The Bognor Regis Sea Front ‘Fun and Facts’ Trail
Take a leisurely stroll along the Promenade of Bognor Regis and learn about the town, its seafront, glorious weather and history. The information board seafront trail takes in a portion of the Promenade from Butlin’s to just past Bognor Regis pier and is particularly suitable for families and children.
The information boards are at low level and are therefore suitable for wheelchair users.
Two of the information boards are located on the opposite side of the road to the Promenade and they can be visited by using the ramped access to nearby pedestrian crossings in each case.
The Promenade is flat and in total stretches 2.5 miles from Felpham (to the East) to Aldwick (to the West).
There is parking along the length of the Promenade with further parking in the car park next to the Regis Centre off Clarence Road.
Walk the Trail
Distance: 1.0 miles
Time: 30 - 45 minutes
Fun and Facts Trail
The trail can be explored in either direction strolling west to east from the Skate Park opposite the Royal Norfolk Hotel to Butlin’s or vice versa east to west strolling from Butlin’s to the Pier, a favourite walk taken by many of Butlin’s visitors.
For the Information Board Fun and Facts Trail guide, we will travel west to east commencing just past the pier at the Skate Park opposite the Royal Norfolk Hotel.
We Love the Sea
Bognor Regis has a wonderful seafront and here you can learn about ‘How the tide works’, ‘How sand is made’ and the popular seaside activities of Sailing and Jet Skiing at Bognor Regis.
The English Channel
A short walk brings you to some great information about the English Channel. Learn about the role that the English Channel has played in our country’s naval history, from the Spanish Armada to the World War 2 D Day landings of ‘Operation Overlord’ and what was ‘Operation Pluto’. You can also discover which is the nearest town in France to Bognor Regis on the other side of the English Channel.
Parks and Gardens
Bognor Regis has some wonderful parks and gardens to explore. Hotham Park is the largest, with its specimen trees planted by William Fletcher but has great attractions for the kids with its Wildforest Falls Adventure Golf, Boating Lake, Miniature Railway and playground. Steyne Gardens are just a few minutes walk across the road from this board with the characteristic buildings of old Bognor Regis. Other gardens include Waterloo Square, the Sunken Gardens and Swansea Gardens.
Bognor Regis Weather
To access the Weather Station information board cross the road at the pedestrian crossing by the pier. The information board is by the Weather Station behind the palmist hut.
Learn about what is measured at the Weather Station today, the hours of sunshine are now recorded on the roof of a Butlin’s Hotel. Discover the history of Britain’s Met Office and its role as one of the world’s leading providers of environmental and weather-related services.
HMS St Barbara
Walk back to the Promenade via the pedestrian crossing and in front of the pier is the information board about HMS St Barbara. The board delves into the period during World War 2 when Bognor Regis pier was commissioned as an anti-aircraft Firing Range and Gunnery Training School for personnel of the Royal and Merchant Navy.
Carry on a few paces and you will find the information board that celebrates the history of Bognor Regis Pier, which is now over 150 years old. Discover how long the pier was before storms took their toll on it.
How Bognor Regis began
Continue walking towards the Beach on the Beach and children’s play area where you will find the latest information board to be added to the trail on the Promenade. The board replicates the one at Bognor Regis Station. ‘How Bognor Regis began’, it traces the history and growth of Bognor Regis as a popular seaside resort. It examines the role the railway has contributed to the town’s development since it was first connected to the railway network in 1864.
Sir Richard Hotham
Cross the road at the pedestrian crossing and head past the Regis Centre to Place St Maur Gardens. Learn about Sir Richard Hotham, widely recognised as the founder of modern Bognor Regis, his aspirations for a coastal resort suitable for Royalty. Discover some of the famous people with royal connections who have visited the town.
Shingle, Sand and Fish
Cross back onto the Promenade for the remaining four panels about the town and the seafront. Shingle, Sand and Fish explores the formation of the shingle beach, the sand and shells that can be found on the beach and the fish found in our local waters. Fishing remains a popular activity whether it is from the beach, the pier or the fishing boats on the beach.
The Beach, Past and Present.
The Beach Past and Present examines the history of the Bognor Seafront. How the Sea Level has changed over the last 2000 years. Learn about the Bathing Machines, which were a feature of the Bognor Regis seafront and Mary Wheatland who taught visitors to swim and saved the lives of 30 bathers.
Enjoying Our Sunshine
We all love the sunshine and Bognor Regis has it in spades with over 1900 hours of sunshine a year reported, but with increasing temperatures we need to take care when sunbathing. This is particularly important for young children and those with sensitive skin. Learn about the warning signs and how to avoid sunburn.
Bognor Regis and Butlin’s
Continue along the Promenade towards the Butlin’s resort and find the final panel dedicated to Butlin’s. In 1932, Sir Billy Butlin opened an amusement centre on the seafront called the Butlin’s Recreation Centre.
In 1960 Butlin’s opened a holiday camp in the current location at the eastern end of the Promenade. The site continues to expand its leisure offer as a holiday resort with new hotels attracting over 200,000 visitors a year. 2019 will see the opening of a new £40 million swimming complex in the Butlin’s resort.