Sussex country side

What We Packed – Summer Weekend Away in Sussex

 

Booking a last-minute summer weekend away, we opted to stay in Sussex – not too far a drive for us from Oxfordshire and with a mixture of things to do including pretty towns, seaside beaches and countryside to explore.

I wanted to stay by the sea, but a lot of accommodation was already booked up. We eventually settled on the Arun Sands – a guesthouse right on the seafront in Littlehampton. It had great reviews, and I have to admit I was sold by the teddy bears in each room! Bears were quite a theme of the whole place, as it turned out. It was a good choice; the hosts were extremely welcoming, the rooms comfy and the breakfast plentiful.

The South Downs, near Arundel

The South Downs National Park, near Arundel

Being the middle of the school holidays we were surprised how quiet it all was really. We even found parking on the street without any problem. Littlehampton is a very traditional British seaside town, with lots of family attractions and simple places to eat.

On our first full day we took a walk through the countryside to Climping, and then back along the beach. The beaches are mostly pebble here so walking on them for any distance is quite hard work!

Littlehampton beach

Littlehampton beach

 

It was quite a warm day too, so obviously we had to stop for refreshment when we got back… at a delightful little tea room in Littlehampton (The Moorings) which serves tea in vintage china cups, leaf tea in pots, and scones on a fancy cake stand. Cream Tea number one – tick.

The next day we drove to Bognor Regis, planning some sunning on the beach – although the sun didn't oblige for long and then the tide came in and we had to move! We headed on to Chichester, which is a lovely little town dominated by a Cathedral. There are lots of pretty streets and shops to explore, and yes we did find a cafe for Cream Tea number two…

The South Downs

The South Downs

 

Day three saw a trip to Arundel and the South Downs. We took a ramble first along the river Arun and up into the green hills, returning back into the town through the Duke of Norfolk's estate and along to the Medieval castle. Arundel again is a very quaint and picturesque place to visit, with some lovely delicatessens and sweet shops to tempt you. It looked a nice place to come back and stay.

Arundel

Arundel

We then ticked off the beach resort of Worthing – all very similar really along this coast. This time we opted for an ice cream whilst finding shelter from the chilly sea breezes, before sampling the amusement arcade on the pier.

We ate out in Littlehampton each evening, and there were plenty of good value places to go with lots of fresh fish choices. Nowhere was overly ‘smart' but perhaps the nicest restaurant we found was 47 Mussel Row, where I had delicious monkfish tails with chorizo, buttery potatoes and fresh veg. It was a place you could dress up for if you wanted to (I wore my sundress), but other customers were wearing jeans and shorts so really anything goes.

The River Arun, in Littlehampton

The River Arun, in Littlehampton

 

Our final morning took in another walk along Littlehampton promenade, before venturing home via a stop-off in Winchester. This looks like a very interesting place to visit on the right day – lots of Tudor history to learn about – but unfortunately for us the British weather struck and it was teaming down with rain. Clearly the only sensible thing to do was take refuge in a coffee shop! Cream Tea number three, and probably the best of our trip, was taken at Alexander's – an artisan cafe selling an array of loose-leaf teas, coffees and flavored hot chocolate which comes solid on a stick and you stir it into hot milk.

All in all we enjoyed a relaxing stay in what was a new part of the world for us, and I'm sure we'll be back before too long.

To travel in I wore:

  • Black jeggings
  • Camisole
  • Navy t-shirt
  • Pretty scarf
  • Trainers

And packed:

  • 1 pair of cropped trousers
  • 1 pair of black leggings
  • 1 sundress
  • 2 casual t-shirts
  • 1 evening top
  • 1 cardigan
  • 1 fleece
  • 1 pair of walking boots and socks
  • 1 pair of smart but comfy sandals
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • PJs
  • Swimwear
  • 1 set of costume jewelry
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Waterproof fold-away jacket
  • A clutch bag
  • And my handbag

Hubby wore:

  • Tailored shorts with a belt
  • T-shirt
  • Trainers

And packed:

  • 1 pair of smart jeans
  • 1 pair of convertible walking trousers
  • 3 casual t-shirts
  • 2 smart long-sleeved shirts
  • 1 smart jumper
  • 1 pair of walking boots and socks
  • 1 pair of smart shoes
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Cap
  • Waterproof fold-away jacket
  • A backpack for day trips

We didn't need walking boots in the end as it was dry and trainers were fine, nor did we use the swimwear (packed more in hope than expectation) – it wasn't warm enough really and the most I dipped in the sea were my toes (it was freezing!). But you never know what the British weather will throw at you, so we were prepared for everything.

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