The hilltop town of ARUNDEL, eighteen miles west of Brighton, has for seven centuries been the seat of the dukes of Norfolk, whose fine castle looks over the valley of the River Arun. The medieval town’s well-preserved appearance and picturesque setting draws in the crowds on summer weekends, but at any other time a visit reveals one of West Sussex’s least spoilt old towns. The two main attractions are the castle and the towering Gothic cathedral, but the rest of Arundel is pleasant to wander round – especially the antique-shop-lined Maltravers and Arun streets. North of Arundel lie a couple more attractions: Bignor Roman Villa, with some outstanding Roman mosaics; and the grand, seventeenth-century Petworth House, which has a notable art collection.
In the last week in August, Arundel’s festival features everything from open-air theatre to salsa bands.