“I hear a lot of talk about the decline of Britain’s High Streets and while it’s true that this is a big issue for a lot of areas, some of the liveliest, friendliest and most interesting shopping streets in the UK can be found in the villages surrounding Chichester”, says Carolyn Cobbold, local resident and author on environmental and climate change matters.
“Take East Wittering – How many High Streets have you visited recently containing two butchers, two greengrocers, two bakers, a fishmonger and a florist, as well as more than a dozen restaurants and cafés? And all independent!
While towns across the country despair of a spiralling drop in footfall, East Wittering high street is enjoying more and more visitors, drawn to the seaside village partly because of its bustling independent shops and cafés. And it is the thousands of tourists, coming for the day or staying in the area’s camp sites and holiday cottages, that, in turn, help keep East Wittering high street thriving.
Among the culinary delights offered in the village are freshly caught and cooked local fish as well as vegetarian dishes sourced from local growers. Visitors and locals can also choose from traditional fish and chips, Italian, Indian and Chinese, Tandoori and tapas, and an array of traditional tea rooms, surfer coffee shops, ice cream parlours, a hot chocolate café run by the village’s artisan chocolate maker and old fashioned candy store full of jars of sweets! For those seeking a bit of pampering, the village boasts several beauty parlours, nail bars and hairdressers and even a dog grooming salon! And when inclement weather forces visitors off the area’s beaches, nature walks and cycle paths, there are plenty of gift and art shops, vintage and charity shops, a toy shop to widen any child’s eyes and an emporium selling everything from fudge to frying pans!
Indeed, locals are often heard boasting that ‘you can buy anything in East Wittering.’ And if you don’t believe it, check it out! From wellington boots to beach shoes, greeting cards to gardening tools, surf boards to board games, bracelets to batteries it’s all available in East Wittering from independent, local retailers! Maybe it’s time to look at what’s on our doorstep”