Amberley for Everyone
All you need to know as a local or a visitor to the Amberley area
Situated at the heart of the South Downs National Park, between Arundel and Storrington, and featuring stunning views, quaint villages, thatched cottages, a historic castle (now a country hotel), pretty churches and welcoming pubs, our neighbourhood encompasses the communities of Amberley, Rackham, Greatham, Wiggonholt, High Titten, Houghton Bridge and North Stoke.
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About our neighbourhood: including maps and background for each village
Our neighbourhood is part of the South Downs National Park (link) , established in 2011, to protect the natural and cultural heritage of this special area.
Amberley - The historic village of Amberley sits above the tidal plain of the River Arun, known as The Wildbrooks. This has been designated a site of special scientific interest as it is a unique environment, attracting many species of wetland birds. In winter, the Wildbrooks flood to create a temporary lake. In summer they provide pasture for cows and sheep and are popular with walkers. The village grew around the 12th century church and castle, established by the bishops of Chichester. Originally, the castle was a fortified hunting lodge, but over time it was further developed to create a manor house with crenellations and battlements. Although some sections of the house and outer walls were lost in the 17th Century when Oliver Cromwell's men partially destroyed it, a grand house was subsequently built on the ruins of the old hall and today it is a country hotel (link). The Grade 1 listed church has a virtual online guide (see link).
Amberley Houses, then and now: (comparative photos)
Facilities and attractions for Amberley (link)
Wiggonholt - This historic medieval hamlet next to the Pulborough RSPB reserve, has a population of 45. There is a farm, some houses, and a small 12th Century church. Originally a Roman settlement, the remains of a Roman bath have been excavated in the area. It made the news in August 2020 when it was named the hottest place in the UK, recording a temperature of 34.5C, which was hotter than Rome Tenerife and New Dehli. The common at Wiggonholt, next to the RSPB reserve has a good walking track around it and information boards about the many varied birds that can be seen there.
Rackham - This hamlet is located between Amberley and Storrington, close to the grounds of Parham House. The woods at Rackham are popular for walking and can be accessed next to the quaint old school house and village hall.
Greatham - The community of Greatham is a small cluster of houses on the Coldwaltham to Storrington road. A tiny 12th century church serves the community. Its main claim to fame is the poem John Drinkwater dedicated to it in his anthology, 'Swords and Ploughshares.'
Local information: phone numbers, transport, AGNES, Parish Council,
Useful phone numbers:
Transport; The Amberley railway station is on the Arun Valley Line. Services run to and from London, Bognor and Portsmouth (link to timetable)
Local Attractions and facilities:
Attractions - Museum, pottery, Riverside, tea shop, pubs, churches, RSPB, wild brooks, South Downs Way, Amberley Mount, Parham, Rackham Woods
Facilities - Millennium Green, play area, church hall
Events and organisations: Gardens Open, SAGE, CAMEO
Gardens Open: Part of the national Open Gardens scheme, this well-established event takes place every two years and has become increasingly popular. Up to 18 gardens of diverse style and size take part, cream teas and ploughman's lunches are available as well as a superb plant stall and a handmade quilt raffle (link to website)
CAMEO (Come And Meet EveryOne)- A friendly meet up time for locals on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, 2.00-3.30pm at St Michael's Church Hall. Chat, activities and occasional speakers. Contact Hazel Allinson for more information and to request transport. ( link to church website)
SAGE (Society of Amberley Gardening Enthusiasts) - This group of garden enthusiasts meets for discussions, talks and visits... See their Garden lovers' blog ...
Local Trades and Services - Dog grooming, plumbing, window cleaning? Whatever your needs, have a look at our list of trusted trades and services... Send your recommendations to us so we can keep the list up-to-date.
Covid 19 updates
Car park for Amberley