Spotlight on Pulborough

Set along the gorgeous River Arun, Pulborough is a village brimming with character – beautiful Georgian buildings, a statuesque Grade I listed church, Roman streets and plenty of history. Pulborough has become a commuter town thanks to its great links to London and is a calm and community-spirited place to come home to.

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History in Brief

Pulborough started off as a crossing place over the River Arun. The Romans had built an impressive settlement at Hardham, just across the river, but chose to cross the Arun to Pulborough because it was a good stopping place en route to London. Its location at the convergence of two rivers – the River Arun and the River Rother – made it an excellent place for resting horses, cattle, and people too.


Pulborough stayed in this useful, yet limited state for centuries, but in the industrial age of the 19th century things started to change. The River Arun became used more frequently to transport goods, so shops, pubs and other business sprung up along its banks to help the weary travellers, or to make use of the river’s transport system themselves. Trains came next, then the road networks, and soon Pulborough was a thriving village with a great deal of engineering and industry coming out of it.

1925 - Mowing the lawn at the Old Rectory (002)

Things to Do

  • Bignor Roman Villa

Bignor Roman Village is what remains of a once grandiose Roman home. It is still possible to see the remains of a colourful mosaic floor, as well as find out why this particular spot was so important to the Romans who settled here. There is so much history to find out about and so much to learn – your visit will stay with you for a long time to come.


  • Parham House & Gardens

Parham House is set within a huge 875 acres in the South Downs, space that includes a 16th-century deer park. The house itself is considered one of the country’s finest examples of Elizabethan architecture with a world-renowned ‘long gallery’. The gardens consist of beautiful grounds and a four-acre walled garden. There are also herbaceous borders, a glasshouse, vegetable garden, orchard and a 1920’s Wendy house.


  • South Downs Light Railway

Completely volunteer run, the South Downs Light Railway makes its main home in the Pulborough Garden Centre. From here, you can take a steam train ride from Stopham Road Station through the beautiful Pulborough countryside, taking in the gorgeous views as you go. Recent refurbishment works mean that the station and the trains are now more comfortable and better looking – perfect for a family day out.


  • Pulborough Brooks RSPB

Take a walk on this lovely nature reserve and you will really feel close to nature. There are thousands of wild birds here and at different times of the year you can spot different breeds. There are also a number of events throughout the year, so you can learn more about our beautiful countryside.

1980 Circa - Church Hill (002)

Dining Out

  • The Banyan Tree

The idea behind The Banyan Tree Indian restaurant in Pulborough is about creating a friendly and sociable place to enjoy exceptional food with family and friends. The restaurant succeeds easily on both fronts and it is the kind of place you will want to return to again and again. With traditional favourites on the menu along with some new flavours, including beef dahiwala, pork chana palak and fish moilee, you are sure to find something to satisfy your taste buds whether you like it mild or spicy.


  • The White Hart

Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and nestled perfectly on the banks of the River Arun, this traditional British pub uses locally sourced produce to create freshly made dishes. The pub has recently reopened under new management after terrible flooding and the food is delightful including dishes such as pan-seared scallops on caramelised shallot puree, mixed herb salad and shallot crisps; the Spanish twist burger – marinated chicken breast, grilled chorizo, manchego cheese and herb mayonnaise in a toasted brioche bun; and the Alabama hotpot with special rice and chunky Mediterranean-style bread.


  • The Rising Sun

Their website states that the Rising Sun is ‘bringing local back to the community’, and the owners do this by creating a really welcoming atmosphere complete with picturesque surroundings and a good range of locally sourced food including pan-fried chicken breast, crispy bacon and avocado salad; pea and wild garlic risotto with spring vegetables, parmesan crisp and baby watercress; and roast loin of pork served with goose fat potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, seasonal vegetables, apple sauce and a red wine jus. They also have great live music in the evenings.


Upcoming Annual Events

  • Pulborough Harvest Fair // Sep

This is an annual event celebrating village life, rural crafts, food and drink and farming. Attractions include a traditional funfair, animal displays, a bake off, zip wires, fun dog show, scarecrow competition, tractor display and local foods and craft beers.


  • Pulborough Duck Race // Aug

The Pulborough Duck Race takes place at the recreation ground. Organised for charity by the local Duck Race Society, the event features a beer tent, a BBQ, and activities for children, as well as racing ducks of course!


  • Garden Weekend at Parham // Jul

Here you will find displays of gorgeous blooms, plenty of stalls from which to buy seeds and saplings, and gardening demonstrations.

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Top Spot

If you are looking for a picture-perfect wedding venue, look no further than Bignor Park. This mansion house ticks all of the boxes to give you the very best on your special day, including a magnificent setting, room for guests, excellent food and attentive staff.


Did You Know?

Britain’s oldest bell can be found in St Botolph’s Church, Hardham, near to Pulborough. Although it is undated, it is thought to date back to about 1100AD.


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