Posted on February 26 2020
As a Chichester based business Aqua Living are excited to highlight some of our favourite locations in our much-loved home. Here’s our handy guide to the best things to do and see in the historical City of Chichester. We highly recommend a day or two in Chichester city centre before venturing further afield to discover the many coastal villages, marinas and nature reserves surrounding Chichester Harbour.
Where is Chichester?
Located by the South Downs National Park in West Sussex in the South of England, Chichester is situated just 90minutes by train from London, or just an hour by car from London Gatwick Airport. A 12th Century cathedral city Chichester is has a wealth of history dating back to the Anglo-Saxon period, including the Domesday Book and the Roman invasion in AD43.
Best places to visit in Chichester?
A good place to start your visit to Chichester is the wonderful Novium Museum, a fantastic local museum built over the remains of a Roman bathhouse it houses three floors of exhibitions and often has child-friendly free events.
Chichester’s city centre plan is inherited from the Romans and its main shopping precincts on North, South, East and West Street radiate from the picturesque central market cross. North Street is home to the historic Butter Market which now houses casual dining such as Bills restaurant and a few jewellery shops.
Located just a short walk from East Street is Pallant House Gallery, an 18th Century townhouse fused with a contemporary Grade I listed building. This award-winning contemporary art museum, which showcases Modern British art from 1900 to now, is home to a series of contemporary art exhibitions, along with an excellent restaurant & café. There is also the Oxmarket Gallery on South Street, a volunteer-run charity that promotes art and supports local artists.
The iconic spire seen from many viewpoints around the city centre is that of the magnificent Chichester Cathedral, depicted in paintings by Turner and Constable, the 900year old cathedral is situated on West Street. You can easily spend a few hours or a day exploring Chichester Cathedral, visiting the tapestries and tombs in the Cathedral, wandering through the cloisters – where there is a good café and gift shop, or enjoy the tranquillity of the nearby Bishops Palace Gardens.
Just a short walk from the Market Cross along South Street, Chichester has a beautiful canal that links the city just 4.5miles away to nearby Chichester Harbour. You can get closer to nature and hire a rowing boat or book an organised canal boat tour on the canal from the Chichester Ship Canal Trust.
For the more adventurous or those travelling with children, a great water based activity is a paddle boarding trip along the canal. The friendly team at TJ Boardhire run paddle board tours, SUP lessons and paddle board hire on the Chichester Canal as well as the River Arun.
Before you depart Chichester city centre, no trip would be complete without a visit to the renowned Chichester Festival Theatre, one of the UK’s flagship theatres. With its bold thrust stage design Chichester Festival Theatre hosts an exciting programme of epic dramas, comedies and musicals; attracting many acclaimed actors, writers and directors to productions throughout the year.
If you’re in Chichester during the weekend then don’t miss a City Walking Tour with Chichester Tour Guides run by an enthusiastic volunteer team with a wealth of knowledge about the city and local area. Chichester tours last about 90 minutes and meet at the Cathedral Bell Tower on a Sunday morning, bookings are required in advance at www.chtg.co.uk
We hope you have a fantastic time in Chichester, there are a great range of independent cafes, restaurants, pubs and independent shops, as well as markets and events throughout the year.
For more information, go to Visit Chichester at www.visitchichester.org
For a Chichester city centre map download here https://www.visitchichester.org/sites/default/files/CITY_CENTRE_MAP.pdf
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