Why you should move to Arundel in West Sussex

The pretty market town is known as a land of tea rooms and tower blocks thanks to the Duke of Norfolk’s fairytale castle dominating the skyline and an abundance of quaint cafes serving up a Victoria Sponge with Earl Gray to the many tourists keen to explore the West Sussex enclave.

Aside from the castle and cathedral, complete with the bones of St Philip Howard the Tudor preserved within, there’s plenty to do in this small town, from browsing bric-a-brac and antique shops to sampling the riverside pubs.

Great British Life: Get up close and personal with wildlife at the Wetlands Centre.  (c) Darren Cole Get up close and personal with wildlife at the Wetlands Center. (c) Darren Cole

Just outside the castle is the Arundel Wetland Centre, where guests can feed blue-billed puna fish for 20p a time or watch shovelers, Easter eggs and sand martins.

Would you like to see a kingfisher, peregrine falcon or gray heron? Embark on a Wetland Discovery Boat safari, where you’ll see wildlife in their natural habitat on a 20-minute ride on an electric boat. £3 per person.

In the fall, visitors will be able to see birds and animals through the eyes of Quentin Blake, the country’s favorite painter. He created a special illustrated guide called Drawn to Water so guests can get closer to nature than ever before. www.org.uk

Arundel is located at the foot of the South Downs National Park, while Climbing and the coast are just 15 minutes away, meaning residents enjoy the best of the seaside and are within easy reach of miles and miles of incredible beauty and nature.

That’s one reason why property search experts Garrington, who have compiled a list of the best places to live in 2021, put Arundel sixth out of the 18 best cities in the country. Experts praised Arundel for its “urban elegance” coupled with its “rich 1,000-year-old heritage amidst rural endeavours”.

the shopping

Great British Living: Bric-a-brac and antique shops dominate the historic market town.  (c) GettyBric-a-brac and antique shops dominate the historic market town. (c) Getty

As well as the usual antiques hunt – there’s nothing better than a two-storey treasure trove that is Arundel Bridge Antiques and the range of vendors in the converted church, Nineveh House (arundelmarket.co.uk), there is a wealth of local artisans and shops selling everything from chocolate To high fashion.

Chocolate lovers can now shop a myriad of luxury products at Bon Bon Gallery, a brand new local chocolate shop that opened on the High Street on 21 July.

Palant of Arundel is an independent food and wine shop supporting local suppliers and artisans. Owners Mark Robinson and Jonathan Brantigan champion small producers and stock products of interest and quality not available in supermarkets.

From cheese sourced locally, pastries and breads from local bakers, jams, jellies, marmalades, sauces and pickles as well as locally roasted coffee beans which can be ground fresh to order and wines from local vineyards, they offer the best of Sussex. www.visitarundel.co.uk/listing/pallant-of-arundel/

For bespoke fashion and designer looks, Arundel has a large number of local boutiques and fashion studios. Specializing in vintage and retro styles of the 1940s and 1940s for both men and women, Retroesque is the perfect place to look your best at Goodwood’s Revival from 8-10 September 2023. Under new management, they are also offering new customers 10 for every cent on their first order . www.retroesqueuk.com

Millliner Isabella Josie designs custom hats, statement pieces and headpieces that can be purchased or rented for all occasions, including vintage-style pieces for the famous Renaissance. The designer also holds regular workshops and parties at her studio on Tarrant Street to celebrate a birthday, wedding or meet up with friends. isabellajosie.com

For all things chic, head to The Amazing Lavender Sisters, a chic boutique filled with high-end fashion, homewares, furniture and accessories. Desirable brands for sale include Mama Bee, Luella, Ella Moda and Harris Cotton. theamazinglavendersisters.com

Food and drink

After browsing all those shops, treat yourself to afternoon tea at Belinda’s (belindastearooms.com) where you can enjoy a round of sandwiches, a scone and a delicious scone for £16.50 for two.

For something a little more luxurious, book a table at the Georgian Town House (thetownhouse.co.uk) where the ceiling is a 16th-century masterpiece shipped from Venice, and the menu offers local dishes including spicy potted crab and roasted partridge.

If it’s a pub with a view then you’re looking for The Kings Arms, a popular choice with its banners and cobblestones, while the Black Rabbit is another half-mile further down Mill Road, with views over the river and castle. (theblackrabbitarundel.co.uk).

Where to stay

Town House accommodation is sophisticated and starts from £110, but for a room with a view, book into Amberley Castle, which offers croquet on the law, tennis and an 18-hole golf course as well as the fun of a stay in a medieval castle. Doubles start at £176 (amberleycastle.co.uk).

Must see

Marvel at the work of the late John Brooks MBE, one of Britain’s most influential landscape designers, at Denman’s Garden. The Grade II listed garden features cobblestone gardens, dry riverbeds, a walled garden and a conservatory, all filled with unusual plants. Admission is £9 for adults, £7 for children and concessions. www.denmans.org

must do

Great British Life: The Gardens at Arundel Castle.  (c) GettyGardens at Arundel Castle. (c) Getty

Spend the day at Arundel Castle, home of the Duke of Norfolk where he still resides and where Henry IV married. Queen Victoria also stayed in the medieval fortress, built in 1067, and described her apartments there – consisting of one bedroom, two sitting rooms, two dressing rooms and a breakfast room – as “small but delightful”.

There is a restored Norman sanctuary, a medieval Gatehouse, the Barbican, a remodeled 19th-century Gothic house, a rare collection of paintings by famous artists including Van Dyck, Gainsborough and Canaletto, strolling gardens, and wonderful views along the River Arun. bliss! Entry from £20, arundelcastle.org.

Take the step

Just 15 minutes from the beach, half an hour from Worthing and with regular trains to London Victoria taking 90 minutes, Arundel is within easy reach of the coast, the countryside and all the cultural attractions and attractions you could want. climbing. Brighton and Portsmouth are both a short drive away, while there are good schools in the area – Arundel CofE and St Philip’s Catholic School are both very popular.

The average house in Arundel cost £600,915 last year, with the majority of sales being townhouses worth £582,071. Semi-detached properties sold for an average of £516,923, with apartments priced at £324,767.

Overall, prices sold in Arundel over the past year were up 17% on the previous year and 20% on the 2019 peak of £502,062, according to Right Move.

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