To the west of Brighton and Hove lies Portslade and the Adur District incorporating locations Shoreham-by-Sea, Southwick, Fishergate, Lancing, Sompting and Coombes. The River Adur divides the area in two, running down to the coast at Shoreham where you'll find an RSPB Centre and nature reserve. Shoreham-by-Sea makes a superb holiday location offering easy access to Brighton & Hove to the east and Worthing to the west. The town boasts a fine selection of attractions including the Marlipins Museum, Widewater Lagoon, Shoreham Airport, a stunning shingle beach and a Marina at Shoreham Port. The Adur Coast offers excellent opportunities for a choice of watersports.
Kitesurfing is popular on both Shoreham and Lancing beaches and watersports clubs offering sailing, canoeing and other outdoor activities are numerous along the coast. The Adur District has the best of both worlds - a seaside location and the spectacular countryside of the South Downs to the north. You can hook into the South Downs Way National trail direct from Shoreham via the coastal link and birdwatchers will want to head for the RSPB Centre on the edge of the Adur Estuary mudflats at Shoreham, now a designated Local Nature Reserve.
Bordering Hove to the west of Brighton is Portslade which has a character of two halves with Portslade Village inland bordering the South Downs and the coastal Portslade-by-Sea. The two areas are particularly distinct with the pretty inland Portslade village containing a fine selection of historic buidlings including one of the Brighton area's oldest churches - St Nicolas dating from 1150 and the remains of the Norman Portslade Manor. Portslade Village has a rural feel and borders the South Downs offering easy access both to Devils Dyke Trails and the South Downs Way and to the many attractions in Brighton & Hove.
Railway stations are at Portslade inland near the village, Southwick and Fishergate. Portslade-by-Sea, previously called Copperas Gap before a name change in 1896, borders the busy Shoreham-by-Sea harbour and is Brighton's largely industrial working port area.
Of particular interest in the Portslade Village area is the historic Foredown Tower & Countryside Centre easily accessed off the A27 Shoreham By-pass on Foredown Road.
The centre affords spectacular views across the Sussex Downs to the North and contains extensive exhibitions on local nature and the environment. One of only two camera obscura in operation in the south is here at Foredown and the centre is housed within a character Edwardian water tower dating from 1909.
A selection of trails and walks into the Sussex Downs can be easily accessed from the centre including the Monarch's Way and the Sussex Border Path. Information on numerous nature sites and top walking spots in the area are available from the centre including the Southwick Hill area owned by the National Trust, the Foredown and Mount Zion countryside between Mile Oak and Benfield Hill and more.
Shoreham by Sea is one of the coastal Adur region's prettiest spots. The River Adur pushes almost down to the sea at Shoreham forming the Adur Estuary which you cross via a footbridge from Shoreham High Street to get to Shoreham Beach or access the beach area by road across the A259 Norfolk bridge. The Adur Estuary is a designated Site of Special Interest and the mudflats at Shoreham, including the site for the RSPB Centre, are a roosting site for gulls and waders.
With its own railway station, Shoreham village is easily accessed off the A27 and is perfect as both seaside base and countryside base affording easy access into the Sussex Downs and onto the South Downs Way National Trail via the Coastal Link which connects Shoreham to the South Downs Way and the Downs Link. Shoreham is attractive with a charming centre boasting the historic St Mary de Haura (c.1103) church, the Marlipins Museum and Buckingham Park. Shoreham Airport, one of the oldest licensed airfields in the country with a spectacular art deco terminal buidling, sits just west of Shoreham centre and the River Adur.
A visitor centre is on-site and open to the public inclusive of guided tours, as well as a restaurant with services offered including flight instruction, pleasure flights and conference/meeting facilities. Regular flights also operate from a selection of French locations.
Sussex treasure, The Marlipins Museum sits on the Shoreham High Street overlooking the mudflats of the estuary. The heritage building housing the museum is one of the oldest lay buildings in Sussex and has additional galleries in a modern annexe extension. The Marlipins Galleries reveal the local and maritime history of the area from prehistoric to medieval to the present. Note the large section of original 12th century wall and the strange pit most likely a privy built into the masonry.
Fascinating facts also emerge on Shoreham's 20th century film industry alongside details on the history of Shoreham Airport, local agriculture and wartime. Also in Shoreham centre at the far end of the High Street near Norfolk Bridge sits the Ropetackle Centre which offers a full arts programme of film, dance, children's entertainment, exhibitions, theatre and music.
Beautiful shingle Shoreham beach is one of the most delightful beach areas on the Brighton coast. Shoreham beach is rich in vegetated shingle containing rare plants such as the Yellow Horned Poppy, Cruled Dock and Sea Kale. This rare habitat has seen Shoreham beach becoming a recognised Local Nature Reserve (LNR). On the beach kite surfing is a popular sport and to the far west of Shoreham Beach sits the manmade Widewater Lagoon, a popular spot with herons, swans and wildfowl. The Shoreham RSPB Wildfowl Reserve Centre sits just below Norfolk Bridge on the edge of the estuary mudflats.
To the far east of Shoreham Beach bordering Shoreham Harbour is Shoreham's historic Fort dating from 1857. The Shoreham Fort was once one of many along the South East Coast and is an important site within the context of military history in the area when Brighton and its surrounds was one of the most important military stations in the UK.
The site is on a shingle spit at the point of exit by the River Adur to the sea. The fort was a popular location for filming by the Shoreham Film makers and is free to enter/ open daily with a pay and display carpark situated adjacent.
Much of Shoreham Harbour to the east is actually in Southwick. The Port area has a mix of leisure, cargo and fishing activities and includes the Lady Bee Marina just inside the Port's major shipping canal. The marina is well equipped with around 120 pontoon berths. Southwick centre is within easy walking distance of the Marina.
The longstanding Adur Festival runs annually and offers an extravaganza of music gigs, performances, exhibitions, workshops, walks, beer festivals, concerts and more across the Adur district in topspots like Southwick, Shoreham, Sompting and Lancing.
The programme is impressive and incorporates numerous mini festivals like the Sompting Festival and Beer Festival and Southwick Beer Festival and Weekenders. This is a District Festival at its best with over 20 years of success behind it.