Living in Chichester
What is life like in Chichester
In 2013, the Sunday Times named Chichester one of the best places to live in the south-east, and it is not too hard to work out why.
Chichester may be a city, but it is a small one with a population of just 25,000 or so, meaning it has retained a strong country feel. Green spaces and historic charm make the area one that is incredibly desirable to people of all ages.
Housing in the city is of a high quality and there are good links to the rest of West Sussex and beyond. Cultural life, excellent schools and a low crime rate are all factors that make Chichester a great place to live.
What's more, people can expect to get value for money when it comes to letting a property in the city. There are plenty of conservation areas and many feature quaint Victorian houses or larger semi-detached abodes.
The city walls act as an obvious boundary of inner Chichester and many of its most appealing features and amenities lie within this area. Perhaps the most stunning building in Chichester is its famous cathedral, which provides a beautiful backdrop.
Chichester was a key location in the Roman invasion of 43 AD, with evidence of this found in the shape of military storage structures in the nearby Fishbourne Roman Palace. Indeed, the city centre stands on the land that was once the Romano-British city of Noviomagus Reginorum.
Through the 18th and 19th centuries, Chichester existed as a quiet market town, although it took on a military focus in the early part of the Napoleonic Wars, when a barracks was built in the area.
The arrival of improved road links and the railway allowed Chichester to become an idyllic spot for those who work in other nearby towns and cities, but it still retains many of its rural roots.
A number of famous people have been born in Chichester over the years, including former EastEnders star Michael Elphick, Good Morning Britain presenter Charlotte Hawkins and singer Tom Odell.
Several other celebrities who were born elsewhere now reside in Chichester, such as comedian Hugh Dennis and actress Patricia Routledge.
Entertainment, sport and days out
There is plenty to see and do in Chichester, so be sure to walk the city walls, visit the cathedral and spend time at Pallant House, which is one of the finest art galleries in the UK. Other options include the New Park Cinema and Goodwood.
Chichester Festival Theatre is one of many cultural venues in the city and hosts a number of productions throughout the year. It is the ideal spot for those who love nothing more than a stage performance.
Goodwood is the area's number one sporting venue, with horse racing, motor racing and golf all taking place.
The South Downs National Park is just a few miles from Chichester and is a popular destination for a day out, with its rolling hills and perfect panoramas drawing people out of the city for a stroll in the sunshine.
Eating, drinking & shopping
Tea rooms are a speciality of Chichester, with many of the establishments found throughout the city. St Martin's is one that comes highly recommended. Elsewhere, for a delicious meal, the Ship Hotel boasts a brasserie and bar.
The city centre is packed with shops and Chichester is home to some of the best retail facilities in Sussex. It offers a good range of big name brands complemented by a healthy number of small, independent stores.
Major outlets include Marks & Spencer and Boots, while books, toys and fashion are all well stocked in numerous shops. To the east of the city lies Chichester Retail Park, where large stores such as John Lewis and Halfords can be found.
Schools & healthcare
Chichester is home to some high-performing schools and colleges and many parents have been known to move to the area to take advantage of these. Primary schools such as The March, Central CofE, St Richard's and Jessie Younghusband Parklands are all above average in key subjects, with Bishop Luffa CofE and the High School for Girls recommended for older pupils.
St Richard's Hospital is the biggest health facility in the city and offers high-quality treatment to patients. It is supported by a number of smaller surgeries and clinics that can be used by local people when required.
Many parts of Chichester city centre are pedestrianised, making it the ideal place for those who love to explore on foot or by bike. There is also a local bus service that will ensure people can get around quickly and easily.
When travelling further afield, residents can make use of the good road and rail links offered in the city. The A27 is just a mile or so away and provides direct access to the rest of the south coast, while the A3 junction is only ten minutes away, putting London in easy reach.
Trains to London take around 90 minutes, while it is 50 minutes to Brighton and around 30 minutes to Portsmouth, marking Chichester out as a location that is ideal for commuters.