Thursday 12 March 2009

Tour 2008 - Chichester to Brighton via Emsworth and Fishbourne

Before leaving the Camping and Caravanning Club site at Chichester, we’d planned to walk to the nearby picturesque village of Emsworth, however heavy rain scuppered that plan, so we took the motorhome down en-route to Brighton. And we are glad we did as it’s well worth a visit – a very pretty historic town with the type of friendly, traditional shops so sadly missing from High Streets today – butcher, greengrocer, patisseries, gift shops and LOTS of pubs and restaurants. Two large car parks with no height barriers meant that there were no problems parking out of high season on a Friday.

Grubbing round here here for a morning would have been lovely, but the rain was horizontal and we were wet to our underwear. After a quick change and a de-mist of the windscreen, we set sail for Brighton, calling in at the
Roman Palace, Fishbourne en-route. A huge car park with no height barriers made it a motorhome-friendly place to visit and using the Caravan Club 's “Days Out” brochure, we got entry at two for the price of one.

Fishbourne Roman Palace was discovered by accident during the digging of a water main trench in 1960. The discovery led to nine seasons of excavations that showed the site had developed from a military base at the time of the Roman invasion in AD43 to a sumptuous Palace by the end of the first century. Between 1995 and 2002, new excavations by the Sussex Archaeological Society revealed exciting new insights into the development of this site. A good 3-4 hours should be allowed to fully explore the palace and the grounds, unfortunately, the continuing rain kept us indoors and we weren’t able to explore the gardens. There is a pleasant café, and we had lunch before resuming our journey towards Brighton.

Passing through the South Downs, we made a mental note to come back and stay in this lovely area. We’d planned to stop at Arundel but it was STILL pouring with rain and we wanted to avoid the weekend traffic approaching Brighton, but it looked very nice as we passed through.

We were heading for the Brighton Caravan Club site
but had had a devil of a job getting in for the weekend. The site was showing full online and we’d tried ringing the wardens direct for several days but continually got through to voicemail. We eventually got to speak to a human, and were told they had a few vacancies left. On arrival, there were loads and loads of spaces, both on Friday and Saturday, so what’s happening with their website??

Image Above: Old Pier, Brighton in unseasonal September weather 2008. Copyright 2009

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