10 splendid things to do in Chichester

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10 things to do in chichester

Chichester is a cathedral city in West Sussex, England. We recently found ourselves visiting Chichester as we were house sitting nearby. A delightful city, there is plenty to see and do in Chichester if you visit for a day or two. Here are ten splendid things to do in Chichester.

  1. Where is Chichester?
  2. Where else could you visit near Chichester?
  3. Why is Chichester worth visiting?
  4. Ten splendid things to do in Chichester
    1. One: Visit Chichester Cathedral
    2. Two: Visit the Novium
    3. Three: Walk the City Walls in Chichester
    4. Four: Visit West Dean Garden
    5. Five: Visit the independent stores
    6. Six: Enjoy some crafty food
    7. Seven: Take a trip to the beach
    8. Eight: Walk in the South Downs
    9. Nine: Visit a nearby vineyard
    10. Ten: Shop in the Northgate Market

Where is Chichester?

Chichester is in West Sussex in England. It is a short drive away from the coastal towns of West and East Wittering. You can find it on Google Maps here.

Where else could you visit near Chichester?

Chichester is in a great location in West Sussex near to the South Downs and there are plenty of things to do in Chichester. But, if you want to explore nearby, you are spoilt for choice.

There are many pretty places that you could visit near to Chichester if you had a couple of days. For example, Arundel, West Wittering, Midhurst and Petworth National Trust property. Goodwood estate is also nearby.

Why is Chichester worth visiting?

Chichester, referred to as “Chi” by the locals was originally founded by the Romans and was called ” Noviomagus Reginorum”. One of the reasons that it is worth visiting, is the significant history of the area.

Today, it is a popular tourist city and known for it’s history, beautiful buildings and vibrant art and food scene. It’s also very quaint and quintessentially British.

For a short day trip or a weekend away, Chichester is worth visiting, especially for history and culture lovers.

Does Chichester have a sea front?

Chichester has a harbour, this is 4 miles from the centre of the town. It’s a delightful place to have a wander around. The nearest sea front is West Wittering beach. Do note, West Wittering is very expensive to visit, as the car parking is pricey. If you want an alternative to West Wittering, you could try Bracklesham Bay. Start at the popular cafe Billy’s on the Beach, for a tea and some cake.

Ten fun facts about Chichester

Here are ten fun facts about Chichester:

  1. Locals call Chichester “Chi”, which is pronounced like “Chai.” you’ll see this on the names of businesses such as the Sty in Chi and you may hear locals mention it.
  2. Chichester is the only city in West Sussex, although there are some lovely towns and villages such as Midhurst.
  3. A number of famous people are from Chichester, this includes the singer Tom Oddell.
  4. The oldest pub in Chichester is The Fountain, it was built in 1798 on the site of a former Roman bathhouse.
  5. Chichester was founded by the Romans in the 1st century AD and was historically called Noviomagus Reginorum.
  6. Chichester is located on River Lavant.
  7. Chichester is popular with tourists, an estimated 2.7 million people visit the city each year.
  8. Chichester is often believed to be a beach town, it’s not. Although Chichester does have a harbour, the nearest beach and sea front is West Wittering.
  9. There are over 100 cafes in Chichester, so you’ll never be short of a cup of tea when you visit.
  10. Chichester has a popular food market, the market has been held in the city centre for centuries!

Ten splendid things to do in Chichester

For a wonderful day out, there are lots of things to do in Chichester.

Here are our top ten things to do in Chichester for a splendid day out!

One: Visit Chichester Cathedral

Chichester Cathedral is one of the main tourist attractions in the city. It is a beautiful building, currently undergoing some renovation work. It was built in the 11th century and is a superb example of Norman architecture. Interestingly, it was also built on the site of a Roman Temple.

The Cathedral is also an art lovers dream as it houses three important works of art. This includes a stained glass window by Marc Chagall, a painting by John Constable and a sculpture by Henry Moore.

You can visit from 09:00 to 17:00 Monday to Saturday or 12:00 to 14:00 on a Sunday. As of May 2023, you can now also take your dog into the Cathedral should you wish to!

Is Chichester Cathedral Free?

The entrance fee for Chichester Cathedral is donation based and they do accept card.

Two: Visit the Novium

The Novium is a museum in the center of Chichester. If you are interested in learning more about the history of the city and the area, then this is the place to go. With 500,000 artefacts, you could spend a few hours here.

Entrance is free, but there is an option to leave a donation. There’s a children’s discovery zone here too, so kids won’t feel left out.

Three: Walk the City Walls in Chichester

The city walls are 1.5 miles long and you are able to walk around them. They were originally build in Roman times to protect the city from siege and have been well maintained to this day. The walls offer a great insight into the history of the city and are free to explore. Look out for wonderful views of the city from atop the walls.

Four: Visit West Dean Garden

West Dean Garden is a delight for plant lovers. We visited in May, when the place was alight with wisteria and roses were in bloom. It is totally free to visit the garden and you can expect to spend around 30 minutes walking around and enjoying the garden. Picnics are also welcome, so feel free to spend longer!

Five: Visit the independent stores

For anyone who enjoys nosing around independent stores, Chichester has a lot to offer. Boo lovers will enjoy Kim’s Book shop, which is a delight as is St Olaves book store. For ladies clothing, Little London Boutique is a splendid place to browse and for chaps, Hansfords offers all you could need when it comes to the best of British hats and ties.

Six: Enjoy some crafty food

Chichester houses plenty of places for a unique and scrumptious bite to eat. One of the first places you’ll see when you get to the high street is the Sty in Chi. A beautiful little cafe with friendly service. Do stop here if you like a giant sausage roll (so large that two of us couldn’t eat it) or a sweet treat.

If you’re after a coffee with outdoor seating, look no further than Luckes. A cafe with perfectly placed chairs for people watching on North Street.

Seven: Take a trip to the beach

West Wittering beach is around 10 miles from Chichester. A blue flag beach with sandy dunes and clear water, it is popular with tourists as well as locals. There are plenty of places to eat and drink and enjoy a full day at the beach.

If you are staying in Chichester, we recommend taking the bus to West Wittering if you can. If you do want to drive, the parking charges near the beach are quite extravagant at £12 for the day.

Eight: Walk in the South Downs

The South Downs Way are a range of hills in the South, including in areas of West Sussex near to Chichester. There are many walks in the South Downs near to Chichester. If you want an active day out near to Chichester, check out this website for more information – Walking trails – South Downs National Park.

Nine: Visit a nearby vineyard

We are always on the look out for a vineyard wherever we travel. We were delighted to find Tinwood Estate, a vineyard just over 10 minutes from Chichester. Here you can take a long languid lunch, or enjoy a glass or two as you stop by. Vineyard tours and tastings are also available.

Ten: Shop in the Northgate Market

Like everything in Chichester, Northgate Market also has a history to it. An indoor market that was first founded in 1923, you can visit here on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 9am to 4pm. Fresh meat, fruit & veg, and hot and cold food is available on over 100 stalls. Great for food lovers and of of the best things to do in Chichester!

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