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Littlehampton is BIG on activities, from the lush Littlehampton Beach to the quaint harbour and promenade walks along the River Arun. A wonderful part of West Sussex and just two hours away from London on the train, here is why this popular seaside town is a little slice of heaven on the south coast.
Likely the main reason to visit Littlehampton for a day trip, Littlehampton’s main and most popular beach is the Littlehampton East Beach. This sandy, shingle stretch of shore has all the traditional trappings of a classic seaside town like beach huts, mini golf and fish and chip / ice-cream stalls directly overlooking Littlehampton beach (just watch out for those pesky seagulls).
You can swim at Littlehampton Beach but on a hot summer’s day, but we’d recommend you get there early as it isn’t the biggest of beaches and sandy spots can get taken very quickly.
Littlehampton beach huts
No British beach is complete without beach huts and Littlehampton beach has a bevy of brightly coloured beach huts a little away along East Beach. The local Arun Council owns most of the beach huts and rents them to local people on an annual basis, so whilst you can’t hire them as a visitor or day-tripper, they are pretty as a picture and popular as a photographic backdrop.
An idyllic slice of Littlehampton with views of the River Arun and nearby Arun Yacht Club, Littlehampton Harbour is easily accessible from the main Littlehampton train station and is the best way to begin your coastal walk when you first arrive in the town (there is also ample parking here is you are driving by car).
Littlehampton Harbour has a popular promenade walk that runs alongside the River Arun all the way to Littlehampton Beach (East Beach). As well as multi-million pound yachts, also keep an eye out for the quirky Concrete recipe tablets along the walk (they might even inspire your choice of dinner!)
Littlehampton Beach Pier
A peaceful spot with gorgeous views of both Littlehampton East Beach and Littlehampton West Beaches respectfully, Littlehampton Pier has ample benches to soak up the seaside views and is a popular place for the local fisherman. The pier is also the ideal sunny spot to enjoy fish and chips from one of the nearby takeaways (listed below).
Littlehampton Beach Fish and Chips
Like any good traditional British beachside resort, Littlehampton has several popular fish and chip restaurants to choose from, all within easy walking distance of the beach and seafront. Based on the queues we saw, the best fish and and chips in Littlehampton are:
Osca’s Fish and Chips
Mighty fine fish and chips a short stroll from Oyster Park. Based on the lengthy line outside, Osca’s could fittingly win an Academy award (ahem) for its takeaways.
A couple of doors along from Oscars, Fred’s fish and chips (the best name for a chippy ever?!) is also hugely popular with the locals, and a great ‘plaice’ to eat seafood.
Traditional Fish and Chips Kiosk, East Beach
If you are on the beach or pier at Littlehampton, for convenience, there is also a kiosk selling fish and chips just next to the lifeguard station, as well as other snacks and cold drinks, perfect for a hot summer’s day on Littlehampton Beach
Littlehampton Long Bench, the longest bench in Britain
One of Littlehampton’s claims to fame is Littlehampton Long Bench, reputedly Britain’s longest bench. You’ll see it running all the way along Littlehampton Beach and whilst it can be a little subtle in places, the designers have had some fun in its creation, with some interesting shapes and patterns. Measuring over 300 metres in length, you’ll never be short of a seat at Littlehampton Beach (although you may have to wait your turn to sit in the more curvy parts of the bench).
LIttlehampton Look and Sea Centre
At the far end of Littlehampton Harbour, you’ll find the Littlehampton Look and Sea Centre, a maritime exhibition dedicated to the local history of the area. Here you will also find lots of local Littlehampton tourist information as well as the Harbour Lights Cafe, which has a terrific outdoor terrace overlooking the marina and Arun River.
Oyster Pond / pedalo hire in Littlehampton
The rather cutely named Oyster Park is a secluded spot (a little quieter than Littlehampton Beach) that has a nice circular pond, lined by benches and the occasional piece of public art or statue. In the summer months, you can hire pedalos on Oyster Pond too.
Littlehampton Buccaneer Bay mini golf and miniature railway
A haaa me hearties – ‘putt’ a swing in your step with a trip to the Littlehampton Buccaneer Bay Adventure Golf Course in Norfolk Park. Next door to the crazy golf is a miniature railway line, fun for rail enthusiasts of all ages. Norfolk Park also has a very popular cafe Edge by the Sea and public toilets.
Harbour Park and Amusements
A mini Disneyland on sea, Littlehampton’s Harbour Park is right on the beach front and aimed at families and small children, with vintage delights such as dodgems, slides and all the traditional fairground rides you’d expect. It is probably best not to eat too much candy floss before you get aboard the Dolphin Leap, due to the huge and sudden drop (you’ll hear the screams on Littlehampton Beach).
Littlehampton war memorial and Caffyns Park
A little way from the beach, Caffyns Park is a grassy park which is a nice alternative to Littlehampton Beach if you prefer grass over sand. Littlehampton War Memorial can also be found here, which is well kept and has several monuments and statues dedicated to those who lost their lives in the war.
Littlehampton town centre and shopping arcade
Littlehampton town centre is a pleasant parade of independent shops and the usual chain stores – for every ‘local’ business or pub, you’ll see another usual high street presence like Greggs or Wetherspoons. It is also a good place to stock up on snacks or food and drinks for Littlehampton Beach. Two of the most popular independent places include the Country Cob Artisan Bakery and neighbouring pub, The Crown.
As well as Littlehampton Shopping Arcade, there is the Millenium Clock Tower, a popular meeting point that marks the start of Littlehampton High Street.
Other UK south coast blog posts you might like:
- Guide to a day out in Whitstable, Kent
- Things to do in Margate, Kent
- Things to do in Hastings, East Sussex
- Day trip to Brighton – top things to do
- Guide to Folkestone, Kent
- Top things to do in Ramsgate, Kent