The Top 10 Things to Do in Chichester

The Top 10 Things to Do in Chichester

The beautiful city of Chichester boasts not only attractive historic streets and a fabulous theatre, but also a beautiful harbour area. Best known for its magnificent cathedral and Roman heritage, this charming city is also home to a wide variety of independent shops and attractions perfect for a day out or a weekend away. Here are just some of our favourite things to do in Chichester.

1. Mooch at Chichester's Market Cross

This is where to discover the heart of commerce in the city, the Market Cross dates back to the sixteenth century, erected to give the less fortunate merchants a place to sell their wares while being sheltered from the elements. It is from this central hub that most of Chichesters’ shops can be easily reached.
That said, the Cross is an attractive destination in itself, a testament to the perseverance of trade and an excellent starting place for a day’s shopping.

2. Enjoy some food and drink

Chichester has a lot to offer in terms of history and atmosphere, but it is also packed with locally-run cafes and restaurants. Our top picks for a day out for food and drink

Bumble's Cafe Chichester

This upbeat and cosy cafe serves a wide variety of options for all day breakfast and lunch. The staff are helpful and welcoming, and with a selection of hot drinks, as well as pastries, homemade cakes and pancakes to satisfy your sweet tooth, you’re sure to find something to entice you. As they say, ‘When your tummy rumbles, come along to Bumble's’.

The Pass Street Food Cafe

If you’re after something to grab and go, then you should consider passing by The Pass, a passion project for a local chef looking to revolutionise street food. With two locations - a traditional food truck and a hole-in-the-wall cafe - serving a mouthwatering selection of burgers, chips and sandwiches it’s the ideal place to grab a bite whilst exploring the city.

Crispins Cafe

Possibly the cutest place to eat in Chichester, Crispins is an independent, family-run boutique cafe situated in the heart of town. Most famous for their ice cream take away window, they also offer all day breakfast, fresh home cooked meals and a delicious variety of homemade cakes and cream teas. Scoring extra points for being dog friendly, Crispins is a must visit spot.

India Gate

If you’re looking for a sit down meal, the multi-award winning India Gate offers real Indian cuisine, including vegetarian and vegan options, and aims to deliver the best Indian food and service in the area. Just a stone’s throw from Priory Park, India Gate offers the perfect opportunity for a decadent meal followed by a relaxing evening stroll.

3. Check out the independent shops for gifts, jewellery, books, fashion and accessories

So many to choose from in Chichester - so we chose a wide range - but the best thing is to have a wander as the city centre is packed full of fabulous independent shops and boutiques that make it ideal for some retail therapy...

All That Glitters

Just up the road from Market Cross you’ll find All That Glitters, a family-run business aspiring to give a touch of glamour to all women. All That Glitters pride themselves on outstanding customer service, offering style and trend advice to their customers. With a wide variety of jewellery, accessories and more, this is the perfect place to pick up a gift for a loved one, or even for yourself.

Il Lusso & Dartagnan Menswear

You can bearly go ten feet down a high street without seeing a clothing shop from one chain or another. For some, shopping for clothes can be a relaxing bit of retail therapy, while others may find it a chore. Whichever your perspective, shopping local always provides a more fulfilling experience than supporting larger chains, and gives you the opportunity to find some unique threads. Here are two such businesses; one for men and one for women.

For the ladies, bordering Priory Park you’ll find Il Lusso, a charming boutique featuring items that are just that little bit different, with gems from a variety of Italian and Danish brands. 

For the gentlemen, opposite the Chichester Harbour Hotel and Spa, you’ll find Dartagnan Menswear, a dashing establishment featuring staple brands and custom fitted suits alike, they have items to suit all wardrobes.

Rosie Rose

Rosie Rose is a Chichester based independent shop specialising in clothing, homewares, furniture and gifts. They hand select every item in the store to create a treasure trove of beautifully made and unique products, an eclectic collection to suit a range of styles.

Kim’s Bookshop

Spread over three floors, Kim’s Bookshop is a book lover’s dream. A family business started in 1971, the shop has become a well-known spot for discovering interesting volumes and are committed to helping you find what you’re looking for, no matter how rare or unique. Just a stone’s throw from the magnificent cathedral and Bishop’s Palace Garden, Kim’s is a perfect stop after a day of sightseeing.

4. Enjoy Chichester Festival Theatre

Fancy catching a show while you’re here? The award winning Chichester Festival Theatre has originated myriad productions which have since transferred to the West End or toured nationally and internationally, ranging anywhere from musicals and new plays to classic revivals.

Only a short walk from the town centre, this Grade II listed building makes an impression with its unique hexagonal shape. Whilst you wait for your show to start, visit the cafe, have dinner in the brasserie or enjoy a drink at the bar, all serving freshly produced food and drink from local and regional suppliers. And if you’re aged 16-30, you could even get a ticket for £5!


5. Soak yourself in the beauty of this historic city

Few cities can boast the same variety of historical monuments that Chichester has to offer, from the imposing Cathedral to the remains of a Roman Palace - the largest in the country. Enrich your visit by immersing yourself in the wonderfully preserved history of the place.

Chichester shots of the city centre and outskirtsChichester shots of the city centre and outskirts
Chichester is beautiful inside and out

6. Explore Fishbourne Roman Palace

With a footprint comparable with Nero's Golden House in Rome, the remains of this once mighty villa contain an unparalleled collection of mosaics dating back all the way to 75AD. There is also an on site museum and a newly recreated roman garden to stroll around.

7. Discover more about the past at the Impressive Novuium Museum

Built over the remains of a Roman bath house and with three floors of fantastic exhibitions, The Novium Museum is an award-winning museum right in the heart of the city. The museum guides you through the history of the district, centred around the archeological remains of a Roman bath house, then following on to the most elaborately equipped Iron Age Warrior grave ever found in England. The top floor of the museum hosts an exciting range of touring and temporary exhibitions, as well as offering a spectacular view of Chichester Cathedral and Bell Tower. A lovely way to spend an afternoon soaking up some local history.

8. Take a tour of the Chichester Cathedral

Founded in 1108, the Cathedral is an active place of worship as well as a venue for music and the arts and an all-round hub for the community. It is also the only English Cathedral with a surviving detached mediaeval Bell Tower, dating from around 1400. Excavations suggest that underneath the Cathedral once stood a large Roman house, and part of the mosaic floor can be seen through a special glass walkway. A tomb within the Cathedral dedicated to the Earl of Arundel and his wife Eleanor of Lancaster was the inspiration for the poem The Arundel Tomb by Philip Larkin.

9. Walk the spectacular Roman walls

A rare example of a preserved a Roman wall, with around 1.5 miles of walkable terrain, the walls quite literally encapsulate the ancient heart of the city, offering guided walks where you can learn the history of the place while enjoying the excellent views the walls offer. 

10. Have a picnic in Bishop's Palace Gardens

Located between the Cathedral and the City Walls - you can enjoy the peaceful Bishop’s Palace Gardens, a public park maintained by the city.

Hidden away from the city centre, the gardens date back to 1147. The park provides water features, seating, a wildlife friendly space and a pergola walk. Enjoy some time out with family in this perfect spot for a picnic or a peaceful stroll. If you are planning a picnic - pick up some goodies from the independent delis and food shops to make it extra special.

Explore online to plan your trip to Chichester city centre -  a fantastic city to spend time with family, friends and loved ones.

You can find the best shops, cafes, places to visit and events on ShopAppy in Chichester so just have a browse here and plan your trip or order something online for click and collect. 

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