A stones throw away from Brighton, this little town is packed with history and is prime day trip material
Drifting down a river at the foot of a castle, alongside a historic market town sounds like a scene from a Netflix drama but, whilst it probably is, it is also an experience that you can easily enjoy on a day out here in Sussex.
After previewing a day out in Lewes in our last issue, we are continuing the historic theme, highlighting how you can have a fab day out in the beautifully authentic market town of Arundel.
With a route running from campus to the town that will take you approximately two hours on bike, this spot is a perfect place for you to engage in local history and relax, taking in the idyllic scenery.
The castle, which is one of the longest inhabited country houses in England, is situated upon an artificial mound or motte which was constructed in 1068 and sees building raised 100 ft above the dry moat. This makes for quite a spectacle as the structure is a quintessential aspect of the town’s skyline.
The property has more or less been directly passed down the generations since it was founded, as year into the Norman Conquest in 1067.
The castle moved through female heirs, starting with the d’Albinis name in 1136, onto to the Fitzlans in the 13th century and then onto the current name of the Howards in the 16th century.
Despite its unchanging ownership, the castle has had significant history that includes serious damage in the civil war and, consequently, its complete restoration through the 18th and 19th century, which reinstated the castle as a centre piece of English gothic history.
The castle is now open to the public and can be accessed for the price of around £20, depending on how much of it you would like to see.
Other notable historic buildings include the cathedral- located on the west bank of the river Arun and completed in 1873- but if you don’t fancy a history lesson there are still plenty of great things to do in this town.
Hire a boat form Swanbourne Lodge to go rowing down the lake, enjoying the picturesque woodland of Arundel Park or have a bite to eat and a coffee or beer at the Brewhouse Project- the newly opened result of the partnership of two family run businesses, promises to deliver you the freshest brewed beer and roasted coffee in the county.
More quality produce can be found if you visit on the 3rd Saturday of any given month where fresh goods from within a 40-mile radius of the town are brought together for Arundel Farmers Market.
One curiosity that you might want to take a look at when exploring the grounds of the castle is Hiorne Tower. Controversially referred to as a ‘folly’ meaning ‘a costly ornamental building with no practical purpose’, the tower has a shrouded history but bears significance to fans of Doctor Who, who might remember it featuring in the 1988 25th anniversary episode ‘Silver Nemesis’.
It is thought that it was built around 1787 as an example of the architectural work of Francis Hiorne for the Duke of Norfolk who was planning on having some work done on the castle.
It is said that the duke either didn’t approve or died before it Mr Hiorne could begin on the castle but the tower still stands to this day, crying out for restoration and someone to move it on from its current purpose as a store room.
With historical and visual beauty at your disposal and exciting new dining experiences to try, Arundel is a must on your tour of Southdowns National Park and is worthy of a place on your weekend plans schedule.
Photo credit: An aerial view of Arunder by Chensiyuan available at: http://tiny.cc/jzoyez