Childfree in Sussex

After a long week, a childfree weekend in Sussex seems like a surreal dream. But I’m here to tell myself that it did happen. And – kick me now – I’ve got lots of ‘grammable content to share with you all. It’s not my fault I used that phrase…Savage has been hanging around with her Millenial brother too much and every time we saw a sight worth seeing, she would nod knowingly and say “Now, that’s ‘grammable content”.

The annoying thing is that she was kinda right. We were staying in Worthing and it was, indeed, very ‘gramm  able. It’s a mix of sea views, Art Deco buildings and hipster art installations. Oh, and puns. So many puns. And I have photos of it all to show you!


First off, the sea views:

In case you’re wondering whether we swam in that sea, let me tell you that we absolutely did. There are no photos because phones don’t do that well in salt water so you’ll just have to take my word for it that Savage and I did a full 25 minutes in those icy waters. I’ve finally redeemed myself for wussing out of a swim at Bournemouth. There was also a mobile sauna right next to where we swam, which was very tempting but sadly booked up for the weekend.

Next up, those Art Deco buildings I mentioned, with a new build that looks like it could almost be Art Deco too:

We walked probably around two miles along the seafront – from our hotel to Bayside Social in the east on the Saturday afternoon and from the hotel to Marine Gardens in the west on the Sunday morning. The architecture was ever changing and an interesting mix of eras, from the brand new build above to a row of painted Victorian house just behind:

If you’re wondering why we stopped at Bayside Social, the steely grey sky in this photo should give you a clue. Shortly after I took it, it absolutely tipped it down and we dived inside for a leisurely pot of tea. Outside, there was a statue commemorating Jumbo, a baby elephant who washed up on Worthing beach. Naively, I imagined this was a happy story about a cute animal visitor but a bit of research showed that I misinterpreted the words “washed up”.

Let’s move hastily on from elephantine tragedy to hipster art installations. There was yarnbombing everywhere – a bench was covered in knitted watches and various bits of buildings had had woolly makeovers:

But possibly the most pleasing collection of artworks were the stained glass pieces along the pier, showing different aspects of local life:


It seems almost incongrous to go from women’s suffrage to food-based puns but that was the other notable thing about Worthing culture. I feel like these might be a marker of the more hipster residents but there were an array of street food vans available and some of them had great names, like “Taco Look at Me Now” and this fishy earworm:

Yes, for the combining of 80s hit and takeaway food, Worthing seafront cannot be beaten. There was also this one, which confused us for most of the time we were there:

As I didn’t think the Vice Squad drove around in marked vehicles. Turns out this one belonged to a catering company called Vice Puddings.

The other thing I noticed about Worthing was the world’s neatest flint walls. How aesthetically pleasing are these?

We were only in town for one night so probably only skimmed the surface of Things to See but I’m glad I can share a few of them with you. After we’d checked out of our hotel on the Sunday morning, we decided to drive to Littlehampton to see what that was like. Google Maps tells me I’d visited before, in October 2013, but it was a bit grey and windy that day and I don’t remember it particularly well because a toddler Eva had kept me up most of the night before.  This visit was far sunnier:

Littlehampton seems less gentrified than Worthing but there is plenty of fun to be had. We paddled in the sea, which was shallower and warmer than Worthing, and we had ice cream on the seafront.

There was an interesting piece of artwork that ran along the front  – its’s called The Long Bench and runs for around 1,000 feet, with some of the slats engraved with the names of local families who’d sponsored them. At times, the “bench” gets a little crazy:

And there are notices warning not to climb on them. I’m quite glad the kids weren’t with me, as I’m sure they would have found them hard to resist. There were also some white, dome-like shelters which had quite a Tatooine vibe to them:

Don’t ask how we acquired that light sabre. I’m not sure it was legit.

Away from the beach, Littlehampton is all about the old-school seaside amusements. We played minigolf, crashed into each other on the dodgems and lost a fortune on the 2p arcade:

We also did NOT REMOVE THIS BOX, tempting as it was. I have no idea what this box is but I’m very suggestible.

Sadly, I soon had to get to the station for my complicated journey home, which involved getting off a London Victoria-bound train and ending up on a much more crowded one. But let’s not dwell on the unpleasantness on that, just the loveliness of a childfree weekend at the seaside:

Just a pity we didn’t get to go on the pedalos!

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