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Bognor Regis - a seaside town that's past its best
Bognor Regis (West Sussex)
Member Name: Huomenna
Bognor Regis (West Sussex)
Date: 31/10/10, updated on 31/10/10 (171 review reads)
Advantages: good for children, fair selection of shops
Disadvantages: run down, not much to do
Bognor Regis (the regis was added to the name in the early 1900's, the Bognor part is Saxon in origin) is a smallish town on the coast of West Sussex. Until the late 1700's Bognor was a small village, but it was then 'converted' into a holiday resort by Richard Hotham and was very popular as one, up until the general decline in british seaside resorts as tourist destinations. The town still has a fair amount of tourism which is mainly based in the well known Butlin's resort.
In 1994 the town was subject to a terrorist attack by the IRA - a bomb was left on a bicycle outside Woolworths (now a Wilkinson's). Despite the damage the town was quick to recover and I believe even Woolworths (who had all their windows blown out), were open within a couple of days. As no one was injured (luckily) the attack has been largely forgotten and is something I only found out about when I did some local research shortly after I moved to the area.
Now in 2010 Bognor still relies on tourism as it's main source of income, however as this is no longer at the levels it once was, this has had a major reflection on the prosperity of the town. There are a large number of beautiful old buildings in the town that have been neglected over recent years, the highstreet is also dreary and run down.
As would be expected of most towns Bognor Regis has a highstreet - the selection of shops in it are nothing special but you'll find it meets most of your basic needs. Theres a: Morrison's supermarket, Boots, New Look, Iceland, a number of cafes, loads of charity shops and various other random shops. For serious shopping though you'd probably want to head in to a city.
For now (there has been some dispute about its future) Bognor also has it's own independant cinema at which you can watch films incredibly cheapily - last time I checked it was just £2.50 for an adult ticket. It only has 2 screens though so what you can see and when you can see it, is very limited.
Then there's Butlins - whether or not you'll use this 'facility' depends on the type of person you are and it's particularly good for people with children as there are rides and a swimming pool etc. You can spend holiday's in Butlin's or get a day pass, but it's not somewhere I go so I can't comment on it any further than this.
Certainly not the best beach in England or even the south coast! The beach is covered in pebbles which has been done as a preventative measure towards erosion, however this does have the unfortunate side effect of reducing enjoyment - lets face it, people love a sandy beach! That said the beach is still quite popular and on summer days it can get incredibly full with people soaking up the sun and going for a swim.
Near the (very short) pier are a number of beach front rides which smaller children will enjoy. The pier itself is a disappointment - it used to be longer but the end was destroyed in a storm and never got rebuilt, what's left now houses an arcade and a nightclub. The best thing about the pier though is the yearly 'Bognor bird man' competition where people essentially throw themselves off the pier in amusing costumes and it always draws a big crowd.
Well that's about all I can think of to say about Bognor Regis - overall I wouldn't really recommend it as a place to visit unless maybe you have children and want a cheap holiday to Butlins. Other than that I think you'll find that bognor isn't really worth the visit - especially if you're coming from a long way away. There isn't much to do and it's too run down - there are far better seaside resorts out there. The only reason I go to Bognor is that a) I used to work there and b) I live near by so it can be handy for occassional shopping.
Summary: Not really worth a visit
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