Last Updated on November 8, 2022
The city of Chichester located in West Sussex dates back to the Roman times. It was on one of the main Roman road routes that lead to London. Evidence of this can be found along South and North Street with information plates on the paths. The main centre has a lovely range of shops and places to eat. Along with shopping, I share things to do in Chichester and the surrounding area.
Things To Do In Chichester
While in the centre of Chichester, you can not miss the Chichester Cross! It’s a ‘market cross’ that is a Grade I listed building made from Caen stone, said to date back to the 1400’s. It lays right in the middle where North, East, South and West Street all meet. The cross was once the location of the town’s market, however as the town expanded, the market was relocated to a different area.
Chichester Cathedral & Bishop’s Palace Garden
Chichester Cathedral was built in the 11th century. It used to be called the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity. The cathedral is free to visit and is open Monday to Saturday between 9am – 5pm and Sunday 12pm – 2pm. For those that want to explore the cathedral in greater detail, pre-booked 45 minute tours at £4 per person. Tours take place at 11.30am and 2.30pm on Monday to Saturdays.
Alongside Chichester Cathedral is the Bishop’s Palace Garden. This walled garden is a lovely place to sit on a warm day or to wander around and enjoy the flowers and wildlife. The gardens are free to visit and open from 8am until dusk. It’s a great spot to get a picture of the cathedral surrounded with flowers.
Stik Street Art
🗺On the corner of North Pallant & East Street
I am a huge fan of street art and murals. A nice find in Chichester are two stick figures by the artist ‘Stik’. Stik is a British artist with murals all around the world. I personally have come across another one of his murals in the Shoreditch/Brick Lane area in London. The artwork below can be found where North Pallant meets East Street.
Once upon a time, Priory Park was the location of Chichester Castle. The raised area of ground is all that remains of the castle. When the castle was demolished, the ground was given to the Grey Friars. They built Chichester Guildhall in the 13th century, which still stands in the centre of the park. You can also see the Chichester City Walls around the edge of the park. Originally they were Roman walls but the wall that can be seen today is a Georgian wall, built on the Roman foundations.
Priory Park is popular for cricket matches, there is a children’s playground and Fenwicks Cafe has a bird aviary outside.
Kingley Vale (National Nature Reserve)
The Kingley Vale National Nature Reserve in the South Downs National Park is a great place for a walk. It was designated a nature reserve back in 1952. The circular walking route is just under 3 miles in length. The Yew Tree Trail passes through a 500 year old Yew Tree woodland.
Continuing along the Nature Trail (or the short cut straight to the top!), you will reach ‘Devil’s Humps’. They are very obvious due to the perfectly circular mound shape. These are said to date back to the Bronze Age, almost 6000 years ago. They are also known as ‘barrows’ and are actually prehistoric burial mounds. It is said that these barrows are the final resting place of Viking lords so are sometimes called the ‘Kings Graves’. From this point there are great 360 degree views of the surrounding area.
Check out my full guide to the Kingley Vale walk here. There’s a small paid parking area near Funtington.
There’s a woodland bridle path in Stoughton that goes past Racton Monument. It’s around a 15 minute walk from the main road. Racton Monument is also known as the Racton Ruin or Stansted Castle (part of the Stansted Estate). This folly is a grade II listed building that was built between 1766-1775 for the Earl of Halifax. It was thought to have been built as either a watch tower so he could watch his ships docking at the nearby port, or as a summerhouse.
Tree Tunnel & Halnaker Windmill
Another section of the original Roman road between Chichester and London can be seen just off the A285. There’s a small parking area on Denge Lane. Pass between the buildings between Warehead Farm and follow the footpath. This section of ‘Stane Street’ (the Roman road), is now ‘famous’ for being a tree tunnel!
The walk to Halnaker Windmill is just under one mile and takes around 20 minutes. The windmill was once a corn mill and is now a Grade II listed building. It is closed to the public, but you are able to walk around the outside of it. It’s a great place to watch the sunset and has views across the countryside, all the way out towards the coast. If you visit for sunset though, the walk back is VERY dark so it’s good to have some sort of torch or use a phone light!
Chichester is also home to the Goodwood Estate. Goodwood House is a Grade I listed building dating back to the 1600s. Goodwood is known for its motor racing circuit and horse racing track. They hold various events throughout the year including the ‘Festival of Speed’ and ‘Goodwood Revival’, among others. There’s also an airfield, 2 golf courses, health club, a hotel, walking routes and more!
Chichester Harbour AONB
Dell Quay Marine
A lovely waterside pub in Chichester Harbour, is the Crown and Anchor at Dell Quay Marine. They have an outdoor seating area which has great sunset views across the water. The menu predominantly focuses on local sea food and it is quite expensive. Even the fries are seaweed salted! From October, during the colder season they have a traditional roast dinner on the menu.
The village of Bosham dates back to Roman times. It is thought that Canute the Great (King of England in 1016) had a palace in Bosham. Several legends surround him in this area, from commanding the tide to ‘go back’ and his daughter drowning in the Mill Stream. A small grave site can be found inside the Holy Trinity Church. Bosham is also said to be the oldest site of Christianity in Sussex.
There’s coastal walk which takes in views of Chichester Harbour AONB and Bosham Quay. It is also a National Trust site. Part of the road in Bosham floods at high tide, so considering this when parking up. Otherwise there is a ‘safe’ pay and display car park located in the village. In the village you’ll find a couple of cafes and a pub.
Chichester Golf – Adventure Golf & Escape Rooms
🗺Hunston Village, Chichester PO20 1AX
💰(Adventure Golf) Adult – £10 | Under 16s – £7
In the nearby village of Hunston is Chichester Golf course. As well as the regular course, footgolf and a driving range, they have 2 adventure golf courses and escape rooms! The 18 hole outdoor adventure golf is called ‘Jungle Paradise‘ and is open from 9am until dusk. The indoor course ‘Ocean Paradise‘ is a ‘glow golf’ course with lots of neon and is open until 8pm.
The escape rooms are suitable for groups of two to six people that are 12yrs+. There are 3 rooms altogether with different levels of difficulty and ‘fear ratings’. The current rooms are: ‘The Curse of Old Maid Milly’, ‘Operation Sealion’ and ‘Cabin In The Woods’. You have 60 minutes to solve the clues and riddles and escape the room! Check the website for opening times and to prebook a time slot.
West Wittering Beach
West Wittering Beach is a large sandy beach on the south coast. It’s popular with water sports such as surfing and stand up paddle boarding (there are restrictions on kite surfing, membership is required). There’s a cafe, toilets and a large grass car park.
During the summer, pre-booking a car parking spot is a MUST. Parking is expensive. Full day parking in high season is £9.50 or £6 for the evening rate from 3pm-6pm. Unfortunately the car park closes at 6pm. Alternatively there are buses between Chichester and West/East Wittering or smaller 24hr car parks within the villages if you wanted to visit past 6pm.
Things To Do Near Chichester
Arundel Castle & Garden
Approximately 20 minutes away from Chichester is the town of Arundel. It’s a cute little market town with lots of things to do. Open between April and October is Arundel Castle & Garden, dating back to the 11th century.
Swanbourne Lake is a short walk from the castle. The trail starts from near the castle entrance and is a 3.5km loop (2.1 miles), with 1.7km (1 mile) going around the perimeter of the lake. Swanbourne Lodge Tearoom is open year round. During spring and summer they offer row boat hire. A 30 minute rental costs £4 per adult and £3 per child.
🗺21 Tarrant St, Arundel BN18 9DG
A fun place to go for a sweet treat is the ‘LG Cafe’. It’s bright, colourful and every ‘Instagrammer’s’ dream! The cakes are amazing…so much so that I had trouble choosing what I wanted and ended up picking two!
Other things to do in Arundel include: the Arundel Lido open air swimming pool (open during summer months), Arundel Museum and Mill Road Cafe & Leisure which has an 18 hole putting green.
There is a large pay and display car park just off of Mill Road, opposite the castle and next to the museum. Parking for up to 3 hours costs £2.50 and you’ll find public toilets here too.
🗺Ford Rd, Ford, Arundel BN18 0BX
Located just outside of Arundel village in Ford is the Serving Thyme cafe. This is part of HMP Ford which is across the road. The cafe serves Costa Coffee and amazing homemade food and cakes. There’s plenty of indoor seating as well as an outdoor patio. It is run by the prisoners as a way of reintroducing them back into the community. All the staff were lovely and friendly. The cafe is open between 9am-4pm.
Mick’s Monster Burgers
🗺Portsdown Hill Rd, Cosham, Portsmouth PO6 3LZ
Sitting up on Portsdown Hill, overlooking Portsmouth is Mick’s Monster Burgers. It started life as a little burger van and has expanded into a 24/7 takeaway. There’s a large parking area with benches on the hill. The idea being that you eat in your car, on the benches or take it away. I visited at around 11pm on a Friday night and it was absolutely PACKED. They serve up a whole range of different burgers and all day breakfast rolls for very reasonable prices. Plus the food portions are huge! They have thousands of 5 star reviews on Google!