Things to do in Worthing West Sussex
We boarded our flight from Inverness to London’s Gatwick Airport. I looked down over Scotland’s rugged beauty, a sight I had come to love over the past four weeks. We were headed to the coastal town of Worthing in West Sussex. We were looking forward to spending time by the seaside and discovering the things to do in Worthing.
- 1 Getting to Worthing
- 2 Arriving at Worthing
- 3 Where is Worthing
- 4 What to do in Worthing West Sussex
- 5 Worthing Attractions
- 6 Events in Worthing
- 7 Museums in Worthing
- 8 Worthing Entertainment
- 9 Bars, Pubs and Live Music in Worthing
- 10 Where to eat in Worthing
- 11 Worthing Walks
- 12 Things to do near Worthing
- 13 Places to visit near Worthing
- 14 Where to stay in Worthing
- 15 Last Thoughts on things to do in Worthing
Getting to Worthing
Worthing is an easy train ride from London’s Gatwick Airport. Direct trains can take as little 45 minutes from Gatwick Airport railway station. Direct trains from London’s Victoria railway station take around 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Arriving at Worthing
We arrived in Worthing wearing our coats and scarves from Scotland. It was like entering another dimension, the day was warm and sunny and everyone was wearing the bright pinks, oranges, whites and greens of spring. Feeling hot and drab in basic black we quickly changed and headed for Worthing Beach.
We were excited to see that Worthing had a Pier. Worthing weather was kind to us, we enjoyed the warmth of the sun on our backs and the rattle and hum of the waves as they rolled over the pebbles on the Beach. From Worthing Pier, we looked out over the turquoise water that stretched along the coast to Brighton.
Where is Worthing
Worthing is in the County of West Sussex in South East England. Worthing’s is 75 kilometres south of London making it a popular destination for weekend getaways and holidays. Worthing is within easy reach of the coastal cities of Brighton and Portsmouth.
What to do in Worthing West Sussex
Worthing has so much to offer, it has a wide range attractions, entertainment and dining options for the whole family. Worthing activities include historic and rural walks, festivals and events. Here are our top choices for what to visit in Worthing.
There are many places to visit in Worthing, our favourite is Worthing Pier.
Worthing Pier was opened in 1862 and the Southern Pavilion was erected in 1889. The Southern Pavilion was once used as a landing stage for paddle steamers from nearby Brighton.
Over time a series of disasters changed the original look of the Pier. Over Easter 1913, storms washed away part of the Pier’s decking, leaving the Southern Pavilion stranded, it was fondly nicknamed “Easter Island” by the locals.
A fire in 1933 and precautions during WWII also caused damage to the Pier, after each disaster the Worthing Pier has been lovingly rebuilt. Today the pier retains its 1930’s Art Deco splendour and is the heart of Worthing.
Worthing Pier Entertainment and Dining
The Pavilion Theatre
Located at the entrance of Worthing Pier, The Pavilion Theatre stages a variety of comedy and musical acts, stage plays, big bands and celebrity entertainment, a venue that has something to please everyone.
The Summer of Circus
The Summer of Circus is held at The Pavilion Theatre between June and August. The Summer of Circus is a collection of modern circus acts that bring the thrill of the circus to Worthing. The Summer of Circus also offer a range of circus workshops that include tightwire walking and acrobatics.
Pier Amusements Arcade
The Pier Amusements Arcade can be found in the middle of Worthing Pier. The arcade is alive with the lights, colour, whistles and bells of the arcade games, great fun for kids of all ages (including the Big ones).
The Southern Pavilion
Strolling down to the end of the Worthing Pier you will find the Southern Pavilion. The Southern Pavilion hosts a wide range of live Blues, Jazz and Rock events throughout the year.
The Southern Pavilion Café
The Southern Pavilion Cafe is the place to sit back, relax and savour a leisurely breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. Sit inside and admire the charming Art Deco interior or sit outside in the sun and enjoy sweeping views of the English Channel.
Events in Worthing
Worthing Wednesday Markets
We stumbled upon Worthing’s Wednesday Markets while out walking and were impressed by the variety of fresh fruit and vegetables at great prices. I love fresh raspberries and at three punnets for a £1, I couldn’t go past a bargain.
The market also has a large selection of clothing, electrical equipment, flowers, artisan bread, cakes and street food. The markets are held every Wednesday on Montague Street between 9am-5pm.
Worthing Food & Drink Festival
With over 40 stalls and cooking demonstrations The Worthing Food & Drink Festival is an introduction into the taste of Worthing and a foodie’s delight. The Worthing Food & Drink Festival is held in September in the Steyne Gardens.
Museums in Worthing
Worthing Museum and Art Gallery
I visited the Worthing Museum and Art Gallery because I have an interest in antique clothing and the museum has a collection of clothing that dates back to the 1600’s.
I’m fascinated by the changes in fashion through history and love the detail and workmanship that went into the clothing of days gone by. Looking at the clothing, I’m always surprised by how tiny people once were, some of the dresses were so small they looked like they were made for children.
As a David Bowie fan, I was thrilled to find a pair of his black satin flares on display. David Bowie wore the high waisted, diamante trimmed flared pants during his Ziggy Stardust tour in 1972. It made me wonder, were they donated by David Bowie or were they “borrowed” by an adoring fan?
The museum has interesting displays on Worthing’s rich historical past and has a large collection of porcelain, silver, toys and dolls.
Worthing is well known for its thriving arts and entertainment scene. From live music in Worthing’s bars and pubs to stage shows, circus and cinema in Worthing’s theatres. Let Worthing entertain you.
Theatres in Worthing
Along with the Pavilion Theatre on Worthing Pier, the Connaught Theatre and Assembly Hall host a large range of entertainment and movies.
Click here to find out what’s on at Worthing Theatres
The Dome cinema is a Worthing landmark. Opened in 1911 it is one of the oldest working cinemas in England. The elegant interior of Dome Cinema will take you back to a time when going to the movies was an event. For the full effect make sure to watch Worthing theatre shows in screen 1.
Bars, Pubs and Live Music in Worthing
There are so many bars, pubs and live music venues in Worthing, here are two that we enjoyed.
Located directly across from Worthing Pier the Cowshed is hard to miss. The Cowshed is a great place to sit back with a glass of wine, beer or cocktail and watch the world go by. The Cowshed is famous for its burgers, using only the best local produce. The Cowshed is at 31a Marine Parade.
The Rose and Crown
We enjoyed a night of live rock music at the Rose and Crown. The Rose and Crown is a traditional pub, that has a cosy rock and roll style. A great place for a meal and a pint.
We returned for lunch and enjoyed the Rose Burger, a meal of massive proportions, great value for money. The Rose and Crown can be found at 169-173 Montague Street Worthing.
Where to eat in Worthing
Thai Street Food
We spend most of the year living in Chiang Mai in Thailand and were craving Thai food. Thai Street Food didn’t disappoint, we enjoyed Papaya Salad and Pad Thai washed down with a Chang Beer. It was great to taste the flavours of our second home. Thai Street Food is at 3 Bath Place Worthing.
The Dome Vintage Tea Room
I love this tea room! Decorated vintage style, it took me straight back to my childhood. We decided to go with the vintage flow and ordered a cream tea, it came served in a silver teapot and delicate mismatched cups and saucers, a lovely way to spend the morning. The Dome Vintage Tea Room is located at 21-22 Marine Parade.
With views over the English Channel, Worthing’s long promenade is popular with both walkers and cyclists. At low tide the sandy beach is exposed and the place to spend hours beachcombing.
For those interested in learning more about Worthing’s history there are a range of walking tours available. Hear tales of local smugglers and of Worthing’s famous residents, Jane Austin and Oscar Wilde.
Things to do near Worthing
There are many places near Worthing that are worth visiting, here are two that shouldn’t be missed.
Cissbury Ring – South Downs National Park
The Cissbury Ring is around 8 kilometres from Worthing in the South Downs National Park.
The walk up to the Cissbury Ring does take a bit of effort but once there you will be rewarded with 360 degree views that take in the towns of Chichester, Brighton and the white chalky cliffs of the Seven Sisters.
The Cissbury Ring has an interesting history, it was the site of Neolithic flint mines and an Iron age hill fort that dates to 250 BC. Artefacts from the Cissbury Ring can be found at the Worthing Museum and Art Gallery.
Also nestled in the South Downs National Park is the town of Arundel. Arundel is around 16 kilometres from Worthing.
Dominating the skyline of this pretty market town is Arundel Castle. I’ve always wanted to visit Arundel Castle because of its connections to Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard, wives of England’s Henry VIII and Mary Queen of Scots.
Arundel Castle has been home to the Dukes of Norfolk and their ancestors for over 850 years and in that time, have amassed an impressive collection paintings and artefacts. The castle has an extraordinary history, that reflects the triumph and tragedy of this remarkable family.
The castle has stunning walled gardens and grounds which hosts events that include jousting tournaments and Shakespearean plays.The UK beach town of Worthing in Sussex should be on everyone's list of holiday destinations.Click To Tweet
Places to visit near Worthing
Brighton is only 24 kilometres from Worthing, in fact if you are standing on Worthing Pier you can see the British Airways i360 Tower in the distance.
Brighton has so much to see and do, it’s like Worthing’s bigger, flashier big brother. Here are some of the places we enjoyed.
Walking along Brighton Promenade is like being at the movies, stands selling seaside trinkets, beach gear, ice creams and delicacies such as cockles (tiny crab flavoured morsels).
Parents relax in the deckchairs that line the pebbled beach while children play at the water’s edge. Holiday makers relax and enjoy meals in the large selection of restaurants and cafes that line the promenade.
Brighton Pier is loud and brash and that’s exactly how everyone wants it to be. From the moment you step on to Brighton Pier your senses will be assaulted by the bright lights, colour and sounds that promise a fun filled day.
You can shop at the many stalls that sell seaside treats and souvenirs, visit the gypsy caravan and have your fortune told with the tarot cards, dine in the restaurants or take a thrill ride at the pier’s amusement park. Brighton Pier has something for everyone and shouldn’t be missed.
The Royal Pavilion
I always wanted to visit the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, I had read that it was considered garish and eccentric in its day and compared to other Georgian architecture I can see why.
The Royal Pavilion was built for England’s Prince Regent (King George IV) and completed around 1822. The exterior is Indian inspired and the interior are heavily decorated in the Chinese style.
Walking into the banquet room is breath taking, dragons hold massive chandeliers in the shape of Lotus flowers that hang from the ceiling. Silk panels depicting Chinese emperors line the walls and light shines and reflects off the gold and crystal on the long dining table. What may have once been considered garish is now striking in its glory.
The Royal Pavilion at Brighton is a must to see for any visitor. Unfortunately, no photos can be taken inside.
Not far from the Royal Pavilion are “The Lanes,” the small alleyways of Brighton’s historical quarter. The Lanes are full of charming old-world shops, restaurants and boutiques, the place to wander and get lost in.
British Airways i360 Tower
The British Airways i360 is the tallest moving observation tower in the world. The tower stands tall against the sky like a giant needle. The revolving glass observation deck winds its way from top to bottom taking in views that extend out to the horizon.
Getting from Worthing to Brighton
The 700 Coastliner bus leaves from Marine Parade near Worthing Pier and takes around 30 minutes to get to Brighton.
Where to stay in Worthing
The Chatsworth Hotel
The Chatsworth Hotel fronts on to Steyne Gardens and is around the corner from the restaurants and bars of Marine Parade. The Chatsworth Hotel is within walking distance to the entertainment of Worthing Pier.
The rooms and beds are comfortable and the restaurant and bar are decorated in a glamorous vintage style. The breakfast is filling and delicious and the Staff are helpful and courteous.
We were happy with our stay at the Chatsworth Hotel and recommend it to anyone staying in Worthing.
Last Thoughts on things to do in Worthing
We really enjoyed Worthing, it was a town that had everything we wanted with a heavy dose of charm thrown in. It was close to spectacular countryside and cities such as Brighton.
There is so much to see in this beautiful part of England and we only scratched the surface of what this area has to offer and hope to return in the future.
Have you been to Worthing? What do you love about this area of England?