Thinking of moving to Chichester? Here at Cubitt & West, as a local independent Chichester estate agent, we are well placed to tell you all you need to know about the homes, schools and transportation links in the area.
In addition to the local services, our Living in Chichester guide will give you a feel for what life is like in the area, its history, its culture and the kind of entertainment and recreational activities that are on offer.
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What Is Life Like In Chichester?
The only city in West Sussex, Chichester is a hub of cultural and commercial activity. Between the vibrant local arts scene, the famous Goodwood races, the expansive harbour and the lively tourist industry, the city has something to offer everyone.
Chichester’s large population of almost 114,000 gives it its cosmopolitan vibe, but it still has a reputation for being a welcoming, friendly community. Chichester’s strong economy, pedestrian-friendly streets, south coast location and proximity to London all make it very desirable. There is high demand for housing, particularly rental, and a plethora of properties from which to choose.
History Of Chichester
The earliest written mention of Chichester dates is from the 8th century, when a South Saxon king gave a parcel of land to the Bishop of Selsey. It has seen a rich and varied history since then, having been inhabited by the Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Normans. The city’s history is clear from the array of historical architectural styles and materials, including medieval timber-framed and 17th century brick buildings. The city underwent extensive building and improvement schemes at the end of the 18th and the early 19th centuries, giving it much of the look it has today.
Some of Chichester’s great historical landmarks are its city walls, which are around 1800 years old. Constructed by the Romans to define and defend the city, they are among the most intact Roman city defences in Southern England and are easily accessible to the public.
Days Out In Chichester
Chichester has some amazing options for attractions and activities. Goodwood, just outside the city, is the estate and home of the Duke of Richmond and a wonderful place to spend a day. It provides options for history-buffs (who can visit the historical country house with a decadent afternoon tea), garden lovers (who can take in the manicured grounds) and sports fanatics (who can visit the aviation centre, the motoring tracks or the Goodwood racecourse). The legendary Goodwood Revival motoring event and the Glorious Goodwood horse racing event take place here every year.
Chichester Cathedral is another popular attraction. With unique architecture spanning the centuries, the cathedral is open every day with free entry. Chichester Harbour is available for boating and water sports, and also offers great wildlife, particularly birds. There are also many historic homes and gardens open to the public.
Things To Do In Chichester
Chichester has some of the best shopping in Sussex, with a mix of high street retailers and quirky independent shops. Marks and Spencer, Boots, and Waterstones all have outlets there. For the fashion-minded, there is LK Bennett, Hobbs, Jigsaw, Jack Wills, New Look, Oasis, River Island and many more. On the independent front, Crane Street has a selection of vintage shops and Little London Walk is known for its interesting local boutiques. On the eastern outskirts of the city, there is the Chichester Retail Park, which has John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, Halfords and BHS, among others.
Chichester has had a popular Farmers’ Market two Fridays a month since 1998 with a range of fresh produce from local farms.
There are several leisure centres in Chichester, including Cobnor Activity Centre in Chichester Harbour and Westgate Leisure Centre, in the city centre. There is an annual local triathlon and numerous local sports clubs.
The crown jewel of Chichester’s dynamic arts scene is the Chichester Festival Theatre, one of the UK's flagship theatres with a reputation for producing exceptionally high quality work. The newly refurbished Festival Theatre reopened in 2014, with a transformed auditorium, increased seating capacity, and new cafes, bars and outdoor terraces.
Schools In Chichester
Chichester has numerous local schools and educational facilities.
Primary schools include:
- Aldingbourne Primary School
- Jessie Younghusband Primary School
- Kingsham Primary School
- Parklands Community Primary School
- Portfield Community Primary School
- Bosham Primary School
- Tangmere Primary School
Secondary schools include:
- Chichester High School For Boys
- Chichester High School For Girls
- Westergate Community School
University of Chichester is also located in Chichester.
Transport In Chichester
Chichester has a wide range of excellent transport links.
Chichester is well connected by rail through Southern Rail and National Rail. Frequent train services operate from London Victoria via Gatwick airport, the fastest trains arriving at Chichester in roughly one and a half hours. Coastal services run from Brighton and Portsmouth.
Bus And Coaches
There are regular local bus services in and around the city. Regular coach services operate from London Victoria Coach Station. The Coastliner route links Chichester as far as Brighton and Southsea.
The three closest main airports are Southampton (35 miles), Gatwick (38 miles) and Heathrow (57 miles), which all have a range of international, domestic and holiday charter flights.
Chichester is easily reached by car via the M27 and A27, which link Hampshire, Sussex and Kent. London and mid-Sussex connect to Chichester via the A29 and A24. London and the M25 can also be reached via the A3.