15 Best Things To Do In Chichester, England

15 Best Things To Do In Chichester, England

By will

Chichester, England is a hidden gem that offers a plethora of incredible experiences for travelers. From its stunning architectural marvels to its rich history and vibrant cultural scene, this charming city has something for everyone. In this article, I will take you on a virtual tour of the 15 best things to do in Chichester, ensuring that you make the most of your visit and create unforgettable memories.

Step into the awe-inspiring Chichester Cathedral, where you’ll be greeted by its magnificent architectural wonders. Marvel at the intricate stained glass windows, admire the soaring spires, and explore the serene cloisters.

Immerse yourself in the world of art at the Pallant House Gallery, where you’ll encounter a diverse collection of contemporary and modern masterpieces. From paintings to sculptures, this gallery is a feast for the eyes and a haven for art enthusiasts.

Delve into Chichester’s rich history at the Novium Museum, where you can discover fascinating artifacts and exhibitions that showcase the city’s past.

Take a leisurely stroll through Chichester’s historic city center, where you’ll be transported back in time. Admire the charming cobblestone streets, browse through quaint shops, and soak up the lively atmosphere.

For nature lovers, a visit to the South Downs National Park is a must. Enjoy a day of tranquility as you explore the park’s picturesque landscapes, breathe in the fresh air, and feast your eyes on breathtaking views.

Explore Chichester Cathedral’s Architectural Marvels

Chichester Cathedral
Photo by Steve Daniels

You’ll be in awe as you explore Chichester Cathedral’s architectural marvels, taking in the intricate details and soaring heights of this stunning historical masterpiece.

As you step inside, the grandeur of the cathedral immediately captivates you. The magnificent stained glass windows, dating back centuries, fill the space with a kaleidoscope of colors, casting a magical glow upon the stone walls. The intricate carvings and sculptures adorning the walls and columns tell stories of a rich history and offer a glimpse into the craftsmanship of the past.

As you wander through the cathedral, you can’t help but be amazed by the soaring heights of the nave. The vaulted ceiling seems to stretch endlessly above you, supported by elegant arches and columns. The sense of space and light is truly breathtaking.

Take a moment to admire the delicate tracery of the Gothic architecture, the ornate wooden choir stalls, and the majestic organ, which fills the air with heavenly music during services. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an architecture lover, or simply seeking a moment of tranquility, exploring Chichester Cathedral’s architectural marvels is an experience not to be missed.

Immerse Yourself in Art at Pallant House Gallery

Chichester - Pallant House Gallery
Photo by Ian Cunliffe

Explore the captivating world of art at Pallant House Gallery and let yourself be swept away by its immersive exhibitions and thought-provoking masterpieces.

As soon as you step inside this historic townhouse turned art gallery, you’re greeted by an impressive collection that spans from modern to contemporary art. The gallery showcases works by renowned artists such as Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, and David Hockney, offering a diverse range of artistic styles and mediums.

Walking through the gallery’s rooms, you’ll find yourself surrounded by stunning paintings, sculptures, and installations that evoke a myriad of emotions. The exhibitions are carefully curated, creating a seamless flow that takes you on a journey through different artistic movements and themes. From abstract expressionism to pop art, there’s something to suit every artistic taste.

One of the highlights of Pallant House Gallery is its commitment to showcasing the work of contemporary artists. The gallery regularly hosts temporary exhibitions that feature emerging talents, providing a platform for innovative and thought-provoking art. It’s a place where you can discover new artists and engage with their unique perspectives.

In addition to its impressive collection, Pallant House Gallery also offers educational workshops, lectures, and events that further enrich your art experience. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply curious about the world of art, a visit to Pallant House Gallery is a must when exploring Chichester. Immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene, and let the masterpieces inspire and captivate you.

Discover Chichester’s Rich History at the Novium Museum

Novium Museum
Photo by N Chadwick

Step back in time and uncover the fascinating history of Chichester at the Novium Museum, where you can delve into the city’s rich past through its captivating exhibits and immersive displays.

As you step through the doors of the museum, you are transported to a different era, where you can witness the story of Chichester unfold before your eyes. The museum showcases a wide range of artifacts, from ancient Roman remains to medieval treasures, allowing you to gain a deep understanding of the city’s heritage.

One of the highlights of the Novium Museum is the interactive displays that bring history to life. You can explore a replica Roman kitchen, try on Roman armor, or even experience a virtual tour of Chichester during different time periods.

The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, showcasing different aspects of Chichester’s history and culture. From the intricate details of Roman mosaics to the grandeur of medieval architecture, the Novium Museum offers a unique and immersive experience that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for Chichester’s past.

So, if you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the city’s heritage, make sure to visit the Novium Museum for an unforgettable journey through time.

Take a Stroll Through Chichester’s Historic City Center

To truly immerse yourself in the rich history of Chichester, take a leisurely stroll through its historic city center and discover the hidden gems that await around every corner. As you wander through the narrow, winding streets, you’ll be transported back in time to a bygone era.

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The city center is filled with beautiful Georgian architecture, quaint shops, and charming cafes, all nestled amongst the ancient Roman walls that once protected this thriving market town.

As you explore, be sure to visit the iconic Chichester Cross, a medieval market cross that serves as the centerpiece of the city. This historic landmark is adorned with intricate carvings and serves as a reminder of Chichester’s past as a bustling medieval market town. Nearby, you’ll find the stunning Chichester Cathedral, a magnificent example of Norman architecture that dates back over 900 years. Step inside and marvel at the awe-inspiring stained glass windows and the grandeur of the towering spire.

Continuing your stroll, you’ll come across quaint alleyways and hidden courtyards, each with its own unique charm and character. Stop by the Butter Market, a vibrant hub of activity where you can browse through local produce, artisan crafts, and antiques. Don’t forget to explore the picturesque Priory Park, a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city, perfect for a leisurely picnic or a peaceful moment of reflection.

As you meander through Chichester’s historic city center, you’ll feel a sense of connection to the past, as if the stories of centuries gone by are whispering in your ear. Soak in the atmosphere, take in the sights and sounds, and let the history of this enchanting city come alive before your eyes.

Enjoy a Relaxing Day in the South Downs National Park

Indulge in the tranquility of the South Downs National Park and let the stress of everyday life melt away as you immerse yourself in its breathtaking natural beauty.

As you step into this idyllic paradise, you’ll be greeted by rolling hills, lush green meadows, and a sense of peace that is hard to find anywhere else.

Take a leisurely stroll along one of the many walking trails that wind through the park, and feel the soft grass beneath your feet as you listen to the soothing sounds of birds chirping in the distance.

The South Downs National Park offers more than just stunning landscapes. It’s also home to a wide variety of wildlife, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts.

Keep your eyes peeled for grazing deer, playful foxes, and the occasional sighting of a rare bird.

For those seeking a bit more adventure, there are plenty of activities to get your adrenaline pumping.

From cycling and horseback riding to paragliding and rock climbing, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

So, whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or an action-packed day out, the South Downs National Park is the perfect destination to unwind and reconnect with nature.

Indulge in Retail Therapy at Chichester’s Boutique Shops

Immerse yourself in the charming atmosphere of Chichester’s boutique shops and indulge in a delightful retail therapy experience.

As you stroll along the picturesque streets, you’ll discover a treasure trove of unique and independent stores, each offering a distinctive shopping experience. From stylish clothing boutiques to artisanal gift shops, Chichester has something to cater to every taste and preference.

Step into these quaint boutiques, and you’ll be greeted by friendly and knowledgeable staff who are passionate about their products. Browse through racks of beautifully curated clothing, adorned with intricate details and high-quality fabrics. Whether you’re looking for a statement piece or a timeless classic, the boutiques in Chichester offer a wide range of styles to suit any fashion aficionado.

Not only will you find fashion-forward shops, but Chichester’s boutique scene also boasts an array of unique gift stores. Discover one-of-a-kind treasures, from handcrafted jewelry to locally sourced artisanal goods. Each item tells a story and is carefully crafted with love and attention to detail. It’s the perfect place to find a special gift for yourself or a loved one.

Indulging in retail therapy in Chichester is not just about the shopping; it’s about the entire experience. Take a break from browsing and treat yourself to a cup of coffee at a charming café, or enjoy a delicious meal at one of the local eateries. The boutique shops are nestled within the historic city center, allowing you to soak in the rich heritage and architectural beauty that surrounds you.

Immerse yourself in the delightful world of Chichester’s boutique shops, where every visit is an opportunity to uncover hidden gems and embrace the joy of shopping. Whether you’re a fashion enthusiast or simply enjoy exploring unique stores, Chichester’s retail scene promises to leave you with unforgettable memories and a newfound appreciation for the art of retail therapy.

Unwind at the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Unwind and bask in the breathtaking beauty of the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where serenity and tranquility await.

As you step into this enchanting oasis, you’ll be mesmerized by the stunning vistas that unfold before your eyes. The harbor stretches out like a shimmering tapestry, adorned with sparkling waters and dotted with sailboats gently gliding along. The air is filled with a gentle salty breeze, carrying with it a sense of calm and relaxation.

Take a leisurely stroll along the harbor’s edge, and let the sights and sounds of nature wash over you. The lush greenery that lines the shore creates a vibrant contrast against the vibrant blue of the water, creating a picturesque scene that seems straight out of a postcard.

Find a spot to sit and simply soak in the peaceful ambiance, as you watch the ebb and flow of the tide. You may even catch a glimpse of some of the local wildlife, such as graceful swans gracefully gliding through the water or a curious seal popping its head up to say hello.

Whether you choose to explore the harbor by foot, or perhaps take a boat trip to discover its hidden corners, the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty promises an unforgettable experience of tranquility and natural splendor.

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Attend a Performance at the Chichester Festival Theatre

Experience the magic of a live performance at the Chichester Festival Theatre, where the stage comes alive with captivating actors, vibrant costumes, and breathtaking sets. As an avid theater-goer, attending a performance at this renowned venue was an absolute delight.

From the moment I stepped into the grand foyer, I was transported into a world of artistic excellence.

The Chichester Festival Theatre boasts a rich history of producing top-quality performances, attracting both local and international talent. The atmosphere inside the theater is electric, with anticipation and excitement filling the air.

As the lights dimmed and the curtains rose, I was immediately captivated by the skill and passion of the actors on stage. Their performances were simply mesmerizing, drawing me into the story and making me feel a range of emotions.

The attention to detail in the costumes and sets was exquisite, creating a visually stunning experience that enhanced the overall production. Whether you’re a fan of drama, comedy, or musicals, the Chichester Festival Theatre offers a diverse range of shows that cater to all tastes.

Attending a performance at the Chichester Festival Theatre is an experience like no other. It allows you to immerse yourself in the world of theater and witness the incredible talent that graces its stage. Whether you’re a theater enthusiast or simply looking for an evening of entertainment, this iconic venue will leave you in awe.

So, make sure to check the theater’s schedule and plan a visit during your time in Chichester. Prepare to be dazzled by the exceptional performances, the stunning sets, and the unforgettable atmosphere that only live theater can provide.

Visit the Weald and Downland Living Museum for a Glimpse of the Past

When you step into the Weald and Downland Living Museum, you’ll be transported back in time to get a glimpse of the past. This open-air museum is a treasure trove of historical buildings and artifacts, showcasing the rural life of South East England from the 13th to the 19th century.

As I walked through the museum, I couldn’t help but feel like I was stepping into a different era. The meticulously reconstructed buildings, complete with period furnishings and knowledgeable staff in authentic costumes, truly brought history to life.

One of the highlights of my visit was exploring the Tudor kitchen, where a costumed cook was preparing a meal over an open fire. The crackling of the flames and the aroma of the food filled the air, creating an immersive experience that made me appreciate the simplicity and ingenuity of cooking in the past.

I also had the opportunity to wander through the beautiful gardens and orchards, which were bursting with colorful flowers and ripe fruit. Strolling through these peaceful surroundings, I could almost imagine myself as a resident of the past, tending to the crops and enjoying the bounties of nature.

The Weald and Downland Living Museum is not only a fascinating place to visit, but also a valuable resource for preserving and promoting our heritage. It offers a range of hands-on activities and workshops, allowing visitors to learn traditional crafts and skills that have been passed down through generations.

Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or simply enjoy the charm of the countryside, this museum is a must-visit in Chichester. So step through its doors and embark on a journey back in time – you won’t be disappointed.

Take a Boat Trip along the Chichester Canal

Embark on a delightful boat trip along the picturesque Chichester Canal and let the tranquil waters carry you away to a serene world of natural beauty and peaceful serenity.

As you glide along the calm canal, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery and charming wildlife. The gentle ripples of the water create a soothing soundtrack, making it the perfect setting to unwind and relax.

The Chichester Canal offers a unique perspective of the city, allowing you to see its historic buildings and landmarks from a different angle. As you meander through the waterway, you’ll pass by quaint cottages and old warehouses that are a testament to the canal’s rich industrial past.

The knowledgeable boat guides will share fascinating stories and insights about the canal’s history, adding depth to your experience.

Not only is the boat trip a peaceful and scenic journey, but it also provides a chance to connect with nature. Keep an eye out for graceful swans gliding gracefully alongside the boat, and listen to the cheerful chirping of birds perched on the branches overhead.

The tranquil atmosphere and beautiful surroundings make the Chichester Canal boat trip a truly immersive and memorable experience. So, hop on board and let the canal transport you to a world of tranquility and natural beauty.

Explore the Chichester Walls and Gatehouses

Discover the hidden secrets of Chichester as you wander along the historic walls and awe-inspiring gatehouses. The Chichester Walls and Gatehouses offer a fascinating glimpse into the city’s rich history and provide a unique perspective on its architectural heritage.

As you walk along the well-preserved walls, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe at the sheer scale and grandeur of these structures. The walls, which date back to Roman times, encircle the city and offer stunning panoramic views of Chichester and its surrounding countryside.

One of the highlights of exploring the walls is the opportunity to visit the gatehouses. These imposing structures served as the main entrances to the city and were built to defend against potential invaders. As you step through the ancient gateways, you can almost imagine the bustling activity that once took place here. The gatehouses are not only visually impressive but also provide a fascinating insight into the city’s past.

As you continue your stroll along the walls, you’ll come across various points of interest, including towers, bastions, and even a Roman bathhouse. Each step reveals a new piece of history, and you can’t help but be captivated by the stories that these walls hold.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply looking for a unique way to explore Chichester, a visit to the Chichester Walls and Gatehouses is an absolute must. So, lace up your walking shoes and embark on a journey through time as you uncover the hidden treasures of this remarkable city.

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Enjoy a Picnic in Priory Park

After exploring the fascinating Chichester Walls and Gatehouses, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of tranquility as I made my way to Priory Park. Nestled in the heart of Chichester, this idyllic green space is the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy a delightful picnic.

As I entered the park, the lush greenery and vibrant flowers greeted me, casting a spell of serenity over the entire area. Finding a cozy spot under a shady tree, I spread out my picnic blanket and unpacked a delicious spread of sandwiches, fruits, and refreshing drinks. The peaceful atmosphere of Priory Park made my picnic all the more enjoyable.

As I savored each bite, I couldn’t help but admire the stunning surroundings. The park’s well-maintained lawns and colorful flower beds created a picturesque backdrop, while the sound of birds chirping and leaves rustling in the breeze added a soothing soundtrack to my afternoon.

After finishing my meal, I took a leisurely stroll around the park, exploring its various features. The park boasts a beautiful lake where ducks and swans gracefully swim, adding to the park’s charm. I also discovered a charming rose garden, filled with an array of fragrant blooms in a rainbow of colors. The park’s well-manicured paths beckoned me to wander further, and I happily obliged, taking in the sights and sounds of this peaceful oasis.

Priory Park truly offers a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you’re looking for a serene spot to relax and enjoy a picnic or simply want to take a leisurely stroll amidst nature’s beauty, this park has it all. So, if you find yourself in Chichester, don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the tranquility of Priory Park.

Discover Chichester’s Literary Connections at the Edward Thomas Study Centre

As you make your way to the Edward Thomas Study Centre, you’ll be immersed in the rich literary history that Chichester has to offer. This hidden gem is a must-visit for any literature enthusiast.

Named after the renowned poet Edward Thomas, who lived in Chichester for a brief period, the study centre showcases his works and provides insight into his life and inspirations.

Upon entering the study centre, you’ll be greeted by a serene and welcoming atmosphere. The walls are adorned with photographs, manuscripts, and personal belongings of Edward Thomas, giving you a glimpse into his world. The knowledgeable staff is always ready to share fascinating anecdotes and answer any questions you may have.

You can spend hours exploring the various exhibits, reading Thomas’s poems, and gaining a deeper understanding of his contribution to English literature.

The Edward Thomas Study Centre is not only a place for literary enthusiasts but also serves as a hub for aspiring writers and researchers. It offers workshops, lectures, and seminars, providing valuable resources and support for those interested in delving into the world of literature.

Whether you’re a fan of Edward Thomas or simply curious about Chichester’s literary connections, this study centre is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the rich literary heritage of the city.

Attend a Racing Event at the Goodwood Racecourse

Get ready for an exhilarating experience by attending a racing event at the Goodwood Racecourse. As soon as you step onto the grounds, you can feel the excitement in the air.

The atmosphere is electric, with the sound of horses thundering down the track and the cheers of the crowd filling the stands. Whether you’re a seasoned racing enthusiast or a first-time spectator, there’s something for everyone at Goodwood.

The Goodwood Racecourse is renowned for hosting some of the most prestigious horse racing events in the country. From the famous Glorious Goodwood festival to the Qatar Goodwood Festival, there are plenty of opportunities to witness top-class racing action.

As you watch the horses race by, you can’t help but be amazed by their speed and grace. The jockeys skillfully guide their mounts around the track, showcasing their talent and determination. The vibrant colors of the jockey silks add to the spectacle, creating a visually stunning experience.

Whether you’re placing bets or simply enjoying the thrill of the race, attending a racing event at the Goodwood Racecourse is an unforgettable experience that will leave you wanting more.

Experience the Chichester Farmers’ Market and Local Cuisine

Immerse yourself in the vibrant local food culture by exploring the Chichester Farmers’ Market and indulging in the mouthwatering flavors of the region.

The market, held every Friday in the heart of Chichester, offers a delightful array of fresh produce, artisanal products, and delicious street food.

As you wander through the stalls, you’ll be captivated by the sights and smells of locally grown fruits and vegetables, homemade baked goods, and fragrant herbs.

It’s a feast for the senses, and a perfect opportunity to sample the best of Chichester’s culinary offerings.

One of the highlights of the Chichester Farmers’ Market is the opportunity to meet the passionate producers behind the food.

From cheese makers to bakers, you can chat with the people who pour their heart and soul into creating these delectable treats.

They’re more than happy to share their knowledge and recommendations, making your culinary journey even more enjoyable.

Don’t forget to try some of the region’s specialties, such as Sussex cheeses, locally sourced meats, and freshly baked pastries.

Indulging in these flavors will give you a true taste of Chichester’s rich culinary heritage.

So, come hungry and leave with a satisfied palate, as the Chichester Farmers’ Market promises an unforgettable food experience.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Chichester, England offers a plethora of exciting activities and attractions that cater to all interests. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply looking to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the South Downs National Park, there’s something for everyone in this charming city.

From exploring the architectural marvels of Chichester Cathedral and immersing yourself in the world of art at Pallant House Gallery, to discovering the city’s rich history at the Novium Museum and taking a leisurely stroll through the historic city center, there’s no shortage of things to do and see.

Don’t forget to indulge in the local cuisine at the Chichester Farmers’ Market and experience the thrill of a racing event at the Goodwood Racecourse.

Chichester truly offers a unique and immersive experience that’ll leave you wanting to come back for more. So whether you’re a local or a visitor, be sure to put Chichester on your list of must-visit destinations and get ready to create unforgettable memories in this charming city.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.