A Great Sussex Waterside Weekend
A two-day walking and cycling itinerary
Chichester Harbour is home to a number of postcard-perfect quayside villages which make an idyllic destination for a weekend of relaxation, waterfront exploring, and great hospitality. Bosham, with its picturesque streets and houses, is one of the most photographed villages in South East England and historically is one of the most important villages in Sussex. Less than two hours from London by car or train, it is easily accessible.
Here’s our suggested itinerary for a weekend on the waterfront:
Bosham stands on a small peninsula between two tidal creeks at the eastern end of Chichester harbour. The Harbour is of national and international importance for landscape and nature conservation and is a special place for wildlife, with over 55,000 waders and waterfowl visiting each year.
With its enchanting old world feel, with picturesque streets and houses, seemingly from a bygone era. Bosham is a particular favourite among sailors, walkers, cyclist, artists and those with a fondness for history and culture.
Admire the views across the water at the Quay Meadow and visit Holy Trinity Church which features in the Bayeux Tapestry, or just browsing through the many artisan shops in Bosham Walk, anyone can just relax and enjoy this tranquil gem.
From Itchenor you can enjoy a 90-minute Harbour Tour aboard Solar Heritage, Chichester Harbour Conservancy’s solar powered catamaran. This virtually silent boat glides through the waters of the harbour, getting up close to some of the wildlife which calls the harbour home. You’ll learn about the inhabitants and history of this special place which is not only an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty but also a Site of Special Scientific Interest but is protected at National, European and International level in recognition of its significance for wildlife and habitats.
Explore the Chichester’s peninsula by bicycle on Route 88, also known locally as Bill Way, which is a mostly flat and traffic free 16-mile round trip.
Starting at the Market Cross or Chichester Canal Basin and is mostly off-road all the way to the Visitor Centre at RSPB Pagham Harbour. It is full sign posted. Hop off your bike here and see some of the amazing wildlife that has made the reserve home.
RSPB Pagham & Pagham-Medmerry Cycle Route
Pagham Harbour is an Internationally important Nature Reserve of over 600 hectares, made up of salt marshes and tidal mudflats, shingle, wet grasslands and reed swamps, and provides abundant and important habitats for a host of wildlife. The reserve fills and empties with the tide and changes in each season, offering flowering plants, butterflies, breeding and migratory birds. You may be lucky enough to spot seals, herons, voles and more in this quiet, peaceful setting.
Be sure to stop at the Visitor Centre to pick up a trail leaflet which will give you information on the many trails which criss-cross the harbour, and find out what the latest sightings are. Take a couple of hours to explore, watching and listening to the Reserve’s residents.
It is also possible to continue your travels from here for the 1.8 mile cycle to Medmerry Nature Reserve, the result of one of Europe’s largest managed coastal realignment schemes. Medmerry’s new intertidal wildlife habitats have become a haven for wildlife including birds of prey and many types of wetland birds, and you can while away the afternoon spotting them all.