The only city in West Sussex, Chichester is home to some of the oldest churches and buildings in the country and offers a wealth of theatres, museums and art galleries. With an artistic bent and beautiful architecture, the city attracts many stars from theatre and film as well as being popular with overseas visitors, keen to be part of such a vibrant city community.
The 12th century Chichester Cathedral sits at the heart of the city and is unusual in that it has a separate bell tower, some metres from the main church. Pop inside and see the medieval tomb of a knight and his wife, inspiration for the Philip Larkin poem, ‘An Arundel Tomb’. Pause at the Cloisters Café for a bite to eat and then visit the Bishop’s Palace Gardens and the historic Cathedral Close.
West Wittering Beach
The Novium Museum, which is built above the remains of a Roman Bath House, is now three floors of interactive exhibitions and has amazing views of the cathedral. The Queen Anne Pallent House gallery and The Otter Gallery also come highly recommended. Don’t forget to do a spot of shopping inside the ancient city walls - vintage and antique shops sit alongside modern day shops – you will not have a moment to spare! Visit Fishbourne Roman Palace and Gardens, an outstanding example of archaeology and a first-century home; here you will find the largest collection of Roman mosaic floors in Britain. Wander around the formal Roman Gardens and the Roman Garden Museum – such a treat for gardeners!
In June and July, the famous Festival of Chichester takes centre stage which hosts four weeks of music and art. If you cannot visit during this time, then make sure you go to the Chichester Festival Theatre, which attracts fantastic West End shows and stars, and puts on fabulous outdoor promenade performances as well as cabaret and comedy nights.
For water babies, there is an abundance of things to do. Chichester Harbour offers sailing trips and along the road at Portsmouth; the Mary Rose Museum and HMS Victory are just two of the maritime delights on offer. Fishing villages and sandy beaches are only minutes away – visit the little seaside town of Selsey or the larger town of Bognor Regis. If countryside is more your thing, head up to the South Downs where you can wander for miles over some of the prettiest countryside the county has to offer. Follow the South Downs Way trail by foot, bike or horse and be sure not to miss the Moonlight Cottage Cocking and Westdean Woods Trail.
"Home to some of the oldest churches and buildings in the country...">
Though it is unlikely that you will not find enough to do in this beautiful city, you have on your doorstep other great British events such as racing at glorious Goodwood, polo at Cowdray Park and opera at Glyndebourne. Arundel Castle and Petworth House are two other places that you mustn’t miss if you don’t mind a drive out of town.
Take a look at our collection of Chichester cottages for even more holiday inspiration.