Explore The Area

Explore the South Downs and West Sussex countryside.

EXPLORE THE WEST SUSSEX COUNTRYSIDE

Chichester, standing between the South Downs and the sea, combines the pleasures of both. Its busy yachting harbour and countryside reflect the seafaring and agricultural past of the town.

Explore West Sussex
Explore West Sussex

Chichester, standing between the South Downs and the sea, combines the pleasures of both. Its busy yachting harbour and countryside reflect the seafaring and agricultural past of the town.

There are many picturesque villages to discover. Lavant, about two miles to the north, comprises the villages of Mid Lavant and East Lavant, which take their names from the river, an intermittent chalk stream that rises at East Dean and flows down towards Chichester through a most delightful valley. East Lavant has plenty of old cottages to see and a traditional pub.

The Trundle Goodwood Chichester West Sussex

For the energetic, there is an incline to St Roche's Hill, 677 feet, known locally as The Trundle, this being the name originally given to the embankments of an Iron Age fortress around the crown of the hill. Dating from about 2000 BC, these enclosed a tribal city that was a forerunner of Chichester. There are spectacular panoramic views from here of Chichester and the surrounding areas, and on a clear day, you may be able to see as far as The Isle of Wight. It also immediately overlooks Goodwood Racecourse and is a perfect place for a picnic on a summer's day.

The Trundle Goodwood Chichester West Sussex
Boxgrove Priory Chichester West Sussex
Boxgrove Priory Chichester West Sussex

At Boxgrove, which is about three miles northeast of Chichester, are the ruins of Boxgrove Priory which was built in the reign of Henry I for the Benedictine monks. Now only some exquisite Norman arches remain, but it still draws enormous interest. Fortunately, Boxgrove Priory Church is intact and is the most beautiful monastic building in Sussex - a cathedral in miniature. Nearby is Halnaker with its distinctive windmill, being a familiar landmark. A few miles north-west of the city are the villages of East Ashling and Funtington, both giving a real flavour of English country life.

West Dean College

Just outside Chichester to the west is Fishbourne Roman Palace, which was built in the first century and is famous for its remarkable mosaic floors.
Tangmere Military Aviation Museum is three miles east of Chichester. The early exhibits give a nostalgic feel, with a strong RAF emphasis. It also includes more up to date aircraft.
West Dean Gardens, just north of Chichester, offers thirty-five acres of delightful ornamental grounds, with numerous trees, shrubs, and a 300ft pergola. There is also a beautifully restored walled kitchen garden.

West Dean College
Qatar Goodwood Festival
Qatar Goodwood Festival

Singleton, a few miles further on, has charming groups of flint built cottages, some with thatched roofs, and a noble church with a Saxon tower. This is also the setting for the Weald and Downland Open Living Museum where more than 50 historic buildings have been rescued and lovingly rebuilt. Well worth a visit. Probably the most well-known region near Chichester is Goodwood, famous for motor racing and horse racing. Goodwood House is an eighteenth-century mansion, with a notable collection of paintings.

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