by Ruth Lawrence
If you haven’t already discovered the delights of Worthing, now is the time! Visit for shopping, entertainment, food and drink and the beautiful scenery of the sea and the Downs.
Worthing enjoys an enviable position tucked between the coast and the South Downs and blessed with enough sunshine to enjoy both. I paid a visit to find out what attracts so many to this much loved seaside town.
Worthing’s splendid art deco pier was runner up in 2016’s Pier of the Year Award; walk to the end to enjoy the fully restored Southern Pavilion while admiring the view stretching from Selsey Bill in the west to the Seven Sisters in the east. If you’re feeling fit, you can cycle the Sustrans Cycle Route along the coast all the way to pretty Shoreham where you can pedal north to the Downs or east to Brighton. Along the way you’ll notice coastal views, pebble and sand beaches and birds such as oyster catchers, terns and egrets. Twelve self guided heritage trails are available for walkers at information points which feature such delights as the old village and Regency town, the Broadwater Trail and Cissbury Ring.
If shopping appeals more than physical exploration, the wide pedestrianised streets that encompass 400 retail stores could be a treat waiting for you. The Montague Street Market every Wednesday and the boutiques and specialist shops on Warwick Street offer the chance to browse and buy to your hearts content while lovers of the vintage look can comb numerous small antique shops and flea markets.
The Museum is a gem; if you are interested in costume, the building contains one of the country’s best collections and is presently hosting a costume trail where you can discover a 400-year old jacket, Queen Victoria’s 52 inch waist bloomers and the shoes of Princess Amelia. The museum also houses a large toy collection, sculpture garden and a regularly changing exhibition calendar.
Worthing’s theatres host year round entertainment including dance, circus, panto, comedy and music. The town has its own full size symphony orchestra, the Worthing Philharmonic, large enough to tackle the scale of romantic works such as Mahler and Bruckner Symphonies. Worthing’s seafront stretches for five miles of palm tree lined promenade giving it a continental feel when the sun beats down and pockets of elegant Regency architecture lend grandeur to the busy streets between.
Each month offers different festivals or events ranging from February’s half marathon to the Adur Festival and the hugely popular Worthing Art Trail where artists open their houses and offer their own work for sale. Behind Worthing the landscape opens up into spectacular walking country with unspoilt villages providing pub lunches and miles of gentle walking through woods, across the Downs and green lanes. Whether you come for the day, a long holiday or an evening out, Worthing is an unpretentious town, packed with local interest, cosmopolitan entertainment and a long history of seaside fun.