Things to do in Arundel
Arundel is a picture-perfect market town located on the west side of the Arun Valley where it gives way to the river. This lesser-known gem of the south is almost fairy-tale in its beauty and is dominated by its magnificent castle.
Arundel’s hilly town centre may be small but it’s packed with scenic Georgian and Victorian houses, unusual independent shops and plenty of recreational opportunities. It’s a great place for art lovers who will revel in the galleries and studios, as well as at the thriving arts festival at the end of August. However, there are plenty of other options in Arundel including both historical and natural wonders, all of which can be reached within a 15-mile drive from our fantastic Haven Church Farm Holiday Park. We’ve put together a list of the best things to do in Arundel to help you plan a day of activities for you and your family.
Attend a festival
Each year Arundel plays host to some of the liveliest events in Sussex, these include Arundel Food Festival, the Cathedral’s Feast of Corpus Christi and the magnificent Carpet of Flowers. However, the crowning glory has to be the Arundel Festival of the Arts which has now been going for almost 50 years. At the end of August, you can enjoy local art, theatre, culture, food, and drink in the historic West Sussex town. The Dragon Boat Racing, Duck Race, and Street Entertainment are also particularly popular and blend well with Arundel’s vibrant café culture. If you can make your visit coincide with festival season then you’re onto a winner.
Address: Arundel BN18 9AB
Towering over the town and offering stunning views of the Sussex countryside, Arundel castle is housed within a crenelated Norman keep, complete with a gatehouse and barbican. Parts of it have stood since the 11th-century, serving as the ancestral home of the Dukes of Norfolk, it is one of England’s oldest and most complete castles. Enjoy a guided tour to see the suits of armour, clocks and ancient tapestries that are on display outside or otherwise enjoy one of the events put on by the castle offering something different for every visit including medieval jousting.
Collector Earl’s Garden
Address: Arundel BN18 9AB
If you make the trip to Arundel Castle, then a visit to these gardens is obligatory too. Featuring charming water fountains, rills depicting the local river Arun, beautiful green oak Pagodas and Oberon's Palace with its spectacular floating crown and water grotto, these gardens are truly unique. You’ll find any number of intriguing vistas and quirky designs to capture with your camera. Admission to The Collector Earl’s Garden is included in the Castle’s admission price so there’s no reason to miss out.
Address: London Rd, Arundel BN18 9AY
Overlooking the historic market town is a magnificent Victorian Gothic cathedral that could have been teleported here from northern France. Despite being completed in the 19th-century, Arundel Cathedral was originally the Church of St Philip Neri and only renamed in 1965. This means that Arundel is one of the only cathedral destinations not classified as a city. However, the cathedral is still a wonderful piece of architecture and will reward visitors with glorious rib vaults and magnificent stained-glass windows.
Address: Mill Rd, Arundel BN18 9PA
Learn about Arundel, the town, its port, and castle as well as its people at this little gem of a museum. You can discover Arundel’s story through photos and story boards as well as a range of artefacts from throughout history such as grandfather clocks, Second World War memorabilia, an old printing press and even prehistoric finds dating back 3000 years.
There’s also a museum shop and cafe that serves tea, Lavazza coffee and biscuits. Those planning to visit Arundel Castle should also note that you will receive a discount voucher, allowing you to enter the museum for half price.
Arundel Farmers’ Market
Address: High St, Arundel BN18 9AJ
Arundel Farmers Market is the place to go for fine British food and drink, artisan products and goods from local producers. The market is held on the lower High Street on the 3rd Saturday of every month, from 9am to 1pm. Local growers, bakers, butchers, and florists all gather to sell their high-quality products at reasonable prices. Arundel Farmers Market has a great reputation as a friendly market so don’t miss out the chance to taste the best food and drink and freshest ingredients that Sussex has to offer.
Address: Mill Rd, Arundel BN18 9PB
WWT Arundel is one of just ten reserves managed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, located in an area of wetland just north-east of Arundel Castle. The reserve spans 60 acres of wetland and is home to a great variety of swans, ducks and geese with other wildlife also in abundance! Tickets are around £14 with a donation, but the facilities are fantastic and the natural beauty of the landscape alone is well worth the price of admission.
Hiorne Tower Arundel
Address: Arundel BN18 9AU
Built in 1797 by Francis Hiorne, this folly stands alone in an open landscape of fields. The mock castle is surrounded by well-maintained walking paths with really excellent views so it’s a great place to take the dogs. We particularly recommend the walk down to Swanbourne Lake and following the footpath toward Mill Lane Road. There’s free parking along the main road at the bottom so access shouldn’t be a problem.