Arundel Town and Norman Castle

Coordinates: 50°51'N 0°33'W
Grid ref: TQ018070

Arundel is an important market town 49 miles SWW of London, 18 miles west of Brighton, and 10 miles east of the West Sussex county city of Chichester.

Click here for a Google map of the town and facilities

Arundel (pop 3,400)  is famous for its historic castle and cathedral and the river Arun runs through the eastern side of the town. Other nearby towns include Littlehampton to the south, Worthing ESE  and Bognor Regis to the SW. Arundel lies to the north of the A27 road and the whole area is usually busy, so bear this in mind that if you go into Arundel by car and be prepared for congested parking. If you'd like to visit Arundel it is an arguably easier rail transport point with the station on the Arun Valley Line.

Arundel Town and Castle

Arundel Castle was built by the Normans to protect this vulnerable point to the north of the valley through the South Downs. The town later grew up on the slope below the castle to the south. Arundel is a major bridging point over the River Arun, the lowest road bridge until the opening of the Littlehampton swing bridge in 1908.

The river Arun runs through the town

The Monarch's Way 615 mile (yes!) footpath passes right through Arundel and crosses the river Arun here, following the route that King Charles II escaped on after the disastrous battle of Worcester in 1651. If you like longer routes the Monarch's Way is very interesting - look out for the crown and ship symbols on wayposts.

The 615 mile Monarch's Way

Arundel was granted Fairtrade town status in 2004 and is also home to one of the oldest Scout Groups in the world. 1st Arundel (Earl of Arundel's Own) Scout Group was formed in 1908 only a few weeks after Scouting began, created by Lord Baden Powell. It is also home to Arundel Cathedral, seat of the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton.

Arundel Cathedral

Arundel also has an excellent botanical gardens near the castle which is well worth a visit.

Arundel Botanical Gardens

Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle is a Grade I listed building and is a private home set in 40 acres of gardens that is open to the public. You can walk all around the castle, which is well worth it, but need to pay to see the interior - see the Arundel Castle website.

Arundel Castle in Autumn

It is a restored medieval castle, founded by Roger de Montgomery in 1067 who became the first person to hold the earldom of Arundel by the graces of William the Conqueror. The castle was damaged in the English Civil War and then restored in the 18th and 19th centuries. From the 11th century onward, the castle served as a hereditary stately home and has been in the family of the Duke of Norfolk for over 400 years where it is still the principal seat of the Norfolk family.

View from Arundel Castle

As Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk is responsible for organising the State Opening of Parliament and is one of two officials who walks backwards facing the monarch! Just don't expect to be able to cycle or walk a dog through the Duke's estate, as the author found out to his cost on a recent attempt at the Arundel section of the Monarch's Way. Hmm... maybe it's OK if you go through his estate backwards?

Footpath around Arundel Castle

About the South Downs

The South Downs Way covers Hampshire, West Sussex and East Sussex in England and is part of the South Downs National Park, created in 2011. Along the 100 mile (160km) South Downs National Trail you can walk, cycle or ride along grassy chalk and flint ridges, wander up challenging hills and take in the fantastic views of hills, downlands, woodlands, grasslands, coast and estuaries.

Want more of the Downs? See YouTube heritage video channel videos

South Downs Sounds

South Downs Interactive

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