A weekend in Chichester
This beautiful cathedral city may be small, but it has plenty to offer
Chichester is a charming place, located just a stone’s throw from the south coast. But don’t be fooled by its compactness – there’s plenty to see and do in West Sussex’s only city.
With some 20,000 students at its college and university, and home to one of the biggest summer arts festivals on the south coast, Chichester positively buzzes with life and activity. Thinking of a weekend away? Take a look at our rated recommendations.
Things to do in Chichester
A stroll through the city is the only way to experience all that this small but very beautiful cathedral city has to offer. Encircled by town walls that date from Roman times, Chichester’s historic centre has a medieval crisscross of mostly pedestrianised streets at its heart.
A Market Cross bristling with ornate pinnacles and pennants was given to Chichester in 1501 by Bishop Edward Story – to this day it marks the centre of the city, standing at the meeting of West, North, East and South Streets. With this compass orientation to get you started, it’s an easy place to get to grips with.
Just west of the Market Cross is the cathedral, its spire visible from miles around across the pancake-flat coastal plain and from the Downs. Britain’s only detached cathedral bell tower stands in front, and in summer doubles as the box office for the Festival of Chichester, the city’s big arts event. Between South and East Streets lies Chichester’s Georgian quarter, divided into four streets – North, West, South and East Pallant – like the city’s street layout in miniature. The Pallant House Gallery here is known as the foremost museum of modern art in Sussex.
To uncover the story of Chichester’s Roman past, visit the Novium Museum right in the heart of the city. The museum is built on the site of a Roman bathhouse and features several fascinating and frequently changing exhibitions. For a further taste of the city’s history, travel ten minutes out of the city to see the remains of the Roman Palace at Fishbourne, where you can see Britain’s largest collection of in-situ Roman floor mosaics.
Recommended things to do in Chichester
Places to stay in Chichester
From elegant B&Bs in the cathedral precincts to family-run hotels and luxury camping, Chichester has something to suit every taste and budget.