The picture postcard town 73 minutes from London that's a haven for independent shops

It's the perfect day trip near London
-Credit: (Image: Slawek Staszczuk/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)


Nestled in the South Downs 73 minutes from London lies a picturesque town that's a haven for independent shops. During the summer London can feel particularly humid during the few warm spells we enjoy this time of year.

Rather than putting up with the stuffy London Underground, angry commuters and streets packed with tourists you're sometimes better off escaping the city altogether. Arundel - a wonderful market town in West Sussex - is arguably a better place than any to escape hectic London life.

With a direct train from London taking little over an hour, you can enjoy peaceful countryside scenery in no time after leaving the city behind you. Once you arrive at Arundel station, waste no time in exploring this by heading along the River Arun for a stroll.

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Arundel Castle from above
Arundel Castle from above -Credit:David Goddard

About 30 minutes into the riverside walk you'll see The White Rabbit pub come into view, which was recently named the best country pub in Britain by London X London. Here you can sip on a cool pint while overlooking the river, or enjoy a bite to eat. MyLondon's own Jake Holden described the roast dinner as "delicious" with a "healthy portion size" following a visit earlier this year.

After you're walk, head back the way you came and enjoy what the town of Arundel has to offer. You'll find a dozen more pubs in the town, which has the highest density of pubs per capita in all of Sussex.

Arundel is also a haven for independent shops with a range including antique fashion accessory shops and even multiple fudge shops situated along the steep high street. Victoria Cole, from Roly's Fudge Pantry told our sister site SussexLive that working in Arundel feels like going on a day trip.

"When I park my car up it doesn’t feel like I’m going to work," she said. "Arundel is just so picturesque and is a very happy place to be. There’s a local feel about the place and a strong sense of community.

Arundel High Street is packed full of independent shops
Arundel High Street is packed full of independent shops -Credit:GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images

"We try to keep up this atmosphere by making all of our fudge on site. Even with a competitor opening nearby this hasn’t affected business at all as there is always a steady flow of tourists."

Along with its high street, it's tough to mention Arundel without considering the impressive castle which looms over the town. Open to visitors during the summer, it belongs the the Duke of Norfolk who organised Elizabeth II's funeral and the King's coronation.

Getting there

You can take a direct train to from London Victoria to Arundel in one hour and 25 minutes. Driving there via the A3 and A283 will take more than two hours.

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