information about West Sussex
Water Meadows of the Arun Valley
The valley of the River Arun is a place of impressive natural beauty. Rising in St. Leonard's Forest, Sussex's longest river meanders south from Pulborough through peaceful pastures alive with birds and cattle, then cuts through the South Downs and past Arundel towards the sea at Littlehampton. Upstream the Arun is a good river for the angler, as pike perch, chub and roach abound. The Arun Valley was one of the six administrative divisions, or 'rapes', into which the Normans divided Sussex after the Conquest. Each rape had its own strip of coast, its own downland for grazing and clay farmland for cultivation, and to the north a strip of the ancient Wealden forest where kings hunted. The Normans built Arundel Castle to defend the valley against raiders; its successor still dominates the valley, and the town of Arundel at its foot, once a flourishing port, is a good touring centre. An attractive minor road, for instance, follows the river bank beside Arundel Park, which has noble trees, secluded dells and a fine lake. The road continues to an inn nestling beneath a wooded chalk escarpment right on the river bank. The seaside resorts such as Bognor Regis and Littlehampton are bright and friendly places with the beautiful unspoilt farmland, woodland and downs behind them.
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