Littlehamptons wide spacious sandy beaches, ideal for fun in the sun.

In Saxon times the town was simply called "Hamtun", in 1086 the Domeday Book recorded the town as "Hantone". By 1230 this had become "Hampton" but by 1482 the towns current name was in use "Lyttelhampton". After the Norman invasion Littlehampton became an important port, mainly importing stone from Caen. During the reign of Henry VIII it was a royal shipyard building warships.

Speedboat rides are still a popular attraction, or you
can just laze away the day on the beach.

In 1863 the railway station opened, this opened the way for Littlehampton to become a popular seaside resort. But even before the railway arrived people were seabathing as early as the 1750's. Situated at the Mouth of the river Arun, Littlehampton is still an active port, with its attractive beaches, funfare and fine golf course it is a popular coastal resort that caters for everyone.

A section of the old fort is still visible today, although most of the outer wall is overgrown. A nearby display shows what the fort may have looked like when originally built.

To the west of the Arun is the aptly named "West Beach", as you walk to the beach, on the seafront between the Arun and the golf course are what remains of Littlehampton Fort. It was built in 1854 to defend against French invasion, as the French threat diminished the fort was regarded as a "White Elephant" and in 1891 the guns were removed and the fort demolished. During WWII Littlehampton was a centre for Air/Sea rescue patrols and the local boatyards turned their skills to producing landing craft. West Beach also played its part and was used for practice landings by Allied troops.

If you walk along West Beach it leads to Climping Beach. This is an unspoilt area of sand dunes which is home to many seabirds and rare flowers. All of this area is a nature reserve or site of special scientific interest. An area of active sand dunes, one of only six in Britain. Over 230 species of plant and over 200 species of birds have been found here.

(Above) Some of the many dinghys and yachts anchored at Littlehampton. (Below) The "Steam Packet" a reminder of the cross channel paddle steamers that once operated out of Littlehampton.

If you want to know more about Littlehamptons history, visit the towns museum in Church Street. Littlehampton has 114 listed buildings, many dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries.

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©1998 NavTech B.V. All rights reserved. Based on Ordnance Survey electronic data; used with permission of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office. ©Crown Copyright 1997.

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