in the scenery.
After a morning filled with new experiences, take a short drive to Parham House & Gardens where you can enjoy a four-acre walled garden, stunning herbaceous borders, a glasshouse and orchard. The Big Kitchen Restaurant within the grounds also serves up light lunches and delicious cakes, so make sure you get a bite to eat before continuing to Worthing.
Jump back in the car and take the 30-minute drive to Worthing to take in the beautiful seaside town and stroll along the wide-open promenade. The best place to park is Beach House East (BN11 2EN). The iconic pier is the perfect place to enjoy the views with an ice-cream in hand and even try your hand at fishing if that’s more up your street.
From Worthing, make your way back through the countryside to the quaint village of Small Dole where you’ll find Farmhouse Campsite. It’s a beautiful family-run campsite situated on a working farm that’s nestled in the South Downs National Park. Farm footpaths lead up to the South Downs Way and woodland nature trails are only a short distance away.
Set up camp and cook your dinner on an open fire, enjoying views of your surroundings.
Wake up to the sound of the dawn chorus and have breakfast before packing up your tent for the final time.
Take in the gorgeous views of the South Downs as you travel to Sussex Prairie Garden, a short 10-minute drive away. Sussex Prairie Garden is one of Britain’s largest naturalistic gardens, and there’s more than eight acres of stunning scenery to explore. It’s best to check the opening times, but it reopens on June 1 for this season.
To round off your weekend, visit The Ginger Fox which is just a short drive away. Situated in the South Downs, The Ginger Fox serves high-quality, seasonal Sussex produce. It has a beautiful beer garden and a children’s play area, but it’s best to book if you’re heading there on a Sunday.
Before heading home, make a stop at Devil’s Dyke, a legendary viewpoint on the South Downs, perfect to capture a weekend filled with coast and country.