Close by the bridge from where hundreds of plastic ducks race every August, Arundel House sits handsomely with its feet in Sussex’s River Arun, gaping in awe at the castle and cathedral. It’s isolated from the buzz and bustle yet just minutes from the cluster of half-timbered independents selling speciality pasta, local beer, retro vinyl and more.
The river views are at their best from the freestanding bath in the master bedroom. Or perhaps out on the landscaped lawn over a game of badminton or boules, watching the country’s second-fastest river rumble past on its way to Littlehampton. But this dog-friendly Sussex retreat for 12 has more up its sleeve than a mere majestic river.
Arundel House is Instagram-ready, too, with fast Wi-Fi and a back-up supplier – just in case. It even comes with Wellington boots in various sizes for your riverside yomps. Cook on the Bosch fan oven, eat around the chunky hunk of a dining table or out on the river front. Sleep in White Company bedding. Consider copying the keys.
Gardens here are oh-so-English, with landscaped lawns, oaks and yews. It’s as if Arundel House is being casual about its party piece: the River Arun that trundles delightfully past.
You might be mesmerised by the river, but there’s plenty more to keep you out in the garden. The coal barbecue will look after your hunger, while games of badminton, boules, netball, speedball and Swingball will feed your competitive spirit.
The rolling river outside might have you transfixed, but the internal spaces here are just as captivating. The sitting room comes in a soft, relaxing palette of gentle neutrals. Just in case that wasn’t relaxing enough, you’ve a piano on which to stretch your fingers over some classical favourites. Handel’s Water Music, maybe?
Arundel House is very grand: 3800-square-feet grand. Yet it’s homely too. Spaces come dotted with floor-filling rugs, framed pictures and standard lamps. You can play the supplied vinyl here on the LP player and CDs on the CD player. A hi-fi comes with speakers in the lounge and dining room.
After a day yomping the riverside walks in the wellies you’ll find ready-supplied, get together around the sitting-room TV for a full Sky package, BT Sport, Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime and Spotify. Just log in and kick back with plenty of popcorn. Or let the kids loose on the jigsaws, games and toys in the family room.
The dining table’s a chunky hunk of a thing and you’ll get a dozen around it comfortably. Keep it weighed down with hearty fare cooked on the Bosch fan oven from Waitrose, Ocado, Sainsbury’s and Pallant Delicatessen in Arundel. Or don’t cook at all. Ask about hiring a private chef for a one-off celebration or fully catered break. You deserve it.
Eating al-fresco here is a unique pleasure. In landscaped gardens that hang over the river frontage, the charcoal barbecue’s aroma comes with an added edge. Or maybe farm out the cooking to local tasty takeaways such as India Gate, Thai Time, or Trawler’s for fish and chips.
Eating out? Options abound. There’s sophisticated dining on offer at Parson’s Table. Try the breast of Barbary duck or the Sussex Bay sea bass. Maybe it’ll be traditional sub-continental cooking at Indian Royal. Or perhaps you’ll push the boat out for the Michelin-starred dining and barrel-vaulted ceiling at Amberley Castle.
Tuck into homemade terrines and chutneys and grilled lobster with confit garlic alioli and truffle fries at Amberley Black Horse. Enjoy a reliable Italian at La Campania or spiced halibut or grilled harissa lamb rump at Butler’s, or the authentic taste of Bangkok at Thai Time.
Sleeping 12 in six bedrooms, Arundel House lets you drift off wrapped in high-thread-count White Company linen against the sleepy rush of the river.
The en-suite master bedroom sleeps two in a superking with access to the balcony. Wake to breakfast TV and lovely views. Bedroom two offers an en-suite and a superking or two singles with access to the balcony, while bedroom three is a twin with an en-suite bathroom.
In the annexe, en-suite bedroom four provides a kingsize bed and delightful river views, and bedroom five offers a superking or two singles with an en-suite shower room. On the ground floor, bedroom six gives you a superking or two singles. Most rooms will fit a cot.
When kids are making the memories that will last them a lifetime, it’s often the iconic and the unique that stay with them. Arundel House has that in spades, standing with its feet practically in the rushing waters of the River Arun on its hasty journey towards Littlehampton. Maybe they’ll return one day with their own children.
Surrounded by extended family and space for two dogs, kids will literally have a ball on the landscaped lawn. While you load the coal barbecue with meaty goodies from the Pallant deli, watch the kids run themselves ragged over speedball, netball, basketball, Swingball, boules or badminton.
Inside, there’s 3800 square feet of fun that makes for a very long game of hide-and-seek. When that wears thin, they can head to the playroom to melt away hours over books, jigsaws and games. Older kids might enjoy spinning some vinyl on the retro equipment, and musical scholars can keep up their piano practice.
In the main sitting room, a flatscreen TV offers a full Sky package, BT Sport, Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime and Spotify. Simply log in and chill out. A hi-fi throws sounds around the lounge and dining room. And Wi-Fi? It’s superfast at up to 65mbps and comes complete with back-up supplier. Just in case.