Littlehampton boat pontoon
Littlehampton is a West Sussex coastal town with a fascinating history, situated on the east bank of the mouth of the River Arun. It is approximately 50 miles south of London, 20 miles west of Brighton, 10 miles east of Bognor Regis and just 3 miles from the new South Downs National Park.
The town has everything you would hope for in a seaside resort: two fine beaches, a large beachside greensward and a links golf course, as well as a fishing fleet and marina. The active town centre has a good selection of shops and further out are some large supermarkets and several industrial estates.
Littlehampton became popular as both a port and a holiday resort in the nineteenth century, when the railway link to London was opened and a cross-channel ferry to Honfleur in France was operational.
In 1967, the town became known as the base for the first ever Blue Peter lifeboat, Blue Peter 1, which was only decommissioned in the summer of 2016. Anita Roddick, who was born and went to school in Littlehampton, founded the The Body Shop here and it is still home to the company’s world headquarters. The town centre has a busy pedestrianised centre with many small independent shops as well as larger concerns such as Sainsbury’s, Boots, WH Smith, M & Co, Greggs, Costa Coffee, Lidl and Iceland.
The A259 skirts around Littlehampton, but the coastal A27 trunk road is just to the north and is connected by the A284 that also provides a route to the north/south A24 and A29. From Littlehampton train station there’s a direct rail link to London Victoria as well as to Brighton, Portsmouth and Southampton. Gatwick airport is less than an hour’s drive away, while Southampton Airport is roughly 50 miles to the west. The smaller airports at Chichester (Goodwood) and Shoreham are approximately 30 minutes drive away. The port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel are about three hours to the east; Portsmouth Harbour an hour to the west and Newhaven Harbour about an hour to the east. There are also a large number of bus routes through Littlehampton connecting the villages and towns near and far in addition to readily available taxi services.Shopping in Littlehampton
Strolling around or taking a picnic to one of the many local open spaces makes the most of the clean sea air and beautiful light. For the more energetic, there’s plenty of opportunity for tennis, skateboarding, swimming, bowls and pitch and putt along the sea front. Community events throughout the year include several fetes, the Town Show, the Bonfire parade and celebrations and other outdoor activities. The Sports Field is the home of local football, cricket and stool ball teams, whilst the Sports Dome on the seafront is a popular, as are the Badminton and Squash Clubs in the town.
Littlehampton has several performance groups including the Stagedoor Theatre Company, The Edwin James Festival Choir and Orchestra, The Musical Comedy Society and Players Operatic Society who perform throughout the year. The Windmill Theatre on the seafront hosts many of their productions and also serves as the local cinema.
Britain’s longest bench on the East Beach promenade was designed from ideas by children from a local school. It’s 324 metres long and runs up to the famous East Beach Cafe that was designed by Thomas Heatherwick.
There is so much more to be written about Littlehampton and its people that updates will be a regular part of this evolving website.