The small town of Arundel (pop. 4,000), between Chichester and Brighton, has a lot more to offer than its size would presuppose.
The magnificent Arundel Castle was founded by Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel in the 11th century. It is now the residence of the 18th Duke and Duchess of Norfolk.
The medieval castle suffered badly from the English Civil War, and almost everything was rebuilt after that. This Treasure House of England contains an astonishing display of paintings, furniture, tapestries, stained glass, china, clocks, sculpture, carving, heraldry and armours.
The castle is open from 25 March to 31 October, from Sunday to Friday. The grounds are open from 11am to 5pm, while the rooms are accessible between 12noon and 5pm (last entry 4pm). Admission is £11 for adults, £9 for students and retired people, and £7.50 for children aged 5 to 16.
The second attraction of Arundel is the 19th century cathedral built in the French Gothic style. It is dedicated to Our Lady and Saint Philip Howard, son of the 4th Duke of Norfolk, who was imprisoned and died in the Tower of London for praying for the victory of Spanish Armada against England in 1588. Philip was canonised by the Roman Catholic Church in 1973.
Last but not least, you will be able to watch hundreds of exotic wildfowl from around the world at the Arundel Wetland Centre, one of the nine Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust reserves in the United Kingdom.
How to get there
Arundel is best accessed by train. It is 1h30min from London (£17.20), 20min from Brighton (£7.20) and 20min from Chichester (£4.20).
National Express has one daily bus from/to Southampton (2h, £6.90), Portsmouth (1h, £4.80), Chichester (20min £2) and Brighton (50min, £4.30).