48 Hours In Chichester

Nestled in the heart of West Sussex, Chichester is a charming cathedral city brimming with history, culture, and picturesque landscapes. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a foodie, Chichester offers a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Here’s how to make the most of 48 hours in this enchanting city.

Day 1

Begin your morning with an alfresco breakfast at Charlie Harper’s Cafe in Eastgate Square, which also features the John Keats sculpture. Spend a leisurely morning getting your bearings by walking the picturesque streets that comprise Chichester’s small but perfectly shaped city centre.

The city is divided neatly by streets running North, South, East, and West from the central 16th century Market Cross, thanks to the Romans, and features many attractive historic and listed buildings housing a good variety of shops – from high street favourites to unique independents and numerous cafés. Don’t overlook the various side streets, Crane Street, St Martins Street, Baffins Lane and The Hornet. The latter of which houses Drapers Yard and Almshouse Arcade. These are all home to an amazing selection of independent shops and eateries. Head down North Pallant to The Pallant House Gallery, hailed by The Guardian as second only to the Tate for modern British art. Immerse yourself in the latest exhibitions and when you are ready for lunch you can simply head to the Pallant Café to enjoy a delicious, freshly prepared meal in the café’s tranquil walled courtyard.

In the afternoon, travel back in time with a drop-in tour in the iconic Chichester Cathedral, a stunning example of medieval architecture. The cathedral, which dates back to 1075, features a magnificent spire, beautiful stained-glass windows, and captivating art, including the famous Arundel Tomb. Don’t miss the lovely Cloisters Café for an afternoon coffee.

No visit to Chichester is complete without stopping by the famed Chichester Festival Theatre (shows at 7.15/7.30pm, or 2.15/2.30pm for matinees). Known for its high-quality productions, the theatre offers a range of performances from classic plays to contemporary dramas and musicals.

Make an evening of it by dining at locally run Purchases Restaurant on North Street. With an outstanding pre-theatre food and an extensive beverage list. You can dine in the restaurant’s wonderful setting or in their calm garden courtyard, another hidden gem in Chichester.

 Day 2

Start your day with a delicious breakfast from Serendipitous Bakery on St Pancras, which specialises in exquisite sourdough. Just up the road, take a street art tour, beginning at the corner of Spitalfield Lane and St Pancras. Chichester is home to a diverse collection of street art by internationally known artists. In May 2013, Neil Lawson Baker and Street Art London organized the Chichester Street Art Festival. Leading street artists like Stik, Liqen, and Thierry Noir came to the city to paint, with Richard Howard-Griffin from Street Art London curating the event. Most of their artwork is still there.

Next, immerse yourself in Chichester’s local history at The Novium Museum. Built over the remains of a Roman bathhouse, the museum offers fascinating exhibits on the city’s past, including Roman artifacts, a timeline of local history, and interactive displays for all ages.

Stop for a spot of lunch in the centre, to dine in one of the chalets at The Barn (booking advisable). Connected to The Barn is delicatessen The Barn’s Larder, which was formerly a restaurant where a whole host of A-Listers dined including Sir John Gielgud, Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Lawrence Olivier.

This will set up you nicely for a 1.5-mile stroll along the mediaeval city walls (beginning at the North Wall) that will end at Priory Park, an idyllic green space with its own rich history. Or continue south to the Canal Basin, where you can hire a rowing boat, take a paddleboard lesson, or simply walk along the well-maintained tow path, admiring varied wildlife and charming butterfly sculptures along the way.

To sum up …

With its rich history, cultural treasures, and natural beauty, Chichester is an ideal destination for a weekend getaway. From exploring ancient Roman sites and medieval architecture to enjoying scenic hikes and seaside relaxation, there’s something for everyone in this charming city. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable 48 hours in Chichester!

You can discover more about the area on www.thegreatsussexway.org