Coastliner 700 is the gateway to the “Sunniest Place in the UK”

Bognor’s balmy and barmy contrasts!

Just like the famous 700 Coastliner bus route which plies its trade diligently crossing varied scenery and connecting diverse towns and cities between Portsmouth and Brighton, Bognor Regis, one of the places served, is the ultimate destination of contrasts. The bright lights of the iconic Pier (livelier still because it’s home to a nightclub and Sports Bar!) and frivolity of Butlins juxtaposes with the tranquillity of Hotham Park and the serenity of the beach and the nearby nature reserve at Pagham. It’s a fantastic place to visit on a bus route that offers so much to see and do, hosted by the brilliant Stagecoach South.

Butlins Bognor Regis | Bognor Regis West Sussex | Things To Do In Sussex

Billy Butlin’s big in Bognor

Bognor Regis is officially recognised by the Met Office as being the sunniest place in Britain, with over 1,900 hours of sunshine every year, but it’s most synonymous with Butlins. Bognor was where Billy Butlin, the resort’s founder invested heavily, creating a world renowned holiday chain, which combines entertainment, accommodation, a funfair, festivals and much more. The heart of the Bognor resort is the Skyline Pavilion, a bustling hub with shops, restaurants and fun-packed thrills and spills, including live performances and musical acts.

Bognor Regis Pier | Bognor Regis

Victorian grandeur and dance floor delight

For a similarly eboulliant vibe, then Bognor’s Pier is definitely worth checking out. First opened way back in 1865, when piers were the height of fashion, it brings to life its fabulous Victorian Grade II listed structure and offers wow-factor views of the beach and opportunity to soak in the sea air, whilst also enjoying the amusement arcade, trendy bar and pulsating night club. Just opposite the pier, there is a great crazy golf area with all sorts of challenging holes. At the last hole, folk get a chance to win another round if they can ring the bell with their shot!

Bognor Regis Museum | Bognor Today

Bus Station brilliance perfectly modelled

Another great place to visit is the Bognor Regis Museum which celebrates the town’s maritime history. However, if, like us at Great Scenic Journeys, buses and Art Deco is your gig, you will love the model of the Southdowns Bus Station, which once dominated the High Street.

Meanwhile, art afficionados can appreciate contemporary works at the Regis Centre, whilst the Edwardian Esplanade is worth a look at and the opportunity to devour the many independent shops.

Grandads front room Bognor Regis..... Bognor Regis, Shop Fronts, Front ...

A real treat is a visit in the East End of the town to the Community Interest Company’s ‘A Junk Shop’ which sells all kinds of brick a brac and is affectionately called “Grandad’s Front Room“.

Hotham Park, Bognor Regis by Peter Flude

A much-needed breather!

Serenity can be discovered in Bognor, though and it’s not all crazy capers and ‘kiss me quick’ fun. For an historical touch, visit Hotham Park, a beautifully landscaped green space with a boating lake, miniature railway, and a charming café. The horticultural aspect of the park was chiefly created by William Fletcher between 1900 and 1940 and it was once likened to Kew Gardens. You can spot birds like treecreepers and nuthatches here! Folk can also explore local crafts at Hotham Park House Craft Gallery.

Bognor Regis and its environs are a haven for beach lovers. Water activities abound with opportunities for sailing, windsurfing, or simply relaxing on the sandy beaches. Felpham Beach, is only 8 minutes further and a few stops from Bognor Regis on the 700 Coastliner. Here, there is a delightful stretch of coastline known for its scenic beauty, colourful beach huts and relaxed atmosphere. With its mix of pebbles and sand, the beach offers a charming, spacious setting for Coastliner customers seeking a tranquil, proper “old school” blissfully traditional seaside experience, with some sunbathing, paddling and even swimming thrown in!

Nature lovers will also appreciate the nearby Felpham Local Nature Reserve, which provides opportunities for birdwatching and exploring diverse ecosystems.

Arts, crafts and movies

One of Bognor Regis’s secrets, and far more than a normal art gallery, the Rose Green Art & Craft shop and centre has become a special place to enjoy the work of many gifted artists in Bognor. A vast range of handmade gifts, paintings and craft alongside a selection of other unique pieces, are available at a great price in the shop. Another awesome place to visit is the Bognor Regis Picturedome Cinema, which opened in May 1886 at the cost of £4,500 (not cheap back then!) and is also Grade II listed and opposite the railway station, close to a 700 bus stop.  It was used for a variety of purposes, including stage shows, dancing, roller-skating, badminton and community functions. The most prominent feature of the cinema is the octagonal lantern tower, which at one time housed a revolving light, operated by a boy pedalling a bicycle-type mechanism that advertised its presence miles around.

“Bugger Bognor!” He wouldn’t say such a thing? Would he?

Billy Butlin is an indelible entry in Bognor’s history books and so too is King George V who convalesced in the town in 1929. Whilst he was here, King George  fell seriously ill.  Legend has it that as the King’s health deteriorated, he reportedly muttered, “Bugger Bognor!” expressing his dissatisfaction with the seaside town.  Bognor Regis sought to turn the situation into a positive one and the town embraced the royal quip and even incorporated it into their identity. As a result, a local pub was later named “The King’s Buggy” in playful reference to the King’s remark.
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Rocking for the Rocks!

Finally, from a sporting perspective, Bognor Regis Town Football Club, nicknamed “The Rocks” are a very progressive club that plays at the NKM Arena, Nyewood Avenue in the town. This Isthmian Premier League outfit are very much on an upward trajectory and won 2-0 at fell0w seasiders Margate in their last game at the weekend. Next Saturday, they host Billericay Town at 3pm and it’s sure to be a cracker of a game!
The Coastliner 700 really is an incredible celebration of champion Sussex coast sojourns, stretching beyond into Hampshire as well – connecting Portsmouth with Chichester and Brighton too. With an increased frequency, new, environmentally buses and very friendly drivers, it’s the gateway to some great adventures and there’s few places in the UK as dynamic but also eye-catching and charming as brilliant Bognor Regis. Oh and an adult fare on the 700 is only £2! To find out more, check out….Bus Journey Planner | Find Bus Routes | Stagecoach (stagecoachbus.com)