Picture an authentic British town – cobbled streets steeped in history; world-class heritage; handsome historic buildings; beautiful green spaces; local markets; leading art galleries and theatre; an eclectic mix independent, high street and high-end shops; historic pubs and restaurants; hidden waterways and of course a Cathedral – and Chichester has it all.
Chichester town centre
While the history of Chichester dates back to the Romans you don’t have to travel back that far in time to experience the best of what we have on offer.
Today, walk the City Walls (the most intact circuit of Roman town defences in Southern England); admire the iconic Market Cross; venture to Priory Park to see The Guildhall, a Grade 1 listed building dating back to 1282, and the remains of a Norman motte; or explore the award-winning Novium Museum, built over the remains of a vast Roman bath house, to bring Chichester’s hidden history and heritage to life.
Just around the corner from the museum, Chichester Cathedral (the only English Cathedral with a surviving detached medieval Bell Tower) and its neighbouring secret garden and one of Chichester’s best kept secrets, Bishops Palace Gardens, are waiting to be explored.
Theatre and art
For those seeking culture, Chichester has it in abundance. Home to the nationally important Chichester Festival Theatre, the internationally recognised Pallant House Gallery – housed in what is considered to be one of the most important 18th century townhouses in England – and a selection of smaller but equally as fascinating galleries and studios, Chichester is every art admirers dream.
Villages near Chichester
Take a gentle 10-minute walk from the City Centre and find yourself in another world at Chichester Canal. This secret waterway is a haven of local wildlife and offers unique views of the Cathedral and stunning Sussex South Downs. Alternatively, jump on the bus or in the car for a 10-minute drive to West Dean Gardens – one of the greatest restored gardens in West Sussex – and the Weald and Downland Living Museum – a fascinating collection of historic rural homes – located next door to one another. These are just some of the green retreats on offer close to this fascinating City.
Photograph: Chichester Cathedral/Daniel Smith