Chichester Harbour Chichester England

Chichester Harbour, Sussex is an important site for bird and wildlife, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with great walks and cycling, and a destination for sailing

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Chichester Harbour is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and covers 74 miles between Chichester and Haying Island. It is a centre for sailing and wildlife enthusiasts.

What to see and do at Chichester Harbour

You can find Chichester Harbour just four miles from Chichester City Centre. You may not know that the harbour is a designated AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). The sheltered waters make the harbour a haven for wildlife as well as making it one of Britain’s most popular sailing destinations, with a huge variety of sailing clubs in Chichester Harbour as well as numerous schools and courses available.

Chichester Harbour Conservancy, the organisation which looks after the harbour, runs harbour discovery boat trips during the warmer months on its solar powered catamaran, Solar Heritage. The Conservancy also runs guided walks and activities which run throughout the year to help you explore the landscape and learn about the wildlife which makes its home here.

You can walk the many footpaths around the harbour from the villages of Bosham, Fishbourne, or Itchenor, some of which cross the harbour on the Bosham to Itchenor foot ferry (which also carries cycles).


An image showing a view of Chichester Harbour from Itchenor, West Sussex

Chichester Harbour from Itchenor, West Sussex by Jon Nicholson

How can I get to Chichester Harbour?

You can easily reach Chichester Harbour by car, bus or train*, or by bicycle and on foot.


What wildlife is there to see at Chichester Harbour?

Chichester Harbour is the most important site on the South Coast for waterfowl and wading birds due to the number which visit here each year. At various times of the year you could spot curlew, godwits, redshank or dunlin, plovers or turnstones, as well as oystercatchers and avocets. A group of Harbour seals make their homes in the harbour too, and can sometimes be spotted in the water or at a haul out site. In order to protect them, the seals should only be viewed from a distance.



Other things to do

sheep in fields along the South Downs Way

Explore picturesque villages and towns, undulating English countryside and outstanding views as you walk the South Downs Way

Tangmere Military Aviation Museum

Explore one of the UK’s leading aviation museums, where you’ll find an impressive display of historic aircraft as well as a unique collection of aviation memorabilia from throughout the First World War and onwards to the Cold War. The museum…

Chichester Watersports Aqua Park

Chichester Watersports is home to a wide range of water-based activities and watersports, with expert tuition and equipment hire on hand, and during the warmer months, the inflatable Aqua Park provides hours of summer fun.

a photo showing a stately home surrounded by a meadow

Perched high on top of the South Downs, Uppark House and Garden allows you to take in panoramic views across the South Down valleys and as far as the Isle of Wight. Set on chalk grassland, Uppark’s meadow supports a…

Take a 75 minute cruise into the countryside on ‘Kingfisher’, These trips are available up to 4 times daily, February to October. From 19th May 2021, daily trips resume with some changes – please see website for more detail: …

An image of the village of Bosham, West Sussex

The Chichester Harbour Circular cycle route is a 13 mile circular bike ride suitable for riders of all ages and abilities as it is virtually flat. It makes a great day out as you stop along the route to explore…

There’s nothing quite as English as an afternoon tea complete with dainty sandwiches, freshly baked scones and cakes, and a proper cup of tea served in fine bone china.

Salterns Way

The Salterns Way footpath and cycle path is a 19 kilometre long cycle path which runs from the centre of Chichester to the lovely sandy beach at West Wittering. For much of its route, Salterns Way runs along safe and…