First stop – The Mighty Worthing

The first stop on our hunt for a place better to live than Worthing has to be..erm…Worthing. We can’t judge places against TMW (The Mighty Worthing) until we’ve rated the place itself.

I’ve lived in Worthing (with my hot young wife) for 3 and half years and I love it, but it’s points that count – how does Worthing measure up against our strict criteria?

1. Is the weather better than Brighton?

It’s a well-documented fact that Worthing has better weather than Brighton. I work in Brighton and I always have to take an extra layer to put on between the station and the office, which I inevitably peel off on the way home when I get off the train at TMW.

Yes. Better than Brighton in many ways, not just the weather – 10 points

2. Proximity and quality of the seaside (a pier must be present for full points here)

Worthing has one of the cleanest beaches in the country, and unlike Brighton it’s not full of cockneys just off the train looking for weak lager and sunburn.

Worthing pier is a beautiful thing too. Check it out:

And the rules dictate that a pier must be present in order to score full marks in this category. Worthing pier is so lush, we had our wedding reception on it. It’s not just me – the National Piers Society says:
An understated art deco gem, chosen Pier of the Year in 2006. Houses the Pavilion theatre, Denton lounge restaurant, a small amusement arcade and a night club. The landing stage still welcomes the occasional paddlesteamer.
Some people might knock a couple of marks off for it being a pebbles beach, but for me there’s nothing worse than sand in me sandwiches.
Couldn’t be closer to the sea without being in it, and a lovely pier. Lose a point for the slightly scabby amusement arcade on the pier and another for lack of places to have beer on the seafront – 8 points

3. Local delicacies and quality of food

Being a seaside town in England, Worthing tends to concentrate on 99’s and fish & chips. In terms of local delicacies, we don’t really have any which is going to cost TMW some pointage.

You can get some decent munch though. I like the pubs, Mrs Wife prefers Food, Casa Ciro and Penang.

No local delicacy or speciality, but a decent choice of places to get some pretty good food – 6 points

4. Friendliness and attractiveness of the locals

Worthing has a bit of a reputation locally for chavs and old people but it’s not true. Well, it is a bit true. Let’s take each accusation in turn. Chavs – we have some, but so do you. You know you do. They’re everywhere. Fortunately Worthing recently got a Poundland, so as long as you avoid that and Argos you’re mostly safe.

The old people thing is more true – my brother-in-law says that if there’s a shop in the town centre selling mobility scooters then it’s an old person town. There is, but our old people on scooters are proper zippy. There’s even one guy who has converted his scooter so it’s like a scooter from Quadrophenia which makes me think while we do have old people, they’re cool ones.

I digress. We’re here to rate the friendliness and attractiveness of the locals. Worthing people are pretty nice and friendly. I was going to say they’re really friendly, but then I tried to think of an example and I couldn’t, so I think that means they’re just normal friendly. Attractiveness-wise, the hottest young lady in the world lives here which scores some big points.

Quite friendly, mostly attractive locals – 7 points

5. Availability and quality of real ale

This is where Worthing comes into it’s own. Worthing Pub Reviews shows you how many quality pubs there are, and it also tells you a bit about my favourites. The Hare and Hounds, The Charles Dickens, The Wheatsheaf and The George and Dragon will be sorely missed when we’re away, as will Harvey’s best and Timothy Taylor Landlord.

If we can get a pint of Harveys when we’re away, that place gets some bonus points. For now, Worthing is the real ale location to beat – 10 points
Worthing total – 41 out of 50.

Disagree with my ratings? Leave a comment and let me know. Where wins? I decide, but you can find out by coming back here, or sign-up for updates.
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Worthing versus the World e-book and Worthing Herald cover feature

Amazing news for all fans of Worthing Versus the World – we have just released a special version with exclusive content for the Kindle and Kindle app, available now on Amazon.

Worthing versus the World e-book on Amazon

The Kindle edition extra content includes a foreword by none other than the Mayor of Worthing, Bob Smytherman as well as a special personal message from Gavin (future Mayor of Worthing!).

The book is being sold to raise money for Guild Care, a Worthing-based charity caring for older people, people affected by dementia, carers and kids with special needs. Download it now for just a fiver. All my profits go straight to Guild Care.

Equally excitingly, the launch of the book is being celebrated by the Worthing Herald, who feature the news on the inside cover of the paper that comes out today. Pick up your copy at all good newsagents.

If you have a Kindle (or an iPad / iPhone with the free Kindle app), please do buy the book and help make money for a great cause. If you don’t have a Kindle, help spread the word on Twitter, Facebook and in real life with actual people.

I’ll be sorting out even more exclusive content soon – watch this space!

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Worthing versus the Worthing Herald (the homecoming)

Hey Worthing fans,

Worthing versus the World is featured in this week’s Worthing Herald.

Worthing Herald

Buy this - there's photos of us AND a free sausage roll for every reader. Winner!

If you can’t get out and buy it, you can see a copy of the article here (free sausage roll not included).

Lots of love going out to the Worthing Herald who have championed our cause from the early days (do you remember when they featured us before?)

I’m looking for suggestions for where to take the challenge next. Worthing versus your town! All ideas welcomed – stick a comment below.

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Worthing versus Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando, Florida

So here we are – the final leg of my world circumnavigation looking for somewhere better to live the The Mighty Worthing – and what a place to finish off. We are in Orlando, Florida, USA ready to go out with a bang. I’m excited, and so are you. Yes you are.

...and I just can't hide it

...and I just can't hide it

In this installment of Worthing versus the World I’m including the newest reason to go to Orlando – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure – as well as the classic Walt Disney World with Mickey Mouse and the Magic Kingdom.

Anyone who’s been to Disneyland will know the It’s a Small World song, which wisely teaches us:

It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears
It’s a world of hopes, its a world of fear
There’s so much that we share
That it’s time we’re aware
It’s a small world after all

But is Worthing the best place in this small world of tears, fears and butterbeers? 42 points will win it, but is that even possible? Let’s find out.

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Worthing versus New Zealand’s North Island

The past two months have been spent exploring the north island of New Zealand to work out if it’s better than Worthing or not. After my review of the south island, some people in the north have been trying to stop me in case the north island doesn’t score as highly. It’s true! I narrowly escaped jail in Katikati.

Praise be for my fat neck

Praise be for my fat neck

But Worthing versus the World cannot be stopped. Is New Zealand’s north island better than Worthing? Is the north island better than the south island? Am I going to have to go into hiding or risk being hunted by a gaggle of kiwis holding pitchforks wearing checked shirts, all intent on turning my body hair into a merino jumper? Sharpen your sheep shearers, because we’re about to find out.

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Worthing versus New Zealand’s South Island

You thought I’d forgotten about you didncha? Of course I hadn’t, it’s just we’ve been on the south island of New Zealand for the past couple of months so we’ve all had to wait until now for the opportunity to write the blog, but I got on it as soon as we left the south island.

Oh my gawd, I think that's the Worthing Versus the world guy!

Oh my gawd, I think that's the Worthing Versus the world guy!

You might have heard my interview with the BBC where I said New Zealand had me worried, but has the south island scored a better score than the 41 points needed to propel it to the top of the leaderboard? Let’s find out!  Continue reading

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Worthing versus BBC Radio Sussex

BBC Radio Sussex logo

Following the success of Worthing versus The Worthing Herald, we’re now going to be on the BBC Radio Sussex breakfast show.  Continue reading

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Worthing versus Australia

This whole Worthing versus the World thing is a very serious project. So serious in fact that we have travelled to the other side of the world (Australia) in our search for somewhere better than sunny Worthing.

Some of you might think this is fun or that I’m having a good time, but that’s like telling Judith Chalmers (or more recently Craig Doyle) that they weren’t at work when they made you that TV programme. Those guys are under a lot of pressure to find out all the facts about a place, visit everywhere, write an interesting and informative report then record it for the Great British Public to watch, knowing their words have a potentially massive impact on local tourism, and could bring down an entire country if they give it a bad review.

I feel the same weight upon my broad, manly shoulders but this is the path I have chosen (or the path that chose me – think about it) and therefore it is my cross to bear.

Keep that in mind as you read about the last month and a bit I’ve been swanning around Australia in the summer to see if it’s better to hang out at the Great Barrier Reef or Cissbury Ring, to drink VB or Harveys, to eat meat pies or Cornish pasties, to watch cricket or football, to have a hat with corks on or not to have a hat with corks on. All these questions and more may or may not be answered as we investigate Worthing versus Australia!

Going beyond public access points without high-visibility clothing in my quest to find somewhere better to live than Worthing

Going unauthorised beyond public access points without high-visibility clothing in my quest to find somewhere better to live than Worthing. Will it be Australia?

Let’s find out. Continue reading

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