Shoreham-by-Sea, often shortened to Shoreham, is a picturesque coastal town and port located in West Sussex, England. This charming town is bordered by the South Downs to its north, the Adur Valley to its west, and the River Adur and Shoreham Beach to its south. The town lies equidistant from the cities of Brighton and Hove to the east and the town of Worthing to the west. Shoreham covers an area of 2,430 acres (980 ha) and has a population of 20,547 as per the 2011 census.
Shoreham has a rich history that dates back to pre-Roman times. Old Shoreham is partly Anglo-Saxon in its construction, and the town and port of New Shoreham was established by the Norman conquerors towards the end of the 11th century. St Mary de Haura Church was built in the decade following 1103 and around this time, the town was laid out on a grid pattern that, in essence, still survives in the town centre.
Shoreham is home to some truly unique attractions. One such attraction is the Kingston Buci old village, which is located to the east of Shoreham-by-Sea. This village has a medieval church, rectory, manor house, and huge old barn that still make it a remarkable cluster. The church here was extensively remodelled in the 13th century when the shifting river estuary temporarily made Kingston a port town. The town’s name has an Old English origin, while the Buci part of the name comes from the Anglo-Norman owners hometown of Bouce in Normandy.
Shoreham Beach, to the south of the town, is a shingle spit deposited over millennia by longshore drift. This blocks the southerly flow of the River Adur which turns east at this point to discharge into the English Channel further along the coast. Bungalow Town, as it was then known, became home to the early British film industry, and Shoreham Beach officially became part of Shoreham-by-Sea in 1910. Much of the housing in the area was cleared for defence reasons during the Second World War and most of what remained after the war is now long gone, having been replaced by modern houses. However, the Church of the Good Shepherd, built in 1913, still stands.
The River Adur, the downs, and the sea support a diverse wildlife flora and fauna in the area. The south and west-facing downs attract at least 33 species of butterfly, including a nationally important population of the chalkhill blue butterfly on Mill Hill. The area has a variety of habitats in a small area, including natural chalk downs and butterfly meadows, freshwater and reed beds, salt marsh and estuary, brackish water lagoons, woodland, shingle seashore, chalk platform undersea, and large expanses of sand. Southwick Hill and the smaller sites connected to it are the second biggest surviving complex of ancient Down pasture on the Brighton Downs plateau. The Monarchs Way long-distance footpath, based on the escape route taken by King Charles II in 1651 after being defeated by Cromwell in the Battle of Worcester, follows the beach westwards from Hove past Portslade and Southwick, ending by the harbour mouths east breakwater.
Shoreham-by-Sea is a hidden gem that boasts a rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and unique attractions. It’s the perfect destination for anyone looking to escape the crowds and explore a truly authentic English town. Make sure to add Shoreham-by-Sea to your list of must-visit destinations!