This wonderfully expansive seaside villa lies on New Parade in the heart of Worthing, West Sussex. Set in a peaceful location, the villa enjoys immediate views to the English Channel beyond. Internal accommodation extends to 2,300 sq ft and is set out over three light-filled levels, with five bedrooms and a charming beachside courtyard garden. The house was built in 1903 and retains many of its early Edwardian features, including beautiful cornicing and pitch pine floorboards.
Setting the Scene
At the foot of the beautiful and historic South Downs, this charming coastal town was first developed as an elegant Georgian resort in the early 19th-century, yet has retained its ancient fishing heritage; the morning’s catch can still be bought directly from fishing boats seconds from the front door. For more information, please see the History section below.
The Grand Tour
The house is set behind a low red-brick and flint wall, with entry through the pretty garden and along a private path laid with decorative encaustic tiles. The façade is rendered a pale grey colour, with a wide recessed open porch, a handsome original panelled door with glazed inserts and a large transom window. An original decorative cast-iron balcony lies above on the first floor and lends an additional sense of refinement.
Entry is to a large hallway with pitch pine floorboards underfoot and an open staircase ahead, with an extended vista to the kitchen beyond. The living room is at the front of the plan; an open space with a bay window to the front and a beautiful antique wood-burning stove acting as a centrepiece. An exceptionally bright room, it makes confident use of colour, with warm grey-painted walls accented with burnt orange. A wide architrave leads from the living room to what is currently used as a study area.
The kitchen and breakfast room are positioned to the rear of this floor, with French windows set to one side that open to the rear terrace. Cupboards are in a contemporary reeded wood design with sheets of reclaimed slate atop; open shelving runs along the wall and bright-red floor tiles lend a welcome pop of colour. An exceptionally generous walk-in pantry incorporates a utility area and laundry facilities.
The first floor is home to four bedrooms and the main bathroom. Two bedrooms form the heart of this floor’s plan, while the rear room is currently used as a photographer’s archive and print space. A bank of panelled cupboards is fitted along one wall and offers plentiful storage. The largest room is at the front of this floor, overlooking the sea. With a private balcony, the generously proportioned space is currently used as an artist’s studio due to its excellent quality of south-facing light. The bathroom is painted an inviting sunburst yellow and has a centrally positioned rolltop bath with claw feet.
At the house’s apex are the secluded main bedroom and en suite bathroom. Painted in chalky blues to reflect the sea and sky, the generous bedroom is set into the high-ceilinged pitch of the roof. Light floods in through a dormer window and skylights set into the roof. A bank of plywood cupboards run along an entire wall, and a wonderful picture window frames the exquisite seascape. The bathroom continues the subtle maritime mood, with a bath boxed in glazed tiles and a vanity unit featuring unique reclaimed wooden doors.
The Great Outdoors
The charming courtyard garden is positioned to the front of the house, looking directly towards the beach and the English Channel. South-facing, it enjoys direct sun from sunrise to sunset and is the perfect spot for alfresco drinks or leisurely lunches. Well stocked with mature planting, the garden’s crowning glory is a statuesque yucca tree chosen to compliment the local vernacular’s greenery.
There is a private courtyard to the rear of the house, with separate and independent rear access and a potter’s studio. If required, this space could be adapted for other uses with water and electric points.
A further outdoor terrace lies at the rear of the house on the second floor. Although not developed or utilised currently, this expansive exterior area could make a wonderful additional living space.
Out and About
Worthing is brilliantly located on the South Coast, enviably close to many of the country’s most favoured open landscapes including the South Downs National Park. A protected Neolithic area, it is the perfect place for cross-country treks and more gentle walks. Of note are the Cissbury Rings, an Iron Age hillfort with neolithic flint mines and incredible views southwards to the sea and northwards to the Downs.
Sir Robert Rawlinson’s high-Victorian masterpiece, the Grade II-listed cast-iron edifice of Worthing Pier, remains as one of the town’s finest landmarks. A plethora of fashionable cafés and restaurants are dotted along the promenade, while the surrounding area has become increasingly fashionable with the well-established artistic community. East Beach Studios are a walk along the seafront from New Parade and form Worthing’s Artist Quarter, a series of artist’s workshops in converted beach huts and a gallery.
Worthing is on the South Coast Cycle Route, which connects Southampton to Dover and runs immediately past New Parade along the promenade; Brighton is a gentle and flat 10-mile cycle away. High tide is the perfect time for swimming in the sea, while low tide is when the sands appear and provides an excellent opportunity to watch birds and explore the tidal pools. For further waterside adventures, Worthing Rowing Club and Worthing Sailing Club are both located nearby on the promenade, with the former holding a much-loved annual summer regatta.
Eating and drinking opportunities are plentiful. Of particular note are Coast Café, Gorilla Kitchen for wood-fired pizza, Bayside Social, Chipwick fish restaurant and friendly micro-pub Beer No Evil. The ever-popular Crab Shack has been listed as one of Europe’s ten best beach restaurants in The Guardian. Cultural distractions include Worthing Museum and Art Gallery, which has one of the finest costume collections in the UK, while The Dome cinema is Grade II*-listed and one of Britain’s oldest cinemas.
The choice of local schools is excellent. Nursery schools include Reflections Nursery and Forest School, while state primaries of note are Lyndhurst and Chesswood. Bohunt, St Oscar Romero and Worthing High School are the local co-ed secondary schools. Steyning Grammar, slightly further afield, is also good. Bhasvic Sixth Form College is also nearby in Hove. Independent options include Our Lady of Sion and Lancing College.
Transport links are very good. Worthing Station is a five-minute drive away, or a 20-minute stroll, with trains taking 80 minutes precisely to arrive in central London. Brighton is 20 minutes away by train for more local amenities, and Gatwick is a convenient 40 minutes away.
For many centuries Worthing was a small mackerel fishing hamlet until, in the late 18th-century, it developed into a fashionable seaside resort, attracting the well-known and wealthy of the day. Oscar Wilde wrote The Importance of Being Ernest at The Esplanade, which is directly adjacent to New Parade, with protagonist Jack Worthing named after the town. Harold Pinter also lived and wrote here.
The houses on New Parade were originally owned and occupied by successful Billingsgate fish merchants as it was the only private terrace along Worthing’s seafront. During WWII, the Canadian Army occupied much of the terrace, with exercises taking place on the green immediately to New Parade’s fore. Later in the 20th century, the house became a seaside retreat for milkmen and their families and was owned by the Milkmen’s Benevolent Society.
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