Shoreham-by-Sea Area Guide
Shoreham-by-Sea is an attractive seaside town and port set in a spectacular position on the Sussex coast. At the mouth of the River Adur it enjoys views across the open Adur Valley to the west, has the beautiful South Downs as a backdrop and Shoreham Beach bordering its southern edge. Situated midway between Brighton and Worthing, it dates back to the 11th century.
Shoreham's historical importance is down to the role of the River Adur. The town was first developed as a port by the Norman Conquerors and was a centre for shipbuilding and coastal trade during the Victorian age. Shoreham Harbour remains in commercial operation to this day, completely protected from the English Channel by huge sea walls and concrete wharves. In Victorian times the need for a garrison in the town was recognised and Shoreham Redoubt built, a permanent fort. Maritime life still plays an important role in the town, which is a popular sailing centre and home to the Sussex Yacht Club, one of the oldest in the UK.
Shoreham is divided into the Old and New towns, Old Shoreham being the site of the pre-Norman settlement and clustered around the Church of St Nicholas, dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries. The ancient bridge across the Adur is an iconic feature of Old Shoreham, carrying the bulk of the traffic passing along the coast for two centuries before being allowed a graceful retirement.
New Shoreham has two real treasures: Marlipins Museum with its unusual checkered flint facing, one of the oldest secular buildings in the country, telling the story of Shoreham’s maritime and local history from prehistoric to medieval times; and the incredible historic church of St Mary de Haura, built around 1106 and renowned for its Norman and Transitional architecture.
Shoreham Beach sits on the southern bank of the River Adur and is home to the early UK film industry. Shoreham Beach officially became part of Shoreham-by-Sea in 1910 and now comprises many modern houses, a number of which are very expensive, architect designed constructions. The beach is a designated Site of Nature Conservation Interest thanks to the internationally rare habitat of its vegetated shingle. The Adur estuary itself is a notified Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is also a very popular venue for windsurfing and kite-surfing, and has hosted national and international competitions.
The properties in the town range from purpose built apartments and town houses through to original cottages, terraced houses and larger detached properties. On Shoreham Beach the properties are more modern with large contemporary detached seafront residences and bungalows.
The local schools and nurseries are amongst some of the best in Sussex. They include the notable Lancing College and Shoreham College.
The administrative centre of the Adur district, Shoreham is largely residential but has a small shopping area at its heart, intermingled with the town’s wide selection of popular pubs, bars and restaurants. The sense of community is highly developed with a real feeling of pride in the local area. Shopping on the high street offers some of the major chains of supermarkets and chemists and some popular local pubs and eateries, many with river views. Located off the main thoroughfare are some interesting independent shops, cafes and restaurants in East Street and the streets branching off from the High Street. Essential amenities are within walking distance of the town centre where you will find a modern health centre, a library, community centre and post office. Its monthly farmers' market is one of the largest in the county, as well as being voted best in the 2008 Sussex Food and Drink Awards. A large retail park, the Holmbush Centre, is situated on the outskirts of Shoreham and is occupied by a Marks and Spencer, Next and Tesco superstore.
The Ropetackle Arts Centre hosts a varied programme of live music, comedy and entertainment and is a popular venue for locals and outsiders alike. For the sporting enthusiasts Adur Outdoor Activities Centre offers watersports, as well as climbing, mountain-biking and orienteering. There are arts festivals, river sport, picturesque walks and cycle rides to be enjoyed, you would certainly never be bored in this thriving town.
Shoreham has excellent transport links to Worthing, Brighton, London and Gatwick both via its own mainline station and by excellent road links and bus routes. The A27 travels east to Brighton and Eastbourne and west to Southampton. Shoreham is also known for its Art Deco airport. With its Grade 2 Listed art deco terminal building, Shoreham Airport is the oldest licensed airfield in the UK. It is a growing centre for private aviation but also offers scheduled flights to the Channel Islands and northern France. Shoreham is an extremely popular town mainly due to its picturesque location, proximity to the city of Brighton and Hove, affordable housing and outstanding amenities and leisure pursuits.
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