Canoe Days Out

Sussex - River Arun - Black Rabbit Arundel to Amberley (& return)

This page was submitted by Mal Grey
How to get there - This paddle starts at The Black Rabbit, Mill Road, Offham, Arundel, West Sussex BN18 9PB

01903 882828

There are steep steps opposite the pub. I used a small free car park just before the pub, but the pub are apparently happy for their parking to be used if you give them some custom.

Get a map with driving directions to start (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)

Suggested Launch Site - Steps opposite the Black Rabbit Pub. Remember that the tide may mean more steps are showing on your return!

General Description - Distance to Amberley is about 4.5 miles, so the return is 9 miles, helped by tide all the way. This took me 3 hours of paddling slowly.


A nice, tide powered paddle upstream through beautiful countryside from the Black Rabbit to Amberley Bridge where there is a nice tea room (though not cheap!).


Check the high tide time at Littlehampton. High tide at Amberley is around 2 hours after this (make sure you allow for tide times being quoted in GMT if its summer). Advice suggests setting off from the pub at the time of High Tide in Littlehampton. You then paddle with a push from behind for about an hour and a half to Amberley, & by the time you've had a cup of tea the tide is turning to push you back!


The journey is through the lovely green countryside of southern England, where the downs push alongside the meandering river as it cuts through them.

Going upstream you pass South Stoke before swinging towards the steep hillsides, past cliffs and reaching Amberley. If early, you can extend the trip upstream.

On the return leg it is possible to vary the route by a loop down a narrow backwater towards Burpham. This goes under a railway bridge, adds about half an hour, and returns to the main river just before the pub.

The river will be lower when you reach the steps, and they may be muddy & slightly awkward.

The beer is excellent.

This paddle is featured in Pub Paddles by Pete Knowles

Comments on this trip

Martin Malins
05 Jul 2021
I rode down from Greatham Bridge on Saturday. The Amberley tea rooms looked like they have turned their attention to self drive motor boats not sure what the situation is with canoes. The Black Rabbit has a large pontoon which is closed due to repairs required according to the sign. Nowhere at all to put in / take out after that so I continued to Littlehampton and got the train / walked back to the car. There's very little to see on the section between Arundel and Littlehampton but before that was very nice even in the rain!

01 Jul 2021
That previous comment should read 5 to 7 mins not 57 mins lol..

01 Jul 2021
I spoke to the Riverside Tearooms in Amberly just now to confirm what they are charging to land and they advised that you can no longer land there at all. This is because of the volume of kayaks and paddle boards, lack of space and insurance reasons. So sadly, looks like a bite to eat is now out of the question. He did mention that there are some steps in Bury about 57 mins north where you can get out but its quite a walk with all you gear so not an option in our case.

Stephen Morris
21 Oct 2020
The tearoom at Amberley is now subject to £5 landing fee per boat

28 May 2019
Lovely trip , but be warned. The tea room at Amberly charge £7.50 landing fee per kayak. Even if you are planning to use the tea rooms!

28 May 2019

Phil Kemp
15 May 2019
Im planned a reenactment of your trip. One update is the pub will let paddleboarders launch and slight from their Jetty (code 8828) but not between 122 when they have a lot of customers.

30 Aug 2016
Hello Peter, Great trip schedule, it looks fantastic thank you very much! I'm trying to find the tide times for Pulborough. So,done has mentioned 4 hours after littlehampton. Would you or anyone have knowledge please Best, James

Michael audsley
15 May 2016
Great day out.Did it yesterday with my son.Lovely scenery..saw kingfisher and a white owl at South Stoke


Tide Times
Pub Paddles
Full blog of trip on SOTP

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The last trip loaded was Great Haywood to Great Haywood (Circular Route) on the River Trent / Trent & Mersey Canal by Peter Robinson