Worthing: Sussex towns and villages

PUBLISHED: 14:38 03 July 2013 | UPDATED: 14:38 03 July 2013

Worthing

Worthing

BJ Scantlebury

Between the 16th and 20th centuries, fishing was a major industry in Worthing

Shelling out

Between the 16th and 20th centuries, fishing was a major industry in Worthing. The catch was mainly mackerel and herring, but a large oyster bed was discovered just off the coast in 1823, yielding 50 million oysters in its first year. Sadly, overfishing meant that it lasted for just over a decade.

The play’s the thing

Oscar Wilde is said to have written much of The Importance of Being Earnest while staying here in 1894, naming the character Jack Worthing in its honour. He stayed at The Haven, 5 The Esplanade with his family, and presented the prizes for the best-dressed vessels at the annual regatta.

Wise words

Worthing’s motto is Ex terra copiam e mari salutem, which means, ‘From the land plenty and from the sea health.’ The town’s coat of arms includes three fishes, a Horn of Plenty overflowing with corn & fruit on a cloth of gold, and the figure of Hygieia, goddess of health, holding a snake. This symbolises the health given from the seas, the riches gained from the earth and the power of healing.

Lights, camera…

Opened in 1911, The Dome is one of the oldest working cinemas in England. It was originally called The Kursaal, meaning cure hall in German, as there was a health centre alongside the entertainment complex. But when World War I broke out, residents objected to the German name, and a competition was run to re-name it – the winner got £1 for coming up with The Dome.

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Go

Highdown Gardens

A gorgeous garden that’s well worth a visit, with a footpath leading to Millers Tomb, a nearby Iron Age fort

01903 501054; www.highdowngardens.co.uk

Eat

The Crescent Road Café

Set a couple of streets back from the sea and slightly off the beaten track, this is a café by day and restaurant by night, serving proper British food

01903 204194; www.crescentroad.co.uk

Drink

The Hare and Hounds

A traditional English pub since 1814, enjoy five cask ales and a selection of fine wines in comfortable, welcoming surroundings

01903 230085; www.hareandhoundsworthing.co.uk

Sleep

The Windsor Hotel

Central, but set down a quieter street, away from the hustle and bustle, The Windsor is comfortable and unpretentious

01903 239655; www.thewindsor.co.uk

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Notable neighbours: Billy Idol grew up nearby, and DJ Simon Mayo went to school in the town

Getting there: Worthing has three train stations, and is near the A27 and A24

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