A 10 minute walk from Chichester City Centre is one of Chichester’s best kept secrets – the 200-year-old Chichester Ship Canal where you can enjoy boat trips, watersports or walks to the coast or into the countryside.
This secret waterway was once part of the former Portsmouth and Arundel Canal, which opened in 1823, linking Chichester to the sea, and is now a leisure waterway, navigable for two miles to Donnington, where the Canal continues on to Birdham.
What is there to see and do?
This tranquil haven sits just a short walk from the railway and bus stations and the city centre. Here you can enjoy narrow boat trips, rowing, canoeing, rambling, fishing, and cycling. The tow path is a designated public footpath, now part of the extended Lipchis Way and affords fabulous views of the Cathedral and the South Downs.
Join a scheduled return boat trip (which run up to four times daily depending on the time of year) and learn about the canal’s history, see unique views of local wildlife, the iconic Cathedral and the beautiful Sussex South Downs.
You can also walk the towpath the entire four miles as far as Chichester Marina at Birdham.
Watersports and fishing
You can kayak, paddleboard or canoe along the canal and take in the views from the water yourself. It’s also a great spot for fishing. Permits for these sports are available from the Canal office at the Canal Basin.
Wildlife and Nature
Chichester Canal is a hotspot for local wildlife including moorhens, coots, mallards, swans, herons, kingfishers, whitethroats, common sandpipers, spotted flycatchers, woodpeckers and much more, which make it a popular spot for local photographers.
Photo credit: Meryn Woodland