Chichester Harbour: an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a centre for sailing and wildlife enthusiasts
What can you see and do?
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).
How can I get to there?
You can easily reach Chichester Harbour by car, bus or train*, or by bicycle and on foot.
What wildlife can I see?
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 Ducks, Swans and Geese, Herons and Gulls, 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.