Best walks in Chichester
Chichester is well-positioned to offer walkers a number of interesting different routes, nestled right between the South Downs National Park and Chichester Harbour.
Just a 15-minute drive from our lovely Church Farm Holiday Park, we’ve put together a list of the best Chichester walks for you and your loved ones to enjoy. We’ll outline the length and terrain of each walk so you know what to expect and what you might be able to see along the way.
1. Chichester Canal walk
Distance: 4 miles Terrain: easy
Explore Chichester’s secret waterway by walking the stunning four-mile towpath stretching from the Canal Basin to Chichester Marina. You’ll pass swathes of open farmland with benches dotted along the route if you or the kids fancy a rest or want to admire the wildlife. It’s not uncommon to see waterfowl like moorhens, coots, mallards, or swans alongside birds such as heron, kingfisher and woodpecker.
Stop at the Hunston Bridge to look back and enjoy the canal view against the backdrop of Chichester Cathedral and the Downs which inspired JMW Turner’s 1929 painting. You can grab refreshments at either end of the towpath from the Canal Cafe at the Basin or the Boat House Cafe at the Marina and we recommend starting from the latter because there is free parking.
2. Fishbourne and Bosham circular walk
Distance: 6.5 miles Terrain: easy
Fishbourne and Bosham circular takes you on a loop through the meadows, mud flats, reed beds, farmland and quay situated around the two towns. Taking an average time of just over two hours to complete, it’s a relatively flat walk with just a few little slopes.
Be wary the paths through the water meadows and fields can get boggy so solid boots are useful if there’s been rain and there’s plenty of graze cattle in the Fishbourne Meadows which is great fun for the kids.
3. Itchenor Circular walk
Distance: 4 miles Terrain: moderate
Starting out in the village of Itchenor at the edge of Chichester Harbour, this pretty walk begins and ends along the foreshore of the harbour offering splendid views of all the water activities taking place with the South Downs providing a stunning backdrop.
There are a lot of seats during the early part of the route where you can sit and take in your surroundings, before turning at the church. Allow at least two hours in total and be careful passing the two gates and one stile along the way.
4. The Royal Oak, East Lavant and Saint Roches Hill walk
Distance: 5 miles Terrain: moderate
Allow around two and a half hours for this moderately challenging circular pub walk starting at the Royal Oak in East Lavant, a 20-minute drive from our Church Farm Holiday Park. You can explore the pretty village before heading north on the West Sussex Literary Trail and reaching the top of St Roches Hill. From this great vantage point you’ll have stunning views across Goodwood, Chichester and the whole south coast.
The first half of the walk has one fairly long but steady climb, offset but a nice descent afterwards, with the paths generally wide and well-made. Some stretches can be muddy or overgrown and you’ll likely pass pastures holding sheep.
5. Pagham Harbour and Sidlesham Quay walk
Distance: 2 miles Terrain: easy
This walk is perfect if you have really young kids or older grandparents in your group as it takes just over half an hour to complete. A 20-minute drive from our Church Farm Holiday Park, you’ll start from Pagham Harbour local nature reserve and take in the salty air as you walk along the vast expanse of tidal salt marsh, mud flats and lagoons popular for attracting a vast array of birdlife. The route is completely flat, following well-maintained paths and is suitable for pushchairs with just one gate to negotiate. Pick up a tea or coffee at the RSPB visitor centre at the start of the walk or break for some great local seafood at the aptly-named Crab & Lobster at the half-way point in Sidlesham Quay.