What's On In Worthing?

A mere 20-minute drive from Chase Farm Glamping, Worthing beach beckons with its inviting shores. This town boasts a captivating history, having nurtured celebrities, showcased remarkable architecture, and proudly claimed Britain’s finest pier as of 2019.

You can park for free along the Marine Parade. Come down Grand Avenue and you can usually find a space between between Sea View Road and Rye Close.  The parade is flat, so ideal for wheelchairs and buggies, and there are some disabled parking spaces and ramps for easier access to the parade. 

Aerial View of Worthing Pier and Beach

Worthing, often misperceived as a sleepy retirement enclave, harbors a dynamic history that unveils its multifaceted nature. Beyond its serene facade, the town’s historical tapestry is interwoven with intriguing narratives and remarkable achievements.

Contrary to its quiet reputation, Worthing has hosted and nurtured a diverse array of personalities. The list of notable alumni includes radio presenter Simon Mayo, Body Shop founder Dame Anita Roddick, and iconic musician Billy Idol. This amalgamation of talent speaks volumes about the town’s hidden vibrancy.

Worthing’s historic roots delve deep into the past. Emerging from its humble origins as a mackerel fishing hamlet, it underwent a transformative evolution into an elegant Georgian seaside resort during the late 18th century. However, its significance transcends leisure; for centuries, it was a pivotal center for Britain’s market gardening.

The West Parade

Fire, Salt & Sea Sauna

Along the Marine Parade is the Canadian War Memorial.  Further up the beach towards the pier you will often see people bathing in the sea (regardless of the time of year!) before warming up at the Fire, Salt and Sea mobile sauna.  

Worthing Gin Van

There are numerous eateries and ‘watering holes’ on the way along Marine Parade. There is nothing better than a Worthing Gin cocktail as you sit by the beach listening to the wave and watching the world go by.

Molloy's Ice Cream on Worthing Beach

Opposite the Lido, Level 1 offers a range of freshly made delights from three different stalls called Skewered, Pickles, and Bao Haus.  For the obligatory seaside ice cream, look no further than Molloy’s next to the Pavilion Theatre.

Level 1 also boasts a bar and hosts a variety of events an activities during the year, such as quiz nights, crazy golf, market stalls and live music.  This sheltered spot with views over the sea should not be missed.

The Shellfish Shack is great for Oysters and there are variety of coffee bars in vintage converted vans and a Taco van – Taco Look At Me Now!

The Shellfish Shack - Oysters!
Worthing Lido

For the very young kids there is fun to be had at the Lido with rides and games. The cafe does a good English Breakfast with views over the sea, plus it is dog friendly both inside and outside the cafe.  In the summer months you will often find traditional merry-go-rounds to more adrenalin pumping rides on either side of the Pavilion Theatre as you reach the Pier.

The Pavilion Theatre

Worthing Pier

Worthing Pier, inaugurated in 1862, has witnessed a tumultuous history. Battered by a storm in 1913, the southern end of the pier was marooned after the main promenade was washed away.  In 1921 a new domed pavilion was built at the southern end, but this was later destroyed by fire in 1933, only to be rebuilt with a grand pavilion in 1935. During WWII, the pier became a military hub and the seafront was fortified

Walk along the pier today and you will experience the outdoor gallery of colourful ‘stained glass’ works in the windows between the arcade and Southern Pavilion.

Perch on the Pier (The Southern Pavilion)

Work started on the Southern Pavilion back in September 2019.  Since then it has been converted into a stylish bar and restaurant and was reopen in April 2022 as Perch on the Pier.  The menu offers a range from coffee and cake to cocktails and fusion foods.

With panoramic views over the sea, the restaurant’s interior has been thoughtfully maintained.  The heritage of the Art Deco style is a running theme throughout the building, and great attention to detail has been given to the interior from wall paper to door handles.  Outside you can relax in the sunshine on sofas and dining areas whilst you watch the world go by.  Even when the weather it wet, it makes for dramatic scenery from the comfort of the restaurant.  Another plus for dog owners the restaurant is dog friendly.

Perch on the Pier
Sympathetic Restoration of the Interior of Perch on the Pier
Crab & Lobster Ravioloni (means BIG ravioli!)

The East Parade

Past the pier and you will come across Two Face Twins art gallery.  Stella users a fine line pen to create her illustrations.  Gemma digitally manipulates the images and colours them to each work’s full glory.  You can’t miss the wonderfully bright colours and energy that pour out from their gallery, and well worth a stop for a look and shop!  

Next door you can grab coffee and tasty treat at The Camps Hot Doughnut stand.

If you are around early enough you can even pick up some fresh fish at Brownrigg Fishing.   Alternatively, try the Crab Shack restaurant with its fish menu.

Active Fishing Boats on Worthing Beach
Two Faced Twins Art Gallery and Shop

Next to the studios is the  Coast Cafe Beach Bar, which serves great breakfasts, burgers, plus fish and chips.  They also have live DJ’s playing a variety of music between 4pm to 8pm.

Each Beach Studios

Just after the Crab Shack and the Crazy Golf, you will reach the East Beach Studios.  Here you can find an eclectic mix of artists and artisans selling their work.  Often you can see them in action as they create their art on site. Beyond the studios, you can tap into your adventurous side at K66 Surf Division and learn to surf or stand up paddle board, and hire the kayaks too.  

Colourful houses on the New Parade

For the architecture buffs, the Bayside complex offers a spot of modern glamour to Worthing with is curvy balconies and a new pizzeria – Perch Pizza on the seafront.  Towards the end of the East Parade is the colourful row of houses on New Parade, each one painted in its own shade.

Worthing's History

The origin of the town’s name itself is reflective of its character. Derived from the Old English “Worth,” meaning “valiant” or “noble,” combined with “ingas,” signifying “people of,” the name encapsulates a sense of resilience and nobility within its inhabitants. Delving further, Worthing’s rich history is etched into its landscape. The town’s prominence extends back over 6,000 years, with evidence of Stone Age flint mines, among Europe’s earliest, dotting the region. Cissbury Ring, a sprawling Iron Age hill fort, stands as one of Britain’s largest and most remarkable.

Worthing Pier from the East Parade

Yet, Worthing’s journey has been riddled with challenges. The iconic Worthing Pier, designed by Sir Robert Rawlinson, faced trials including gales, fires, and the turmoil of World War II. However, its indomitable spirit has persisted, earning it the coveted title of Britain’s best pier in 2019. Worthing’s allure extends to literature and culture. The great playwright Oscar Wilde found inspiration here, penning “The Importance of Being Earnest” during his visits. The town has even served as a cinematic backdrop, featuring in productions such as “The Birthday Party,” “Dance with a Stranger,” and “Wish You Were Here.”

 

On the international stage, Worthing’s influence is equally impactful. World records, from the heaviest fig grown to the longest football marathon, find their roots here. The town also boasts the honor of hosting the Men’s World Bowls Championships twice, alongside Johannesburg, highlighting its global significance in the realm of sports.

Worthing’s connection isn’t just terrestrial; it extends to its twin towns: Elzach and Gutach im Breisgau in Germany, Les Sables-d’Olonne in France, Simonswald and Waldkirch in Germany, and Patos de Minas in Brazil. This global camaraderie mirrors Worthing’s wide-reaching influence.

In essence, Worthing defies preconceptions, revealing itself as a rich mosaic of history, culture, and achievement. Beyond its picturesque exterior lies a vibrant tapestry woven with narratives that span centuries, enriching its identity and ensuring that its legacy will endure for generations to come.

Now you can follow us on Strava under Chase Farm Glamping and see our walk along Marine Parade.