Littlehampton to Arundel Castle SUP
The beach slash town SUP. Littlehampton, a small sea side town, is the start point to paddle inland to Arundel Castle and town 5 miles away.
≈ Quick Facts:
- River Name: Arun River
- What is the distance: 5.5 miles one way
- How long does it take: 1hr 45mins to Arundel Castle
- Shelter from wind: Any direction if light.
- Best Tide: Incoming or slack tide
- Pay To Park: Yes
- Parking Distance: 5 minute walk
- Do you pay to launch: No
- SUP Rental: No
- Wildlife: Swans
- Eat & Drink: Yes
- Toilets: No
- Hazards: Outgoing Spring Tide!
≈ Location Guide:
Where to park & launch a SUP in Littlehampton?
You can launch at the very accessible boat ramp in the centre of town, opposite the RNLI station, there’s a car park right by it. I launch on to Arun river from a handy pontoon right outside our self catering house that we stay at.
Best time to launch?
You MUST get the tide right as this river has one of the strongest currents in the UK! Spring tides can be brutal! See the photo below of what can happen when you get the tide TOTALLY wrong! If you want to SUP Littlehampton to Arundel and back, then leave NO LATER than an hour before high tide. To be safe I would make it 2 hours. There will be a slight push up the river with the incoming tide, which might add an extra knot or so to your speed. Once you arrive in Arundel you’ve then got plenty of time for drinks and eats while you wait for the tide to turn and start running back down river to Littlehampton. Ideally wait a good couple of hours before jumping back on your plank to get the full benefit of the river’s change of direction. If you get the tide spot on you might not need to paddle at all, just hold on to your hats and ride the Arundel conveyor!
What is there to see when you SUP Littlehampton?
Once you have paddled your SUP out of Littlehampton the scenery on the first part of the river is pretty flat. Not much to look at except for the odd train passing by on your right. The train actually stopped on my last Littlehampton SUP, I’m sure they were all looking out the windows wondering what on earth I was doing! After this section of river is completed it’s not long before you will see a strange sight on your left. A full sized airplane perched on top of a 60ft pole, not something you usually expect to see while SUPing! After paddling up river for about another 30 minutes you will catch a glimpse of Arundel castle for the first time. I challenge you not to smile when you see it for the first time, such a spectacular setting.
From here you will continue on up the river overtaking the occasional bemused dog walker strolling along the river bank and ducking under the odd low flying swan. Arundel Castle gradually getting closer, it seems to take an age to slowly meander your way up the winding river. The river was extremely quiet when I did the trip, not one boat passed by, but I bet it will be a lot busier in the Summer. Finally Arundel town will come in to view with the castle sat towering over the town. To paddle through the town centre you will need to paddle onwards and under the A27 road bridge ahead of you. Passing all the expensive waterfront properties lining the river on your left. When I first SUP’d here in 2008 people stopped and stared, looking dazed and confused, don’t think they have ever seen a SUP paddle into town before.
Waterside properties in Arundel
Carry on up to the second bridge located at the other end of Arundel town centre on Queen street. This is where I found my missus waving like crazy (My taxi back to Littlehampton!)
Queen Street Bridge
Where can I leave the river in Arundel?
My missus had found a walkway down to the river, right below the bridge. Result! Before this I had no idea at all where I was going to end up dragging the board out. Piled my gear in the back of the van parked on the bridge and strolled down to a waterfront a few yards away and celebrated over a huge portion of cheesy chips. Happy days!