Our Guide To Chichester
Chichester is an historic cathedral city located within West Sussex. It boasts a rich cultural heritage and many of the oldest historic buildings within the UK. The city’s prominent attractions include its 12th century cathedral, the Chichester Festival Theatre and Chichester Harbour.
The role of Chichester throughout history should not be underestimated: it was first recognised as a settlement during the Roman times and it had a significant role in the Roman Invasion of A.D 43 as a host location for various military structures. Chichester rose to prominence during the Anglo-Saxon period when it became the chief city of the Kingdom of Sussex. Following on from this, the city was established as a fortified town by Alfred the Great.
In recent times, the city has become renowned as a tourist city with a diverse range of attractions that are well served by road and rail links to London, Southampton, Portsmouth and Brighton.
Things To Do In Chichester
Visitors to Chichester can choose from a vast range of attractions. Finding things to do in Chichester is not always an easy task, so we created a guide to help you find attractions and activities that will allow you to enjoy the very best that Chichester has to offer during your next trip to the historic city.
Visitors have been welcomed to the historic Chichester Cathedral for over 900 years. The historic cathedral describes itself as ‘ancient, modern and timeless’. You can expect to enjoy rich architecture from each century with a combination of ancient and modern architecture.
Enjoy the cathedral’s medieval features and famous contemporary artworks while you explore the cathedral at your own pace or as part of a free drop-in guided tour. In addition to the drop-in guided tours, the Cathedral also offers various specialist tours on various subjects including Civil Wars, Cathedral Music and Architecture. If you wish to enjoy a specialist tour, please call the cathedral to arrange this in advance.
Prominent areas of the Cathedral include The Baptistry, The Chapel of St Clement and the Arundel Tomb. Don’t forget to visit the great Cathedral Close and the Bishop’s Palace Gardens during your visit.
Chichester Festival Theatre
Chichester Festival Theatre is recognised as a flagship UK theatre with a reputation for staging productions of a high standard. The theatre boasts year-round programming, consisting of Summer Festival season productions between April and October. Outside of this season, various touring productions are hosted at the theatre.
The theatre has been the originating producer of many productions that have been subsequently transferred to the London theatres. These productions include Young Chekhov and Guys and Dolls, which were transferred to the National Theatre and Savoy Theatre respectively.
Visitors to Chichester Festival Theatre can expect bright and comfortable spaces and outdoor terrace seating. Whether you are a theatre aficionado or a show novice, a visit to Chichester Festival Theatre will be a truly enjoyable and memorable experience.
The Goodwood Estate, situated just north of Chichester, hosts a number of top-class events throughout the year in its 12,000 acres of Sussex parkland. Among these are prominent horse racing, motor sport, cricket and flying events. For example, the annual Qatar Goodwood Festival (known as “Glorious Goodwodd”) is a six-day event packed with all the action of flat racing. There are two public enclosures available as well as private boxes, with the more relaxed atmosphere of the Lennox Enclosure being especially suited to families.
Founded in 1993, the Goodwood Festival of Speed is a highlight of the motorsport enthusiast’s calendar, bringing together today’s top motors. Meanwhile, Goodwood Revival harks back to an era gone by, showcasing the best of vintage and classic motoring. Spectators flock to Goodwood dressed in vintage clothing to soak up the atmosphere.
South Downs Planetarium Science Centre
South Downs Planetarium Science Centre is available for booking by groups, with sessions open to the general public throughout the year. The Centre is a registered educational charity, which aims to educate people about the solar system. There are a number of talks, shows and demonstrations available to view for a small charge. Facilities include wheelchair access, a 96-seat auditorium and a gift shop.
Weald and Downland Living Museum
Situated just outside of Chichester, Weald Down Living Museum contains buildings and artifacts covering 500 years of agriculture. The museum contains 50 preserved and refurbished historical buildings, some of which are 400 years old! There is also a working farm, where visitors can see how horses were once used to work the land.
Solar Heritage, Chichester Harbour
The Solar Heritage is a solar-powered catamaran, an almost-silent and emission-free boat. It originated in Switzerland, as one of three solar-powered ferries based at Neuchatel in 2002. In 2004, the Solar Heritage arrived in Itchenor and is now used for tours of Chichester Harbour, where passengers can see various species of wildlife.
The quiet engines mean the boat does not disturb the wildlife, allowing passengers closer encounters with the various species of birds found in the harbour. The Solar Heritage departs from Itchenor and Emsworth, and there is disabled access via a lift.
Visit Our Chichester Restaurant
During your next visit to Chichester, consider visiting our Restaurant In Chichester, The Boat House Cafe. It is the perfect destination to enjoy unparalleled views of Chichester Harbour alongside great food and drink. Our waterside venue serves an exciting seasonal menu of British influenced dishes that use the very best local produce from Sussex and Hampshire where possible. You can expect to dine in a sophisticated yet relaxed environment with an incredible waterside view. Join us for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.