Worthing

Worthing is the largest town in West Sussex, around 100km (60 miles) south of London and just 18km (11 miles) or so along the coast from Brighton. The town lies nestled between the English Channel and the South Downs National Park. Since the 19th century it has been nicknamed 'Sunny Worthing' thanks to its reputedly sunny and mild microclimate.

Understand

Worthing Pier from the beach

Although a seaside town with a pier, a prom and pleasant seaside parks, for much of the 20th century the town seems to have taken its eye off the ball with regards tourism, preferring to see itself as a town by the sea rather than a seaside town. In recent years, the town has been getting its act together; palm trees have been planted along the beach promenade, the iconic Dome Cinema has been restored and the area around Splash Point revitalised. The town has a growing reputation for the arts and now hosts the Worthing Birdman event which attracts tens of thousands of people. Further regeneration work is planned, including a £150 million redevelopment of the Teville Gate area near the station.

The hills around Worthing were home to some of Britain's earliest and most extensive flint-mining operations, which saw some of the hardest flint available mined for thousands of years and exported across much of Britain and Europe. These flints helped people to fell trees, bringing about the neolithic revolution turning the nomadic Stone Age into a settled agricultural Bronze Age. Church Hill dates from 4500 BC. You can still see the filled-in mineshafts on the edge of Cissbury Ring, just north of town.

Settled since the Bronze Age, Worthing remained a small fishing hamlet until the 1750s, when various wealthy citizens visited for the hunting and fishing opportunities afforded by the area. Princess Amelia, daughter of King George III, stayed in Montague Place in 1798, which put the town firmly on the map of England's fashionable society. In the 19th century, Worthing was an elegant and fashionable resort attracting the rich and famous of the day.

It is famous for being used as the location for the movie Wish You Were Here as well as its literary connections. Oscar Wilde named the central character of The Importance of Being Earnest after the town, and wrote the play while stayed here at the height of the town`s fashionability in the 1890s. Jane Austen's unfinished novel Sanditon is thought to have been significantly based on experiences from her stay in Worthing in 1805. A blue plaque marks the former home of Nobel prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter in Ambrose Place.

Today Worthing has a windsurfing and kitesurfing centre at the western end of the promenade and is a good place to stay for visitors wishing to explore the South Downs which are just north of the town.

Worthing (population 100,000) is a large town and the centre of an urban area of 185,000. With nearby Brighton, it forms part of England's tenth largest conurbation, with nearly half a million residents.

Get in

By train

Trains to Worthing run from Victoria and London Bridge stations in London, taking about 75 minutes, while Gatwick Airport is about 45 minutes away. There are also trains which run along the coast to Brighton (around 20 minutes). To the west lie Chichester (around 30 minutes) and Portsmouth (an hour).

Southern Railway tickets to London and some other destinations can be purchased from as little as £3 (£2 with rail cards) one way, if purchased online from their website. The tickets can then be collected form the automated machines at your departure station.

The main railway station is located just northwest of the town centre.

By car

The A27 also runs through the north of the town so, it is very easy to get to from Brighton and Chichester (depending on the direction). The A24 links Worthing to the M25 and London and is dual carriageway for much of its length. The A264/M23 provides a dual carriageway link from the A24 to Gatwick Airport.

By bus

National Express operates services to the town's bus station on the seafront close to the Dome Cinema. The journey from London to Worthing takes about 2h 40min. Tickets are much cheaper if booked in advance online.

Stagecoach's 700 bus operates services connecting Worthing with Portsmouth to the west and Brighton to the east.

Get around

Cycling

To the East of Worthing the South Coast Cycle Route runs along the coastline, so you can cycle along the promenade down to Lancing and Shoreham. A cycle route also goes from the train station to the seafront.

On foot

The main pedestrian shopping centre on Montague and South Streets is only one block from the seafront.

By bus

Stagecoach operates bus services throughout the town and local area. The Pulse is a service running every 10 minutes in the daytime between Durrington and Lancing via Worthing town centre.

Compass Buses also provides buses in the town.

By train

Southern Railway runs trains across Worthing's main station (known simply as Worthing Station) and four suburban stations (from east to west these are East Worthing, West Worthing, Durrington-on-Sea and Goring-by-Sea).

See

Do

Golf clubs

Worthing has a range of golfing facilities to suit all abilities:

Basketball

Cricket clubs

In the summer months there various grounds in Worthing which will welcome spectators:

Events

Buy

You will find the main high street shops around South Street and Montague Street including the town's two department stores Beales and Debenhams.

Montague Street is pedestrianised and is home to a market every Wednesday. South Street Square hosts a Farmers' Market on the fourth Saturday of every month.

Information on the shops and facilities in the pedestrian town centre can be found here

While in Worthing, look out for a type of sweet named Worthings after the town, available from various places including the shop at the town's Museum and Art Gallery.

Eat

Many different international cuisines are offered in Worthing, and most offer excellent food at a reasonable price. There main area for eating out in Worthing is in and around the pedestrianised Warwick Street. There are also an increasing number of restaurants around the West End of the town centre, about 1km west of South Street, around the west end of Montague Street and Rowlands Road.

For Italian food, go to 'Pomodoro e Mozzarella' on Warwick Street. This restaurant is far superior to the nearby franchises of Ask and Pizza Express, and offers authentic Italian cuisine in a friendly but very intimate atmosphere. Be sure to make a reservation if you want an evening meal there on a Friday or a weekend night. For Chinese food, try either China Palace or Fortune Inn on Chapel Road; the first is somewhat more expensive than the second, but both offer good food. China Palace has both a traditional a la carte menu and also a 'buffet' menu - for a fixed price, you can eat as much as you like, but it is cooked to order rather than being displayed in open gastronorms in the self-service style. Good Indian food can be found slightly away from the town centre on Goring Road at Shafiques. Ask for the window seat here and watch the local world go by.

For a bite to eat during the day, head to Bath Place, just off the east end of Montague Street, where you will find two very interesting cafés: Thai Lunch Box and Parklife. Thai Lunch Box offers a fairly traditional sandwich menu backed up by an extensive menu of Thai food. Look out for the oriental supermarket next door - pop in and have a look round if you have time. Parklife (almost directly opposite TLB) serves all sorts, including milkshakes in over 50 different flavours.

You might also like to try:

Drink

There are many good pubs dotted around the centre.

Sleep

Central Worthing has a number of hotels and bed and breakfast establishments.

There are also a number of good Bed and Breakfast establishments in East Worthing along and just off the Brighton Road. Sea front rooms here offer excellent views of the picturesque fishing beach and the English Channel beyond. Benson's Guest House is notable for having a Gold Award for quality. The Cavendish Hotel on the Seafront is a 2 star hotel, ideal for tourists and business people alike, free wireless internet access is offered to guests in the public areas.

Stay safe

Although Worthing is generally a very safe place to be, like many large towns, the town centre can get fairly rowdy on Friday and Saturday nights.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 05, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.