Chichester is one of the best-preserved Georgian cities in England, set between the South Downs’ high chalk uplands and the peaceful waterside tracks around Chichester Harbour. In Roman times the city was known as Noviomagnus and much of the city walls are still intact and can be walked around. The city centre is dominated by the towering presence of Chichester Cathedral, now home to a family of peregrine falcons who can be heard as they swoop over the city at dusk.
The city is blessed with a plethora of historical buildings, including John Edes House, the medieval Market Cross, the Guildhall in Priory Park, the Georgian Houses of the Pallants and St Mary’s Hospital Almshouse.
Most of the shops can be found on the four main pedestrianised streets which fan out from the 16th Century Market Cross. There are numerous cafes, bars and restaurants, and cultural centres such as the famous Festival Theatre, Pallant House Gallery and Novium Museum.
Chichester also has several beautiful parks. Priory Park is the highlight, featuring a substantial section of the Roman wall, the impressive Guildhall building and a mound where the Chichester castle once stood. The Bishop’s Palace Gardens is a peaceful lush oasis hidden away between the Cathedral and the City.
Chichester Canal is an attractive place from which to walk into the countryside towards Chichester Harbour, via Hunston and Centurion Way, which follows the route of the disused Chichester to Midhurst railway line, provides easy access to the countryside for walkers and cyclists.
Frequent trains and buses make Chichester a good base from which to explore the other main West Sussex attractions. Just outside Chichester, in the village of Fishbourne, lies the remains of Fishbourne Roman Palace, one of the outstanding Roman sites in the UK, now a museum of national importance.
The Goodwood Estate nearby is famous for horse racing, motor sport and vintage car events, as well as Goodwood House itself. Annual highlights include the Goodwood Festival of Speed in late June; the Goodwood Revival in early September and the Qatar Goodwood Festival, formerly known as Glorious Goodwood.