Fancy a change from just visiting London? Just one hour and 30 minutes on the train from London is Chichester in West Sussex on the South Coast of England.
Chichester is a beautiful small walled city and is only classed as a city because it has a cathedral. It dates as far back as the Roman era as the Roman’s built a wall around the city.
There is a lot of history from the Roman Wall to the 12th-century cathedral. Chichester is very flat until you reach the South Downs, so it is the perfect place to walk around.
I grew up in Chi, as we call it, so maybe I am a little biased! It is always a lovely place to return to after my travels around the world.
What does Chichester have to offer?
Why should you visit Chichester? It is a charming city, it has lots to offer from visiting the cathedral to the lovely shops.
Stop and watch a play at the Chichester Festival Theatre, walk around the beautiful Chichester Cathedral and around the Bishop’s Palace Gardens or take a cruise down the Chichester Canal.
The city centre is easy to navigate as the city centre is divided into four streets like a cross and in the centre of the four streets is the Market Cross.
There are walking tours of Chichester with local experienced guides that can show you the attractions of Chichester the historic Cathedral city within the Roman walls.
Here is what to visit while in Chichester:
Chichester Festival Theatre
The Chichester Festival Theatre is located at the top of North Street, in Northgate by the car park. It is a fantastic theatre that always has a lot on.
Plays often start here and then go the Westend in London, so book your tickets!
The Chichester Cathedral is from the 12th-century and is the crown jewel of the city. The spire of the cathedral can be seen for miles in the surrounding areas.
It is open daily for visitors and it is worth going inside as it very interesting being 900 years old. The architecture of the cathedral is beautiful to see inside and out with the stain glass windows, the tombs and historic artwork.
Bishop’s Palace Gardens
Bishop’s Palace Gardens are beside the cathedral and are a great place to escape the city, but not leaving the city centre!
The gardens are full of flowers, plants, trees and water features. In the summer months, it is a lovely spot to sit or have a picnic.
Take a walk along the canal or try a spot of rowing! Book a boat trip and cruise down the canal for a leisurely afternoon and spot wildlife along the way. You can even go for an afternoon tea or a fish and chips cruise!
The canal runs 4 miles from the Basin in Chichester through Donnington and Huston ending at Chichester Marina.
Shops & Markets
Chichester has lovely shops, many are independents and a bit different from the norm. There are also all the high street shops that you find in all cities around the UK.
There is a market that takes place every Wednesday in the city centre in North Street and East Street and every Saturday in the Cattle Market Carpark.
Here you will find greengrocers, general and outdoor clothing, shoes, handbags, belts, scarves, soaps, garden plants, flowers, jewellery, bread, cakes, sweets, cheese, fresh fish, olives, eggs, sausages, coffee, greetings cards and paper, hand-made cards, fudge, coffee beans, hand-made cushions, household goods, garden plants, watches, phone accessories, tool sharpening, crockery and kitchenware, pet food and hot food/catering.
On the 1st and 3rd Friday each month in Chichester is the Farmer’s Market. Each market is attended by stallholders selling a wide variety of fresh quality produce.
All of the stallholders are required to grow, rear, bake, and/or preserve all their produce and are based within 30 miles of Chichester. The majority of our stallholders are primary producers offering a wide variety of meat, fruit, vegetables and eggs. Other types of produce include fish, cheeses, honey, cakes, chutneys and plants. In addition, you will find a number of guest producers who provide specialities across the year.
There are many coffee shops in Chichester, so you have lots to choose from to have a quick coffee or a cup of tea and a cake.
My favourite coffee shop is Baileys Artisan Gelato, located by the Market Cross in West Street. The coffee is very good, and all their cakes are gluten-free and you can’t even taste the difference they are so good!
They use local products, local fruits, coffee roasted in Arundel and Goodwood organic milk, which is very good quality from the Goodwood Estate just outside Chichester.
There is lots to see and do in the surrounding towns including the Roman Palace, castles, galleries and more. I will be writing more about West Sussex over the next few weeks so keep your eyes peeled!
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