Sussex

Things to Do in Worthing, Sussex

Parcelled between the South Downs and the English Channel, Worthing in West Sussex is embraced on all sides by captivating scenery. Home to the ancient Titnore Woods, the famous Goring Gap beach, the Neolithic Cissbury Ring – not to mention rolling countryside, gorgeous coast and a myriad of eateries and attractions – you can walk, cycle or laze your way through this charming seaside resort and its surrounding landscapes. Let’s dive in.

Once home to a small fishing and farming community, Worthing transformed over the centuries from a small Saxon settlement to a sought-after seaside resort town. Really finding fame in the 18th Century, its name was bounded about by the country’s high society who enthused about the health-giving properties of Worthing’s rejuvenating salty air and sea-bathing. Even frequented by a young Princess Amelia who believed in the restorative effects of the coast, it was firmly cemented on the map as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK.

To this day, Worthing’s array of natural and manmade attractions remains a huge draw – both the pride of locals and the wonder of visitors. From sunbathing on its beaches to visiting its historic sites to wandering its tree-lined prom, the town offers endless ways to fill your agenda and make the most of its many delights. If you are thinking about your next holiday or have already booked your seaside retreat, here are some of the top things to do in Worthing. Whether you stay local or branch further out to explore, there’s something for everyone to get stuck into.

Walks

Whether you’re a trail blazer or leisurely ambler, there are all sorts of great walking opportunities in and around Worthing. Its palm-lined promenade spans for over 5 miles alone, allowing you to walk uninterrupted along the shore at your own pace. Of course, if you want to head a little inland, you can also pick up sections of the South Downs Way – one of the most famous walking trails in the UK.

Beaches

On a sunny day, there is no better way to relax than sprawled out on your towel on the beach, listening to the waves lap against the shore. Nudging the edge of the town, Worthing Beach is a natural choice with its vast amounts of space and proximity to local amenities. A short distance from Worthing, Goring-by-Sea Beach, Lancing Beach and Ferring Beach are also great options – the latter two also being dog-friendly year-round. 

Water Sports

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a sports aficionado or simply love being in the sea, there are a number of water-based activities you can try in Worthing. Take a leisurely paddle around the famous 19th Century pier or go for the full adrenaline fix with an hour or two on the waves. With centres for kite and windsurfing, stand up paddle boarding, sailing and more, water-lovers of all ages and abilities can get involved.

Town Vibes

If hitting the high street is more your thing, then Worthing’s town centre will offer plenty to see and do. Wander the streets, enjoying the mishmash of period and contemporary architecture, and spend time perusing the town’s many shops, galleries, eateries and more. Worthing’s artist quarter is particularly fun to explore, with paintings, sketches, sculptures, carvings, jewellery, ornaments and more all on display.

Theatres 

For some added entertainment during your holiday in Worthing, why not pay a visit to one of the town’s theatres? The Pavilion Theatre and Connaught Theatre & Studio both offer an eclectic array of live and recorded performances and exhibitions. Meanwhile, the Dome Cinema is an attraction in its own right, famed for being one of the UK’s oldest working cinemas.

Heritage Trails 

For a greater insight into the town’s past and local history, a visit to Worthing Museum & Gallery is a must. You can also purchase Worthing Heritage Trails from Worthing Museum. Great for all generations, the walks guide you through the town divulging tales of old, from information about the oldest buildings to Royal visitors to smuggling and more.

Pier Strolls

Worthing’s award-winning pier was built in 1862, surviving fires, wars and storms to stay standing proud over the sea today. At nearly 1,000ft long, its elegant frame provides a striking platform on which to browse local artwork, dine at its Art Deco tearoom and simply stroll and watch the waves roll by below. The views, though always beautiful, are particularly stunning at sunset.

Historic Sites

Worthing and its surrounding landscapes have a long history of human habitation and to this day are peppered with historic sites that provides insights into the area’s past. Top attractions include Cissbury Ring, home to a Neolithic flint mine and Iron Age hillfort, and Chanctonbury Ring, a prehistoric hillfort atop Chanctonbury Hill. High Salvington Windmill is also a must-see, a working post mill dating from around 1750.

Gardens

Not just famous for its coastal scenery, Worthing is also home to lush gardens which provide tranquil havens for all generations. The most famous, Highdown Gardens, was created in 1909 and is planted with many rare plants, including those from China and the Himalayas. A recognised National Plant Collection, the gardens are a living library and well worth the attention of any budding botanist. Also in Worthing, the Marine Gardens enjoy a seafront location and are packed with ornamental and formal planting. 

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