Living in Bognor Regis
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In addition to the local services, our Living in Bognor Regis guide will give you a feel for what life is like in the area, its history, its culture and the kind of entertainment and leisure activities that are on offer.
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What Is Life Like In Bognor Regis?
Bognor Regis is the quintessential British seaside holiday town. Idyllic, laid-back and beautiful, the town offers plenty of opportunities for water and beach activities and child-friendly fun.
With a population of over 60,000 (including the suburbs of Felpham and Aldwick), Bognor Regis feels like a residential community as well as a holiday destination. Sheltered by the Isle of Wight and The South Downs, the town gets heaps of sunshine, which makes it easy to spend sunny days on the beach. The thriving property market is full of affordable properties, including one and two-bed flats, cottages, townhouses, semi- and detached homes, and bungalows. Homes from the 1920s, 1930s and 1960s are a specialty of the area.
History Of Bognor Regis
Bognor Regis is one of the oldest Saxon sites in West Sussex, first recorded in AD 680. It remained a small fishing village for centuries until 1785, when a rich London hatter, MP and property developer named Sir Richard Hotham purchased 1,600 acres of land to develop into a holiday resort. As a result, Bognor Regis was the first English resort built specifically for bathing in salt water, and eventually became very popular, though not until after Hotham had died. Hotham House, which Sir Richard built in 1792 for his private residence, is still widely regarded as the best Georgian house in Sussex.
By the late 1800s, the town’s popularity was in full swing, especially after the arrival of the railway and the new pier. In 1928, King George V came to Bognor to recover from a serious illness; this is when the town had ‘Regis’ added to its name. In 1960, the acclaimed Butlins holiday resort opened, sealing Bognor Regis’ reputation as an ideal holiday destination.
Days Out In Bognor Regis
Days out in Bognor Regis consist of beach and park activities, as well as cultural events. The main shingle and sand beach received a 2015 Seaside Award for its clean, safe atmosphere and adjacent parking. Facilities include RNLI Lifeguards and a wide, immaculate, easy access promenade, perfect for wheelchair users, buggies, cyclists and skaters.
Two local parks – Marine Park Gardens and Hotham Park – have been awarded national Green Flags and offer picturesque walks, picnic spots, play areas and even a boating lake and miniature railway.
For a culture fix, you can visit the Bognor Regis Museum to learn about local history, attend the annual free Rox Music and Arts Festival or watch the renowned International Bognor Birdman – an annual human flying competition parading Bognor Regis’ quirkiness in all its glory.
Things To Do In Bognor Regis
Despite its relatively small size, Bognor Regis has a wealth of shopping options. There’s major retailers and the town’s charity shops have an excellent reputation for bargain-hunters. To encourage frequent shopping, the town offers free two hour parking in any of the three central car parks – Lyon Street, Fitzleet or Hothamton.
The town centre has a range of food and drink options to local restaurants like Sen Tapas, Simply Delicious Café, and Ting’s Chinese. There are also many great local pubs, such as The Claremont, The Alex, The Lamb’s Inn and The Waverly.
Bognor Regis has several sports facilities, including the Bognor Regis Golf Club, Blake’s Road Sports Site, and nearby Inspire Felpham sports centre and Arena Sports Centre. For outdoor sports, there’s the well-kept beaches, the Bognor Regis Yacht Club and seaside mini golf opposite the pier.
For arts-lovers, the Alexandra Theatre at the Regis Centre has a 357 seat auditorium featuring a full programme of professional and community based live entertainment.
Schools In Bognor Regis
Bognor Regis has many schools and educational facilities.
- Barnham Primary School
- Downview Primary School
- Edward Bryant Primary School
- South Bersted Cofe Primary School
- St Mary's Catholic Primary School
Secondary Schools include:
- Bognor Regis Community College
- Felpham Community College
- The Regis School
- The St Philip Howard Catholic High School.
University of Chichester also has a campus in Bognor Regis.
Transport In Bognor Regis
Bognor Regis is well connected through a range of transport links.
There’s a regular train service from London Victoria to Bognor Regis station in around 1 hour 45 minutes. The station is very close to the town centre, and taxis are available for hire for the short journey.
Bus And Coaches
National Express offers a regular coach service to Bognor Regis. The local bus service, Stagecoach, runs regular services from most nearby towns.
The four closest main airports are Gatwick, Bournemouth, Southampton and Heathrow, which have a range of international, domestic and holiday charter flights. Gatwick is the closest, only about an hour’s drive away, and has a regular train service from the airport to Bognor Regis.
Bognor Regis is about two hours’ drive from London, via the M3, A27, A24 and A259. The M27 and A27 connect the town to Portsmouth and the A259 connects the town to Brighton.