John Oliver was the first recorded licensee in 1804 and at that time was popularised by men building the new railway and digging the new cut of the River Arun.

About the pub

Later it became a fashionable watering hole for the Edwardians; even today it still has the outward appearance of an elegant riverside summerhouse. The one long bar has a boarded floor, a warm fire in one end wall and a games area the other. A small adjoining room doubles as a family room. What were once probably the old boat sheds is now the ‘Boathouse’ restaurant. Seating is provided outside under the veranda and picnic benches are positioned on the terrace beside the river with boat trips available in summer.

A very good and imaginative food menu is available seven days a week with a roast on Sunday. Starters, available as ‘lite bites’ if preferred, include filled jacket potatoes, home made soup, potato skins, garlic mushrooms, Cajun chicken and asparagus with main courses such as vegetable stir fry, gammon steak and a pie of the day. Other dishes include scrumpy pork, cannelloni verdi, rack of ribs Highland smokies, Cajun swordfish, a mixed grill and Hawaiian chicken.

Families are welcome as are dogs.

Time at the Bar

Weekday opening times are from 11 a.m. till 11 p.m. Sunday 12 noon till 10.30 p.m. with food served between 12 noon and 10.30 p.m. Telephone: (01903) 882828

Enter Arundel from the A27 and take the road to the castle entrance. The inn is further along the road just past the wildfowl reserve.

There is plenty of parking both in the inn’s own large car park, in the lane at the front or on open ground just before reaching the pub.

The Walk

Approx. distance of walk: 5.25 miles. OS Map No.197 TQ 025/085

Arundel is an historic town its two major attractions being Arundel Castle and The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust. This lovely and interesting walk is ideal for the whole family. At first it follows the course of the Arun River along a raised bank to the small hamlet of South Stoke. From there it takes you through woods then steeply up onto the downs before descending past Swanbourne Lake and back to the pub between the river and the wildfowl reserve.

The Black Rabbit Walking Map

Road Road Bridge Bridge

Track Track Gate Gate

Undefined Path Undefined Path Gap in hedge Gap in hedge

Stile Stile Cattle Grid Cattle Grid

Walk down across the car park to pick up the footpath in the corner. A narrow path through the trees leads to a stile which allows access to the river path. The raised bank was built to ensure livestock would not be marooned during times of flooding . Wild flowers abound along both river banks in particular large clumps of marsh marigolds. Follow the path across a track by the bridge, through a couple of gates turning left when you reach the hamlet of South Stoke.

South Stoke is recorded in the Doomsday Book of 1085-86. St Leonard’s Church dates from the 11th century and the first cottage No.38 was once an inn. Walk on round and after passing South Stoke farm turn right onto the bridlew3ay. Make a left urn left at the barn and keep to the edge of the field crossing the stile at the bottom into the field and bear right. Keeping close to the fence, walk round then over the stile entering woods on the far side.

There are plenty of primroses and vast swathes of ramsons. If you like the smell of garlic then walk in the spring, it is delightful. The path follows close to a wall on the left. When you reach a signed gap go through and follow the path, over a stile and up the hill bearing right at the track and then left. It is a fairly steep climb to the stile at the top. Go over and bear right towards the corner of the small wood following the track round until a path sign direct you off to the right. Follow a line fairly close to the fence, over a wooden crossing point, join the track at the bottom and turn left.

Keep to the track along the valley unless of course you want to walk through Arundel in which case continue ahead up the track towards the tower. Arriving at the lake you have two route options, the left path is perhaps the better. |Having reached the road walk straight across through to the little path beside the reserve and turn right. Bear left at the bridge then simply follow the path round the reserve then along the river bank back to the pub.

via Hall and Woodhouse – Independent Family Brewers – Pubs – Pub Walks – The Black Rabbit.