A seaside town that offers a quieter and more sedate outing than large cities like London or Birmingham, Worthing is an undiscovered treasure on England’s southern coast. Not everyone enjoys large, loud, and lary locations and this gets especially true as you grow older. Upon reaching a certain age you start to appreciate the little things, and the ability to move at your own pace in your own time.
Of this, Worthing is able and willing to provide. On a day out to this charming little community, you will find there is plenty of senior-friendly attractions and sights on offer for anyone dropping by for a visit.
The old English pier was once a mainstay of coastal towns across the country, and nearly every such community had one of its own. Alas not many remain, and in this Worthing is proud to have bucked the trend. Even today, Worthing Pier is thriving and continues to offer traditional seaside attractions such as fishing, ice cream, amusement arcades and simple, relaxing walks out into the sea.
As you would expect from an old-style pier, there’s plenty for seniors to get into. The promenade is level across the entire length, and numerous benches are available for seating.
There are plenty of photo opportunities to be had along the way, and at the sea end of the pier you can also find the Southern Pavilion Café. It offers light and cooked lunches, teas and coffees, and a place to relax and enjoy the views. Whether you spend just an hour or the whole afternoon, Worthing Pier can keep you entertained.
Of course, there’s no visiting Worthing Pier without also dropping down to visit Worthing Beach. The beach stretches for several miles either side and across the town, perfect for some bracing spray-whipped strolls along the strand. Worthing Beach is worth visiting whatever the time of year, although naturally there’s more going on during the warmer months.
As you go along the seafront, you’ll come across numerous seaside attractions, such as cafes, amusement arcades, and cycle paths. Otherwise you can always just lay down a towel or pull up a deckchair, sit back and enjoy the surf.
Moving further into Worthing proper, you would be remiss if you didn’t take a moment to step into the Worthing Museum and Art Gallery. Admission is free, and the building is open from Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm.
Inside you’ll find the collected historical wealth of the city, painstakingly gathered over the generations and generously donated by wealthy inhabitants of the city. The collection includes entire wardrobes of historic costumes, toys and dolls, fine art, and historical artefacts. The building is fully accessible to wheelchairs, hearing loops are available, and plenty of seating can be found throughout. Seeing and hearing dogs are also welcome.
Emphasising Worthing’s laid back and peaceful nature, a trip to Highdown Gardens and Highdown Hill are among the top things to do while you’re in town. You wouldn’t believe it at first glance, but Highdown Gardens are situated in an old chalk pit. Nobody could have believed that the ground could support such lush and vibrant plant life, and yet Sir Frederick and Lady Stern did just that from 1884 to 1967. Now owned by the Worthing Borough Council, Highdown Garden is a national treasure.
A climb up Highdown Hill offers unrivalled view of the gardens in all their splendour, as well as the surrounding West Sussex countryside.
Be aware that some parts of the garden, and quite naturally the hill, can be steep. Depending on the weather, the ground can also be slippery. That said, the garden does have a wheelchair accessible route that offers sights of the entire garden, and there is plenty of seating throughout the grounds should you want to sit down and enjoy the views.
What if we told you that you didn’t need to go to Italy to see the Sistine Chapel? That you could see it right here in England without ever needing a passport or a ferry across the Channel? Step inside the English Martyr’s Church and see for yourself.
Painted high up on the church’s ceiling in 1984 by local artist Gary Bevans after he returned from a pilgrimage to Rome, the resulting work is a 2/3 scale replica of the famous Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo. Vibrant, colourful and beautiful, it’s been drawing pilgrims from far and wide itself ever since.
The church is wheelchair accessible, and admittance is free. Anyone wishing to see the ceiling is welcome to do so, and the church is welcoming to all visitors. If you wish to join the congregation in prayer, Mass is held every day of the week. Check the website or the noticeboard for times or special events.
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