Littlehampton is one of the UK’s most exciting South Coast Seaside towns.
With a number of high-profile regeneration projects underway – and some completed, Littlehampton is not only attracting lots of new residents keen to enjoy all the amenities this beautiful seaside town has to offer, but also new businesses eager to establish themselves in the town described by Vogue Magazine as being the UK’s ‘coolest seaside resort.
What’s happening in Littlehampton
Littlehampton has seen a massive change in its fortunes in recent years with an ambitious programme or regeneration underway.
A £22.5m regeneration of the Littlehampton harbour area has just been completed. Funded and constructed mostly by the Environment Agency, Arun District Council and West Sussex County Council. A new public realm area offering lots of additional seating overlooking the harbour and seafront.
Iconic local structures
- East Beach Cafe
- World’s Longest Bench
- Award winning Band Stand
East Beach Cafe
Over the past decade, the seafront has welcomed a number of new and dramatic seafront structures, the most famous being – The East Beach Cafe. Commissioned by entrepreneur Jane Wood and her daughter Sophie, designed by world-famous architect, Thomas Heatherwick and built by Littlehampton Welding, this wonderful and exciting structure has done much to attract waves of new visitors to the seafront.
Since opening, the East Beach Cafe has gained an enviable reputation for its high quality food and hosting a variety of fine dining events. Overlooking the East Beach, diners can enjoy splendid views of the English channel. Experience amazing sunsets while enjoying fresh cooked, locally sourced high quality food including a range of fish, meat and vegetarian dishes.
World’s Longest Bench
Littlehampton is home to the UK’s longest bench. Created by Studio Weave – A wonderful waltzing bench structure that runs the length of Littlehampton’s impressive seafront promenade. Funding for the project came from a variety of sources including a very generous donation from Gordon Roddick, husband of the late Anita Roddick, founder of Body Shop. With locals and visitors being invited to ‘sponsor a slat’ on the bench with each slat being individually engraved with the sponsor’s message. All aspects of life are represented on the bench from marriage proposals to dedications for loved ones who have since passed on but remain our thoughts. If you’ve lost faith in humanity,the longest bench is a good place to have it restored.
Littlehampton boasts 2 sandy beaches
We have not one beach, but two superb beaches here in the town and we’re one of the very few South Coast seaside resorts to have sandy beaches. Great for beach games, sunbathing and fantastic family day’s out.
We’re lucky here to have not one sandy beach, but two. Both offering visitors a different experience.
Undoubtedly one of the South Coast’s most visited beaches, the East Beach area welcomes thousands of visitors each year who enjoy swimming in its blue flag awarded waters. Safe bathing is a key feature in attracting visitors, especially families travelling with young children. The beach is well protected with RNLI lifeguards offering a great, friendly and vigilant service.
Cycling is now allowed on the seafront promenade and this opened up a great safe off-road cycling route for all ages.
The East Beach offers those wanting to enjoy a day out a traditional seaside amusement park – Harbour Park or those wishing to simply sit and enjoy the beach and listen to the relaxing sound of the sea washing over the sand, which is the area below and beyond the East Beach Cafe.
For those looking for a quieter experience, the West Beach area is a wonderful expanse of beach. A favourite with walkers and those looking to sit and enjoy sea views, swim, surf or just relax and read. The beach area is a dedicated area of scientific interest and home to a variety of creatures including birds and rare lizards who live in the sand dunes. Their habits are protected areas, fenced off for conservation purposes but this does not detract from the enjoyment the beach area offers. In fact, it enhances it offering a wonderful area of discovery for children and adults alike.
West beach also offers visitors an opportunity to dine in out with the West Beach Cafe, a sister cafe of the famous Each Beach Cafe.
Stroll along the lovely winding road past Littlehampton Golf Club, Arun Yacht Club, Littlehampton Yacht club where you’ll find Littlehampton marina. Walk, cycle or drive into the marina complex and you’ll reach the Boat House Cafe, another great place for a meal or light refreshments.
The Ferry across the river Arun
A wonderful passenger ferry service now operates between East and West side of the River Arun. Operating on a seasonal basis – usually April through to September as well as offering some great river cruises. Ideal for birthday and other celebratory events or just for exploring our lovely river and harbour area.
Ferry service runs daily during the spring/summer season. Friendly skipper will take people, bicycles, dogs, pushchairs, prams from side to side. Pick up point for the Littlehampton side is in Pier Road along the new public realm area (opposite Coastal Cycles) and drop/off collection for the West Side is at Littlehampton yacht club. Alternatively the skipper can collect or drop you off at Littlehampton marina.
Prices are reasonable, and it’s important this much-loved and much-needed service continues. So please, please give it your support. You’ll also find that public pay and display parking can be very oversubscribed during the high season. So taking the ferry, can be a great alternative.
Littlehampton town centre includes a good mix of independent retailers selling a range of goods from furniture to books and gift items. Ladies clothing shops are well represented with a number to choose from, however, the town lacks a gents outfitter or clothing shop.
Littlehampton town boasts a number of cafes, restaurants and bars – all catering to a variety of tastes and budgets.
Main supermarket retailers include: Lidls in Pier Road, Sainsbury’s and Iceland in Littlehampton town centre.
Littlehampton town centre includes a busy Costa’s coffee shop, traditional jewelers, Guess Jewelers, furniture store, carpet stores, a wonderful second-hand bookshop (located in Littlehampton arcade), computer shop, WHS Smith’s, The Works and a number of other interesting independent shops.
Littlehampton has a fantastic harbour with a terrific enthusiastic Harbour Master, Billy Johnson and his friendly, helpful colleagues at Littlehampton Harbour Board.
The harbour welcomes commercial shipping as well as leisure yachts and motor boats and is also home to a very active and vibrant Arun Yacht Club, which includes a great dingy sailing club.
Harbour and River Arun offers some great dingy sailing – Arun Yacht Club have a very active dingy section and are always on the lookout for new members.
Pier Road – Offers a variety of dining experiences from take away fish and chips to Thai, Indian and restaurants specialising in fish dishes. Pier road is also home to the Dutch Bike Shop – the uk’s first and only bricks and mortar shop specialising in selling, servicing and repairing Dutch bikes. The Dutch Bike shop also includes Coastal Cycles, which sells a range of traditional and modern bicycles as well as including the largest cycle hire fleet in the Sussex.
When in Pier Road, pop into the Mooring’s Traditional Tea rooms to enjoy splendid delicious home cooking while soaking up the busy harbour atmosphere. Kay and her daughter Hannah are sure to give you a warm welcome.
Fresh fish – Riverside Fish based in Pier Road (on top of the new riverside public realm opposite The Nelson hotel) has a wide range of fresh, locally caught fish. The Kiosk run by Bob, his son Jamie and their lovely, helpful staff member Simon is always worth a visit.
Littlehampton has a fantastic library located just a few yards along from Arun District Council’s Civic Centre. The library offers a range of services including lending, photo-copying service and has a good selection of books on the local area dating back some years. A must visit if you’re interested in local history.
Located in Littlehampton Town Council’s beautiful buildings, Littlehampton Museum hosts a range of locally themed exhibitions as well providing a static display of Littlehampton heritage.
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