I have recently finished walking the English coast. This blog is meant as a help/guide for someone doing the same thing.I hope to complete all the posts within the next 6 months. Go to the archive of past months and years to access all previous posts. Composite, rather amateurish photos are on the early walks as I had not acquired a digital camera. Any corrections of errors/ additional facts gratefully received. Enjoy the coast!
Thursday, 7 March 2013
Walk 91 Littlehampton to Pagham
to Pagham (West Sussex)
(Second leg of
English coastal walk – Broadstairs to Lands End)
Map: L/R 197
Distance: 11 miles or 18 km approx.
Terrain: Paths and pavement some beach walking if preferred
Access: Parking at both ends
Public transport: regular buses from Littlehampton (700)
change at Bognor Regis for 60 to Pagham.
Take the walk out of Littlehampton along the west bank of
the River Arun then follow the path which runs along the edge of the golf
course to Climping Beach and the small settlement of Atherington. From here to
Bognor Regis access to some of the beaches is restricted as they are privately
owned. If you walk below the high tide mark then (so I have been told) it is OK
as this part is not owned by anyone. However, I tend not to do this having been
bitten by a dog which was released by its arrogant owner in a similar
Further along is Middleton on Sea. The village grew from a World
War 1 sea base to become a holiday destination. Follow the road, promenade or
beach along to Felpham with its brightly coloured beach huts and larger wooden
structures (presumably used for holiday accommodation). William Blake the
artist and poet lived here for three years (1800-1803) and the house is still
The walk progresses seamlessly into Bognor Regis, the
first noticeable buildings are the tent like structures of the Butlins complex.
In the late 1780s, Richard Hotham, a well known London
hat-maker, decided to create a new watering place to rival Bath and Brighton.
He wanted to call it Hothamton but he died before this could happen and it
retained the name of Bognor (which comes from the Saxon for ‘rocky shore’).
Following a visit from King George V the resort gained its royal suffix
‘regis’. On his death bed he is said to have uttered “bugger Bognor” when told
by his physician that he would be going back there to convalesce after his
illness. Most buildings along the seafront are forgettable. Two exceptions are the
impressive Royal Suffolk Hotel and The Royal Hotel.
Bognor pier has had a similar history to many others in the
UK. It was built in 1865 and was 1000 feet long. From 1909 it had a large
theatre, cinema, restaurant and 12 shops. In 1964/65 the sea end of the
structure collapsed in a storm and in 1974 two fires broke out. In 1999 more
serious storm damage occurred and the rather short structure is the one that
can be seen today.
The walk continues out of Bognor Regis and on to Pagham. To
appreciate the views, follow the path and then turn north along the narrow
strip of land between the lagoon and Pagham Harbour. Many of the original beach
dwellings are bungalows originally constructed from old railway carriages. A
friend of mine used to stay in one of the carriages before they were converted
when on his family holiday in the fifties/sixties.
The walk finishes at Pagham – mainly bungalow land although
it dates back to the 13th century.
Snaps show: the two hotels on Bognor seafront; a view to the beaches near Middleton on Sea; Butlins at Bognor.