East Beach, Arun District of West Sussex
Roll up, roll up. According to my friend Google, this past slang refers to someone wanting people to come and pay and look at something unusual or interesting, well here you have it!
What a jewel this amazing trendy promenade is. With so much to see and do, for all ages and abilities, it blew my mind, well it blew more than that actually, it was a freezing day with an ultra-chilling wind. Hubby and I decided to blow the cobwebs out and venture along this popular trail, which on the day was packed with runners, four legged friends, families, children on bikes and skates and wheelchair/buggy friendly.
The promenade has a 10.5 km out and back trail, which takes approximately two hours to complete, unfortunately for us, it was too bitterly cold to complete the entire walk. We parked outside the Littlehampton Wave (gym and swim with toilets) although there is additional parking further along the main road. Be prepared though, the machines take only cash or use the Ringo phone app. Costing 80p per hour and no change given.
Transport yourself back in time by walking along the pebble and sandy beach, lined with its multi coloured beach huts and stunning beach fronted properties, this historic promenade is alive with activities that will keep your two-legged urchins engaged for hours. There are various cafes/restaurants along the way, including the architecturally bizarre looking East Beach Café, which has pay & display parking behind, with picnic green and swings.
Pop into the Beach Café with its outside seating facing the beach (they give out blankets too), bear in mind this venue is extremely popular and when we passed at 11am there were queues outside. New to this café is the glass walled roof patio which offers unparalleled vistas of the Channel. The business also provides various water and sport activities, ranging from paddle boarding, fitness & wellbeing classes and Salsa dancing, to name but a few.
Further along the promenade you will stumble upon the longest bench in Britain, consisting of 9,000 multi coloured hardwood slats and over 324 metres long, meandering around lampposts, dipping in and out of the ground and engraved with hundreds of personal messages from the public including a proposal of marriage. This incredible structure was inspired by a local junior school who wanted somewhere on the seafront where they could all sit together; more than 300 bums can perch here at the same time!
Fancy a round of 9-hole, par 3 golf, tennis or bowls then Norfolk Gardens is the place for you – with its Buccaneer Bay adventure golf course, all equipment is available for hire. Enjoy an ice cream as well as coffee and snacks and to top off your experience take a train ride on the miniature railway, which toots its way around the park heading from Norfolk Gardens to Mewsbrook Park. Great fun and free public toilets.
Just along from the swimming pool you will locate Mewsbrook Park, with its beautiful flower beds, picnic area, skateboard park, boating lake and café. This park is a joy with good flat paths suitable for wheelchairs and buggies (but no cycles) and stumble across the art nouveau shelters, however there are no toilets in the park.
In the summer months everyone will be enthralled to see the blue and yellow road train which usually make its appearance, however, at the time of writing this blog I couldn’t find any information on the timetable. For an absolute treat pop along to Harbour Park, an amusement park situated on the beach adjacent to the working harbour and marina, featuring traditional rides which all the family will enjoy, no matter how old you are!
I really can’t enthuse any more what a joy this beautiful seaside town is and how much there is to do and see, I can guarantee there will not be enough hours in the day to take in all the activities, you will have to plan another trip.
Enjoy yourselves and if you decide to explore the rock pools and build sand castles make sure you are aware of the tide timetables, it’s a safe beach and is patrolled by lifeguards in the summer months. Go explore, be safe and enjoy.