10 of the best things to do in Chichester
When visiting Chichester there’s so much to see and do. The perfect marriage of urban and country, this historic area is packed with things to learn and experience and is situated perfectly in gorgeous surroundings. Whether you love to talk long walks, or peruse the local culture, our top ten things to do in Chichester is a great place to start.
Built over nine centuries ago, Chichester Cathedral is an impressive place to start. Although there are daily services, there is always something going on – from art exhibitions and talks, to family activities and concerts, it’s a lovely visit. And, of course, its beauty is undeniable so even if you’re popping along to take in the architecture or impressive windows, you won’t be disappointed.
Take a journey back in time, with the lavish Roman palace that’s most definitely fit for a king. With the largest selection of mosaics in the UK, you’ll have plenty to explore. There is a guided tour available with interesting snippets and facts providing a fantastic insight into an old era and it’s very clear that the whole site has been lovingly restored.
Why not use the opportunity to take in a show whilst visiting Chichester? Renowned for quality productions, the building itself is lovely with big airy open spaces and has views over Oaklands Park. There is a bar and restaurant on-site, but if you fancy a quick bite to eat before the show, be sure to make your way to one of the establishments close by.
Nestled in beautiful, rural countryside is Weald and Downland Living Museum. The 40-acre site is over 1000 years old and with more than 50 historic buildings and plenty of actors playing the part, you’ll feel truly immersed in history. Demonstrations are held all day including cooking in the Tudor kitchen and a blacksmith too – plus you can also book onto day courses in traditional crafts or historic building conservation. It’s one of the most popular things to do in Chichester.
Experience the finer things in life by taking a trip to this absolutely stunning vineyard where you can enjoy a good tipple or two. With a guided tour you can learn about winemaking, meet the growers and experience delightful British wine whilst overlooking the vineyards – perfection!
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With breath-taking scenery, ancient yew trees and views out to the Solent and Isle of Wight, Kingley Vale nature reserve has an almost mystical quality. Perfect for a leisurely stroll, you can experience the serene woodland before tackling the hill climb. You might even catch glimpses of wild deer. There are a few different walks to take which suit a variety of abilities.
With over 70 specially-commissioned sculptures set in the remarkable West Sussex countryside, Cass Sculpture Foundation is a real treat for art-lovers. This unique day out will have you exploring the 26-acre site. It has sculptures both dotted throughout the grounds and housed in two indoor gallery spaces too. The site sits in the grounds of the Goodwood Estate so be sure to visit the house too.
The Goodwood name is well-known for its sporting heritage, and the spectacular manor house is just wonderful. Still a family home today, there’s a fascinating collection of art on display which vary in both time period and style. They also serve up a gorgeous afternoon tea, so once you’ve taken in the house and grounds, it’s well-worth popping in to the tea rooms.
With a variety of beautiful trails, Eartham Wood is a great option for a short walk or longer stroll. Throughout the year the landscape doesn’t disappoint – from the changing leaves in autumn to the carpet of bluebells in spring, it’s great for the whole family. What’s more, the pub nearby serves tasty local grub and a selection of ales.
Relax and take in the sights of Chichester from the water as you pootle down the canal on an afternoon tea cruise. Taking around two hours, you’ll be able to tuck into sweet and savoury treats as you float past the South Downs and the ancient Chichester Cathedral. Be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife as the canal is teaming with beautiful water birds. This is one of the most relaxing things to do in Chichester.