This is the text of an article I was commissioned to write for the August issue of The Resident magazine, a free glossy mag circulated in West Sussex, about the delights of Chichester!
I’ve lived in Chichester for 16 years and have found it a great place to live and work. Should I ever take it for granted I’m soon made aware of its advantages by visitors who are keen to get out and explore the shops and other attractions!
The city is a compact area within walls dating back to Roman times, based on a simple axis of North, East, South, and West Streets (no excuse to get lost!) with the 500 year old Market Cross at the centre. The Cathedral has an interesting interior with ancient and modern artefacts to be seen.
Other attractions for visitors and residents include a lively shopping scene with many independent shops alongside the multiples, and thankfully fewer empty shops than elsewhere. Local clothes shops include Stephen Lawrence for designer mens and ladies clothing, Dartagnans for designer menswear, and for women, Urban Nature and Arabella. Interiors and homeware are well catered for with stores including Steamer Trading and Casa Fina. For these and other interesting shops you may need to stray off the main streets into the Boardwalk, Crane Street, Baffins Lane, Little London, and Little London Walk among others.
The café and restaurant culture is growing all the time and as well as many of the chain restaurants, we have Amelie and Friends, Marco (recently opened by a chap who will be familiar to many as a manager of other restaurants and now has his own place!), Trents, and Field & Fork.
Artisan food production is also a growth area and much of the produce can be found at the farmers market on the first and third Friday of the month and at the Local Food Fare event, to be held 14th-16th September this year. Both markets are on North and East Streets, lending a wonderful atmosphere to the city. A favourite food shop of mine is Manuka in Little London Walk with organic fruit and veg, local ice cream from Caroline’s Dairy as featured in July’s issue, and a good range of health foods, all served with good advice from a friendly team of New Zealanders!
Cultural attractions include our brand new Museum the Novium, the Pallant House Gallery (modern art including a Peter Blake exhibition on at the moment), the Festival Theatre with its renowned summer productions which often transfer to the West End, a thriving Youth Theatre and the annual Festivities with a wide programme of concerts, talks, and performances. As well as a multiplex cinema we have the Cinema at New Park showing mainstream and art house films with excellent projection and sound facilities; its film festival is 16th August – 2nd September this year and will show a huge range of overseas films that are rarely seen outside London.
Within easy reach we have Chichester Harbour, a fantastic unspoilt beach at West Wittering, and the beautiful South Downs National Park.
Diana Morgan is a freelance social media marketer working with local small businesses.