This glorious corner of Sussex, where majestic green hills roll to meet the sea make a perfect playground for those who love to get into the great outdoors. Miles and miles of walking and cycling routes explore a diverse range of terrain and scenery, whether you’re a Sunday stroller, dedicated rambler, mountain biker or looking to clock up some serious miles on your bike.
SUP-er places to paddle
The sheltered waters of Chichester Harbour are ideal for kayak or SUP enthusiasts. Launch from the harbour villages of Bosham, Itchenor, Fishbourne, Dell Quay or Emsworth on the Sussex/Hampshire border. Remember you’ll need to pay harbour dues to Chichester Harbour Conservancy which runs the harbour, maintaining jetties and launching sites. Please be aware that as a nationally important site for nature, so you’ll need to be careful not to disturb the birdlife and seals which live and breed in Chichester Harbour. Sensitive areas are marked on this map along with guidelines on how you can help minimise your impact on the environment.
Chichester Canal which stretches from Chichester city centre to Hunston on the Manhood Peninsula, is popular for paddle sports – in particular beginners as they get to grips with the basics of stand up paddling on account of its calm waters. You’ll need to buy an inexpensive day licence to paddle or canoe/kayak here, and there’s the conveniently placed Canal Café on hand for a post-paddling refuel.
Guided paddle or kayak tours (and tuition) are a great way to learn the basics of these sports as a group or family and see some of West Sussex’s most stunning scenery as you glide through the water. If this floats your boat, chat to Fluid Adventures or TJ Boardhire.
Surfing in Sussex
Did you know that the coastline south of Chichester is a surfing hotspot? Breezy days see the shores filled with all kinds of watersports devotees surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, winging, and SUP-ing. Local operators such as 2XS, Shore Watersports and The Natural Surf School offer a broad choice of tuition and equipment hire catering for novices through to afficionados.
We are Sailing
Chichester Harbour is a renowned sailing destination, with an annual race week which attracts so many entries, it’s the most well attended open regatta in the UK. Learn to sail here or refine your skills with RYA accredited instructors at one of the many sailing clubs or Cobnor Activities Centre. Experience a day's sailing aboard a skippered catamaran where you can choose to experience being at the wheel or sit back, relax and soak the surroundings. (ADD LINK)
Great walking routes
Boasting scenery which inspired the William Blake’s Jerusalem no less, the countryside which surrounds Chichester, Midhurst, and Petworth stretches north of the downs towards the weald and to the south, the coast. From long-distance trails like the legendary South Downs Way, which crosses across the South Downs National Park, to challenging hikes to some of the most breath-taking panoramic views, let The Great Sussex Way be your guide to exploring some of the best trails in our patch of West Sussex.
A mix of cycling trails not only offer the opportunity to leave the car behind but are a brilliant way to see beautiful scenery, from the unique habitats of the South Downs National Park to coastal villages, the shores of Chichester Harbour or nature reserves. Cycle hire is available at several locations around Chichester Harbour, close to Chichester and in Selsey’s Seal Bay Resort (formerly Bunn Leisure). Join a guided cycle tour where your expert guide will help you discover some of the area’s treasures from must-visit spots to lesser travelled paths.
The home of UK Polo
The lawns of Cowdray Estate are internationally recognised as the home of British Polo and the Estate is the host of the Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship which takes place each Summer. Spectators are welcome at all fixtures which take place April until September. Tickets can be booked via the Cowdray Park Polo website. Cowdray Park’s Polo Academy also offers tuition in this exciting sport. Learn from the polo professionals themselves, whatever your riding experience or ability.