Arundel combines over 1000 year of history with a variety of antique shops, tea shops, art galleries and antique centres housed in listed buildings. It captures the essence of heritage and nostalgia with a cosmopolitan feel due to it’s boutiques and trendy eateries, making it a unique shopping experience. This market town, situated in a steep vale off the South Downs in West Sussex, is dominated by its medieval castle and roman catholic cathedral. Arundel is flanked by the river Arun which runs through the eastern side of the town. The distinctive Arundel skyline is easily recognisable along the A27 east from Brighton and west from Chichester.
The daughter of an antique dealer and my love affair with Arundel
Regular visits from Arundel are a must for me. This old market town is crammed with history and beautiful architecture, notably in the quaint cottages and old flint houses that line the steep lanes behind the main high street.
My love affair with Arundel began as a young child, the daughter of an antique dealer this town was a home from home to me. I spent many happy hours in my mum’s antique shop on the famous Tarrant street, west of the main high street in Arundel. Aptly named Upstairs Downstairs due to it’s four levels. The shop was filled with beautiful antiques and it was where my love affair for old things began. I spent many happy hours watching my mum work and met many colourful characters and other dealers that were so well known in the antique business, whilst absorbing the history around me.
Today many of the shops have changed hands. The Jolly Peddler previously an antiques centre on the main high street was where my mum had her first small area as a dealer but it is now a coffee shop. A number of the old school antique shops are now cosmopolitan boutiques and tea rooms. In fact the face of antiques on the high street may have changed but there are still a number of antique shops in Arundel offering the traditional collectibles from millitaria to architectural antiques, where as the antique centres now offer a wide range of vintage and retro goods.
The annual vintage markets and music festival provide a great day out and throughout the summer pop up galleries showcasing local artists works are a must.
This 1000 year old town offers a combination of unique history and mixes it with a cosmopolitan urban chic which is attractive to so many. Although mum’s shop is now an art gallery to me it is a place to return to knowing that each visit will bring a sense of nostalgia and evoke a wealth of happy memories.