Littlehampton is a seaside town in West Sussex. It lies midway on the Sussex coast between Bognor Regis and Worthing. It is just over 15 miles (25 km) west from the larger tourist area of Brighton and 55 miles (88 km) south of London
Littlehampton lies on the mouth River Arun, around four miles South of the historic settlement of Arundel. Like its coastal neighbours, the town is a product of the 19th century, and features all the usual quirks of a Victorian seaside resort. The town centre is around a 5- to 10-minute walk inshore, and features all the usual staples and amenities of a medium sized provincial town.
Littlehampton is often considered to have a grittier, more industrial culture than most of its companions along the shore, a reputation perhaps gained from the maritime nature of the town. The east banks of the river Arun were, until the turn of the millennium, dedicated to plundering the many spoils of the river, and it was only in the early 2000s that this tradition began to subside. The urbanised eastern shore of the river has now been massively redeveloped, and is now home to a selection of flats and apartments, a riverside walkway, and the town's visitor centre - the aptly named 'Look and Sea Centre,' which features an observation tower. The western shore of the river remains largely untouched, populated only with a few houses and the towns marina and golf club. The beach here, West Beach, features some of Britain's most unspoilt examples of sand dunes.
Away from the town centre and the seafront, the town is a rather unspectacular suburban affair, the only location of note being the Body Shop's world headquarters, which is in Littlehampton because it'ps founder, the late Anita Roddick, grew up here.
The A259, one of the main south coast routes, runs through the northern fringes of the town, and the town centre/seafront are clearly signposted along this route. From the north, Littlehampton is linked to London via the A24 and the A280 or the more scenic A29 via the A284 and Arundel. There are a number of car-parks in the town centre, which operate partly on a disc-based system. Discs are easily obtained from local stores and offer free parking for 2 hours. Alternatively, more traditional pay and display methods are available, both in town centre and seafront locations. The beach is never more than a 10-minute casual walk from the town centre.
Littlehampton is served by a branch line, and train services in and out of the town are operated by Southern Railway. Littlehampton station, just west of the town centre, is around 1 hour 45 minutes from London Victoria, and 45 minutes from Brighton along the coast. There are regular services between the town and the capital, at least two an hour until around 10PM, and the nearby settlements of Portsmouth, Chichester, Worthing and Bognor Regis are also well served from the station, all reachable in under an hour.
The Coastliner 700 service links the town westwards to Portsmouth and eastwards to Brighton, and has its main stop adjacent to the Waitrose supermarket on Anchor Springs in the heart of the town centre. However, rail services are similarly well connected and faster, and thus bus travel is perhaps mostly useful for shorter journeys.
The main attractions of the town, notably the seafront, are generally within a 15-minute radius of the station and of the main town centre car-parks. The best way to get between the beach and the town/station is via the river walkway, which can be reached at a number of points from River Road. The unspoilt natural beauty of West Beach and the marina is also connected from here, across the red pedestrian-only drawbridge easily visible from the walkway in the opposite direction to the main seafront attractions.
On-road and off-road cycle routes to, from and across the town have recently been notably improved. Designated routes into the town centre are now clearly marked, and are also largely segregated from areas of traffic. However, there are no bike hires in the local area.
Bus services from Anchor Springs are useful if you want to travel into suburbs and nearby towns not connected by rail, notably Rustington, East Preston and, to the North, Lyminster.
- The George Inn (Wetherspoons), 14-18 Surrey St, BN17 5BG, ☏ . A good place to eat. A handy stopping point between beach and Station.