Pub lunches don’t get more perfect than sitting riverside with a pint of lager and the sunshine dappling your picnic table through the tress. If this is your cup of tea (or pint of lager!), you will love Arundel!
Having lived in Hove in my younger years, I’ve always loved escaping to Arundel for a Shandy at the Black Rabbit on the banks of the river Arun, (great pub for location but hand on heart, I can’t recommend it for food), so I couldn’t resist organising a trip to Arundel for myself and reporting back to my Luxury Travel Diary readers!
Arundel is a lively black-and-white timbered town sitting on the banks of the river Arun. The main town is little more than an extended high street winding up from the river to the Cathedral and Castle above. There are numerous busy antique shops, tea houses, restaurants and pubs plus a number of boutique B&Bs as well as a Relais and Chateau Amberley Castle four miles away. I chose the Swan Arundel because I wanted to be in the town centre and the rooms in this charming boutique pub & B&B had been recently renovated. In my opinion, the Swan Arundel offers the best accommodation in Arundel as well as excellent food.
Bertie’s of Arundel
Arundel isn’t short of cafés, so if you don’t fancy the cake at the delightful Swan, the most appealing has to be Bertie’s, with a black-and-white-tile patterned floor, two chandeliers above a counter full of homemade cakes – carrot cake, Victoria sponge, lemon cakes – the list goes on. A couple of the tables face the street, then there’s more seating at the back. Gorge yourself!
The Bay Tree Arundel
Sat in a gorgeous 16th-century, timber- framed building which houses The Bay Tree offers tables spread across three small rooms and pretty fairy lights hanging across the windows. This is an excellent choice for a cream tea or evening meal.
For those with a sweet tooth, try the traditional sweet shop, Castle Chocolates. Choose your selection out of jars and they will wrap them in pretty golden boxes for you to take away.
Arundel sits on the edge of the South Downs, so it is the perfect place for a stroll. Try taking the path behind Arundel Museum (opposite the castle) and stroll for two miles along the banks of the River Arun until you reach my favourite Black Rabbit pub, where you can rest at one of the outside tables overlooking the river, before your return journey.
Arundel Castle is also a must visit attraction. Home to the Duke of Norfolk, with 900 years of history, buy the most expensive ticket for an all access nose round the castle (£18), or take the cheap seats and simply pay to amble around the pretty gardens and grounds.
Visit Arundel any time of year, this little town is always lively. Christmas is a particular joy with its “Arundel by candle light” Christmas market with roasted chestnuts, mulled wine, hog roasts and carol singing. The Arundel Festival is also a must with live bands on the river bank and Shakespeare in the gardens of the castle. Book your room months in advance as they sell out, and arrive early to avoid the awful traffic queues.
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