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Chichester in General

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      10.09.2010 22:46
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      A flourishing city in West Sussex

      In general:
      Chichester is one of the more affluent and picturesque cities in West Sussex and it is located roughly 15 minutes drive north of the coast (where I live in Pagham). Although it is technically a city, you wouldn't guess so from its size - I believe it's only classified as a city due to the presence of a cathedral.

      To look at the city has some really beautiful architecture and is very aesthetically pleasing - there are even some of the original roman walls surviving. The city centre is organised in a cross shape and partially pedestrianised (the roads are north/east/south and west street) with the structure shown in the photo situated in the very middle.

      Access:
      Chichester is easily accessed from the A27 (there are a number of roundabouts here that will give you access into the city). You should be aware that there is alot of traffic coming in and out of the city around rush hour - both on the A27 itself and throughout Chichester's one way system.

      There are quite a few carparks dotted around the city, but these are on the expensive side - most being about £1 per hour. On most days of the week it is relatively easy to find a parking space, but on market days (Wednesday's and Saturday's) it can be almost impossible.

      As far as public transport is concerned Chichester does have its own train station which and there are trains to/from here that go to Portsmouth, Southampton and London Victoria etc. There are also a number of buses although these are very expensive and the costs is based on how far you travel with discounts for return tickets.

      Shops:
      There are a number of shops and places to eat down each of these roads - the shops are quite varied in nature (3 camera shops of which I am soon to start work in one, a number of clothes shops, boots, waterstones, tesco express, argos etc) although if you want a serious day's shopping you'd be better going somewhere else like Portsmouth.

      Food:
      Food wise there are quite a few different places to eat from cafe's to restaurants (such as zizzi, slug and lettuce and prezzo), there are also a number of pubs (including a very large Wetherspoons) and bars. The closest you will get to fast food is a cornish pasty! There is a lovely bakery called 'Swallow Bakery' which makes absolutely fantastic cupcakes and comes highly recommended by me, although they are quite expensive.

      Other things to do:
      Chichester is well know for its cathedral which dominates the skyline - it's huge. The public can look around it for free, although there is a donation box by the entrance. Even for someone such as myself who is not religious, this is a fascinating place to look around - beautiful architecture and stunning stained glass windows.

      On the outskirts of the city (but easily within walking distance) is a cineworld cinema and bowling.

      If you're looking for things to do there is an information centre which is well staffed and has a large number of leaflets, information about events and quite an extensive collection of postcards for sale.

      In conclusion:
      As I said before Chichester is a very small city - it's not somewhere that will take you a huge amount of time to look around. If you're visiting I'd say you could maybe stretch it out to a half day if you have something to eat, do some shopping and visit the cathedral.

      If you're in the area I'd definately recommend a visit, but at the same time I wouldn't say it was necessarily worth visiting if you're coming from far away (unless your a cathedral fan).

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        23.04.2010 23:20
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        Great place to visit and explore

        Chichester has to be one of the best cities to visit and shop on the South coast.

        Situated in West Sussex, it is in a great location sandwiched neatly between the beautiful South Downs on one side and the fab coast on the other, so is the perfect base for a mini break if you are looking to explore the area.

        Like many historic towns, the centre is constructed around a traditional market cross, with the main shopping areas in each street leading from the cross - (North, South, East and West Street respectively). The shops are a great mix of high street stores (M&S, House of Fraser, Boots etc) plus one off boutiques and individual stores. Very easy to waste hours just wandering around trying not to spend too much money.

        There are a huge array of choices when it comes to eating out too - from the standard food chains (Prezzo, Pizza Express, Cafe Rouge etc) to traditonal style pubs (George & Dragon recommended for its beer and pub lunches) to restuarants for a special meal (The Dining Room at Purchases is fab for a treat). If you are after an afternoon tea, there are many tea rooms dotted about the city, St Martins Tea rooms is very special - all organic produce, but v pricey so be warned.

        The cathedral stands proudly in the centre of the city and is beautiful. You can look around for free and it really is worth popping in or just walking through the cloisters, when you fancy a respite from all your shopping. Make sure to pop out through the west entrance and look around the Bishop's Palace Gardens - free to enter and a lovely place for a picnic in the sunshine.

        The Cathedral is the centrepiece for the Chichester Festivites, a cultural and arts festival which takes place every summer. Events take place throughout the city, with a variety of stars attending - well worth checking out what is on if you are visiting.

        Chichester also has a lovely theatre which every summer has an excellent season of plays and musicals. Many shows start here and then move to the West End - Calendar Girls and Patrick Stewart in Macbeth are recent notable examples.

        Chichester's history dates back to Roman times and you can still see the walls which encircle the city - a lovely place to walk around and get your bearings when you are trying to get to know the city.

        All in all, Chichester is a great place to visit and explore - really has something for most people to enjoy.

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          17.04.2010 16:17
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          A good place but bad for parking

          Chichester is situated in West Sussex, and is quite a nice little place, very country style and picturesque in many parts of the town.

          Chichester has its own university, and a quite useful shopping area. It also has a couple of theatres and quite a few industrial estates with massive stores and warehouses to shop in too.

          I have shopped in Chichester many a time, mainly in the pedestrianised shopping area and the shops they have are great. The stores include Lush, Boots, Sussex Book Shop, Superdrug, Waterstones, WH Smith, New Look, Crispins Cafe and The Body Shop.

          Most things can be found in Chichester's shopping area, they even have a Mark and Spencer's, so no matter what you want to buy, you can be almost sure you will find it. The shopping area is laid out in a cross shape, with a sort of bandstand area in the middle at the cross section of all 4 streets.

          The library is also in the town centre, which is quite large and has internet access, but is not free like in other libraries. The industrial areas just outside the centre have a whole array of things, like Tile Warehouses, curtain stores and Sally Salon Services. There are many other stores in these areas, so have a look on the internet and see if you can find a warehouse or large store that is selling what you are looking for, buying from these places can save you a lot of money.

          I like shopping in Chichester as it is great to be able to walk around outside without the worry of traffic, although if you are new to Chichester, it is a bit difficult to find some of the stores, but most people are nice enough to help you out when you ask them for directions. Parking is quite easy in some places, but the town has no central car park, and the nearest one is on New Street. It is quite a small car par, and if you are lucky enough to find a space, it can be a nightmare trying to get in or out of the space. Last time I was there they were building a new car park next to the town centre, so hopefully that will be done soon.

          Other than the parking problem, Chichester is a good town with plenty of shopping, a cinema, many industrial shopping areas and some nice views of the old style town. If you are looking for a nice, quiet day away, give Chichester a try.

          The area is regularly patrolled by police and security, so you know that you are in a safe area.

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          09.06.2009 17:28

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          Good little holiday break

          Chichester has something for everyone. I have lived in/near Chichester all my life and really like it.

          Chichester is situated in between Portsmouth and Brighton on the south coast.

          The Cathedral is a sight and currently has peregian falcon living in the roof. Chichester is a beautiful city although quite small. The city center is set out like a cross with a wide range of shops, bars and resurants down each street.

          One of the nicest carvery's ever is at The Nags Head at the end of east street-well worth a visit. The best pub for live music is The Fountain in South street.

          In the summer there are various areas to catch the rays. Priory park is a popular summer meeting area for all. Bishops Gardens is a lovely walk amonst well kept greenery.

          Chichester has a cinema and bowling at Chichester Gate complex although the car park is big it gets very busy.

          Chichester theatre boasts very good productions and has had shows from the very best comedians-Jimmy Carr and Lenny Henry.

          Just outside Chichester is rolling hills and lovely countyside so well worth a visit. The famous Goodwood is also just outside Chichester with the race circuit for cars and the horse racing.

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          06.12.2008 12:56
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          Historic city in West Sussex well worth visiting

          Having lived and worked in Chichester (or nearby) for the last 20 odd years, I think I now know the place well enough to write a half decent review on it's main sights and attractions. For those of you unfamiliar with the name, Chichester is a town situated in West Sussex on the south coast of England. It's an elegant and historic town with some lovely examples of Georgian architecture and there's plenty to see and do. The main landmark is Chichester Cathedral (more on that later), which is over 1,000 years old and whose spire can be seen from many miles away.

          I'd describe Chichester as a rather elegant town, but you do need to know the place fairly well in order to find all its hidden treasures. Chichester doesn't give up its secrets easily - it's full of surprises, but they're pretty well concealed and mostly unflaunted. You can regularly be surprised by a hidden archway or a wrought iron gate leading into a previously undiscovered public garden or park. Having worked on the south side of the town for many years, I changed jobs and started working for a firm located in the northern part of town; I was amazed to discover new aspects to Chichester I'd been walking past for many years unobserved and unknown - Priory Park (see below) being a prime example.


          ~~~ A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY ~~~

          Chichester can trace its ancestry all the way back to 44AD and Roman Times. The layout of the town has changed very little since those times, and the main streets (North, East, South and West Streets) are still laid out in exactly the same way as they were when they were first built. The city walls surrounding Chichester were first constructed in the 3rd century in order to protect the town from attack and invasion. They've obviously been patched and reconstructed over the centuries, but they can still boost over 2,000 years of history. Although the remaining walls (which now only partially surround the town) are actually medieval, they're still standing on the old Roman foundations. You can still enjoy a leisurely stroll along the remaining city walls - it takes about an hour at a leisurely pace and is about 1½ miles in distance. It's a superb way to see the town and there are loads of interesting views from the more elevated vantage points.

          And Chichester is a town well worth exploring. Roman foundations and medieval walls aside, there are some lovely examples of Georgian and 19th century architecture to be found if you just wander around. Not forgetting, of course, the famous Cathedral (on which building first began in 1091) and the Medieval Market Cross in the very heart of the town.


          ~~~ CHICHESTER CATHEDRAL ~~~

          The cathedral is arguably Chichester's most famous landmark, and its majestic spire can be viewed from miles around. Never fear getting lost walking your dog in the surrounding countryside, the spire is a beacon to point you back in the right direction!

          Founded in the 11th century, the cathedral thrives today despite having had to weather two fires, collapsing masonry and a damaging thunder storm. The Cathedral is unusual in that it has a separate bell tower a few metres away from the main building, rather than being integrated into it. Chichester Cathedral can be described as Norman with Gothic additions. Inside it has a fine example of a section of Roman mosaic flooring, a stunning stained glass window designed by Marc Chagall and many lovely works of art and hanging tapestries. The Cathedral hosts a variety of musical events throughout the year, as well as all the usual religious services. June sees the annual Corpus Christi event with an absolute stunning carpet of flowers laid out for all to view. Regretfully, I've never managed to attend either a religious service or a concert there, but I've wandered through the grounds many a time, and they are lovely, peaceful and welcoming. I've also attended a job interview there (and was unsuccessful!), and taken part in some brass rubbing. There's a lovely glass fronted cafeteria with a nice outside seating area/garden within the Cathedral grounds that is a veritable oasis of calm and tranquility in the height of the summer tourist season. Further details about the cathedral can be viewed at http://www.chichestercathedral.org.uk/


          ~~~ CHICHESTER CROSS ~~~

          Chichester Cross or the Market Cross (because it was once the site for a city centre market), sits in the heart of the city and is at the intersection of the four main roads of the town. The cross was built in the 15th century and is a stunning piece of medieval looking architecture. East Street, North Street, East Street and West Street all radiate out from the Cross and are the main shopping streets of the town (the streets are mainly pedestrianised). Calling the four main streets after points of the compass does make differentiation rather difficult, and unless you know the town really well, you tend to try and remember what the street contains shops wise to get your bearings. For years, we referred to North Street as Woolworths Street or WH Smith Street, just because we couldn't remember which compass point it laid at. East Street was always Marks and Spencer Street, until M&S moved their ladies department into a separate store in North Street and thus had two stores in town!


          ~~~ THE ARTS ~~~

          The arts are well catered for in Chichester. There's the prestigious Chichester Festival Theatre, which was built around 40ish years ago. The building looks pretty dated now, but I'm sure it was a stunning piece of architecture at the time. It's sort of hexagonal in shape and quite imposing. You look down on the stage from a hexagonally shaped auditorium, and that tends to make plays and musicals feel a lot more interactive. I've attended several plays (The Importance of Being Ernest) and musicals (Joseph, Pirates of Penzance) at the theatre and they always put on a good show. More details at http://www.cft.org.uk/

          If art rather than acting is more your thing, there's Pallant House Gallery, which reopened its doors in 2006. This gallery houses a stunning collection of British Modern Art and an ever changing programme of exhibitions. Pallant House is a beautiful Queen Anne town house with a lovely pair of iron wrought gates topped with sculpted dodos. You can view works by Picasso, Nash, Sutherland, Moore, Piper and Matisse. I'm not really all that into art, but I'm reliably informed it's well worth a visit. Further details at http://www.pallant.org.uk


          ~~~ PRIORY PARK ~~~

          Priory Park can be found just off North Street and I think it is the veritable jewel in Chichester's crown. I had worked in Chichester for nigh on 15 years before I found this park....to my eternal shame and regret. It's a fantastic place to sit and ponder and watch the world go by. It's also bounded by the ancient City Walls to its north and east, so it's a good place to walk in as well. The Council really do a good job of upkeep and gardening in the park, and there's always something to admire all year round. One of the latest additions is a sensory garden, which is lovely and fragrant when the lavender is in bloom (and there are no people person trailing wafts of Silk Cut by smoking nearby) The park is also the focus of the Chichester Real Ale and Jazz Festival (http://www.chichester-rajf.co.uk/) every July - well worth a visit.


          ~~~ SHOPPING ~~~

          Most of the main shops are located in the pedestrianised North, West, East and South Streets. You have many of the usual high street names on offer in Chichester such as Boots, Next, New Look, Woolworths, WH Smiths and Marks and Spencer (larger electrical retailers, supermarkets and DIY stores tend to be located well out of town - where the rents are cheaper I guess). However, what makes Chichester more special for me is the number of smaller, independent retailers who offer something a little bit different to the normal fayre. There are many unique jewelers and boutiques scattered amongst the streets - all offering something that little bit different (and with prices to match I hasten to add!). Wander off down into the little side streets off the main thoroughfares and you're more than likely to find a charming little shop selling all manner of curios and interesting knick knacks.

          Sadlers Walk at the end of East Street has a particularly good range of unusual shops like a cake decorator, a camera specialist, a sandwich shop and many others. North Street is home to Swallow Bakery who produce some of the yummiest and creamiest cup cakes I've ever tasted - I defy you to manage more than one! South Street is full of interesting ladies boutiques like East and Max Mara. Opposite the Cathedral in West Street is Chichester's one and only department store - Army and Navy. The Army and Navy can always be relied on to source that difficult outfit you've been searching for, but the store is best avoided during a heat wave or on a Friday. Housed in an old Georgian building, the store lacks decent air conditioning and extraction, so it's like a furnace in the height of summer (I pity the poor staff that have to work in those conditions come July). And Fridays are when they fire up the deep fat fryers for the battered cod and chips...and with no extraction system, the whole store stinks of eau de deep fat fryer!

          Friday mornings are also a good day to stay out in the open, as there is a Farmers Market held near the cross and radiating out into North and East Street. There are dozens and dozens of stalls there selling bakery, meat and dairy products as well as garden plants and toiletries. You can buy locally ground flour, organic honey or locally harvested lavender products... to name but a few.


          ~~~ FOOD AND DRINK ~~~

          You'll be spoiled for choice eating wise in Chichester - there are many, many lovely cafeterias, tearooms, restaurants and pubs. Some of the bigger chains tend to be located a short way out of the city centre (i.e. Nando's, Frankie and Benny's, McDonalds and Harvester). However, there is still plenty of choice in the city centre itself. High street names such as Café Rouge, The Slug and Lettuce, Zizzi, Ask, Pizza Express, Wetherspoons and Prezzo all have outlets there. There are also a variety of smaller independent traders scattered in and around the main shopping areas. St Martin's Tearooms does a wicked afternoon tea if your budget is flexible and your pockets deep. The Ship Hotel in North Street serves very nice lunches and dinners, as does Woodies in St Pancras (bottom of East Street). Pubs wise, I recommend the George and Dragon in North Street, although Wests in (spookily enough) West Street is nice too; housed in an old church, it makes an interesting venue for a drink...but the food is nothing to write home about.


          ~~~ NEARBY~~~

          I promise to keep this section short, but it's definitely worth mentioning all the legions of different things there are to see and do just a short hop, skip and jump from Chichester. To the west you have Fishbourne Roman Villa, with some lovely mosaics. There is also the seafront picturesque village of Bosham, where King Canute reputedly instructed the tide to go back (a more detailed description of the charms of Bosham can be read at http://members.dooyoo.co.uk/destinations-national/bosham-village/1016963/).

          To the north, there is the Goodwood Estate with its renowned hill top Racecourse, Motor Circuit track (home to the renowned Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival Meetings) and Goodwood House itself. At the bottom of the downs is the lovely Weald and Downland Open Air Museum at Singleton. This is a museum which comprises of a large collection of restored historical buildings - some over 500 years old. It's a truly lovely museum and well worth a visit. I've been threatening to write a review about it for years as it really does merit one all to itself (....maybe in 2009......).

          To the south, you have Chichester Harbour - a haven for yachting types. There are also the popular seaside villages of East and West Wittering - queues to reach their beaches stretch for many miles when the summer strikes.

          And finally, to the east, you have the historical town of Arundel (and if you're interested you can read about Arundel at http://members.dooyoo.co.uk/destinations-national/arundel-in-general/1074333/).


          ~~~ RECOMMENDATION ~~~

          I'd summarise Chichester as compact and bijou - it's well worth a visit and taking the time to discover its secrets. Officially Chichester should be called a "city" as it houses a cathedral. The Cambridge English Dictionary defines a "city" as "a large town" or "any town in the UK which has a cathedral". Well I'm sorry, Cambridge English Dictionary - Chichester really is, and always will be, more of a town in my opinion. It's just too small (and quaint) in size to really be described as a proper "city".

          It's definitely a town for exploring, as you're likely to discover something new everytime you go there. Indeed, you can work there for ten years, and then discover something new...just like I did! With its Roman Walls, medieval cross, Georgian architecture and Gothic Cathedral there's plenty to keep your historical enthusiast interested. And even, it you're not all that into architecture and history, the streets of Chichester hold plenty of other charms.

          The high street presence of the major chains is good, but there are plenty of one-off boutiques and outlets to keep a more discerning shopper interested. Throw in a decent theatre, musical concerts at the Cathedral, several Arts Festivals and a sparkling new modern art gallery, and there's something to keep the artist in you entertained as well.

          On the downside, it's a pig to park in and the prices can be on the high side, but both of those are a small price to pay to be surrounded by such lovely architecture and clean, safe streets.

          All in all, Chichester is a lovely and quaint town with something for everyone and it comes highly recommended.


          ~~~ HOW TO GET THERE ~~~

          By Car
          Chichester is easily reached via the M27 (and A27) coastal road which links Sussex, Hampshire and Kent. From London the town is best reached via the A29 or A24.

          By Train
          Chichester station is situated within a two minute walk of the centre of town, and is served by
          regular trains from London Victoria (1 hour 45 minutes), Portsmouth and Brighton.

          Car Parking
          Car parking in Chichester is a particular nightmare. With so much of the town being built well before cars were even dreamt about, there's not much provision for town centre parking. Indeed, any property situated within the city walls with parking commands an absolute premium pricewise! It's best to park at the bottom of one of the main streets and then walk into town. There are largish pay and display car parks at the bottom of North Street (The Festival Theatre car park), East Street (the Market car park) and South Street (the one and only multi-storey car park in Chichester).


          ~~~ FURTHER INFORMATION ~~~

          Chichester Tourist Information Centre
          29a South Street
          Chichester
          PO19 1AH

          Tel: (01243) 775888
          Email: chitic@chichester.gov.uk


          ~~~ WEBSITES OF INTEREST ~~~

          http://www.visitchichester.org/
          http://www.chichesterweb.co.uk

          Chichester Festivities (http://www.chifest.org.uk) are held annually in the town during June and July and play host to a number of different events such as concerts, recitals, talks and exhibitions.

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            13.10.2008 17:48
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            A great place to visit

            Chichester is a Cathedral City in West Sussex. It is not a big city and the main landmark is the Cathedral which is more than a 1000 years old.

            The roman walls formed the parameter of the city center. A stroll along the walls is a peaceful and delightful experience. In the center of the city is the Chichester Cross.

            The Chichester Cross is the intersection point of the city center, dividing the center into 3 section, the North Street, South Street and East Street. The Cross is an historical structure that was built in the 15th century.

            A big part of this street is paved for pedestrians only. Many well known High Street retailers like Monsoon, Marks and Spencer, New Look, Jigsaw have their presence in city center.

            There are also several lovely cafes, restuarants and pubs. One of my favourite cafe is St. Martin's Tearoom. The tearoom is in a cottage and the fireplace is very welcoming on cold days.. Look out for the architecture facade of a pub called West Bar which was a converted church.

            There is a farmer's market once a month selling local food produce. The cattle market the side of the city organised weekend market days and car boot sales.

            What I liked best about Chichester is the festivities during the summer months. Every year, starting from June to August, you can absorb yourself in festivities like the Chichester film festival, The Real Ale and Jazz and Blues on the farm.

            The famous Goodwood festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival also happen at this time of the year.

            Chichester is surrounded by many beautiful landscape and historical town. A visit to Chichester could also include visits to nearby attractions like the Witterings for sun and beach, Fishbourne to visit the roman palace, visit the lovely village of Bosham where the cottages lined alongside the waters and the many garden centres and farms.

            Venturing further, you can even include a day trip to the seaside town of Bognor Regis and the historical town of Arundel.

            It's never too crowded in Chichester, it is a lovely and quaint roman city and it is a good link to many interesting attractions around the area. I heard that if you are lucky you might catch a glimpse of Patricia Routledge, Keith Richards or Michael Ball on the Street.

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              19.04.2001 03:50
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              Chichester in West Sussex is a really nice place to visit if you want a few days away. You can relax on the beach, wander around the harbour or take in the many sights on offer; it is after all the home of the Chichester Festival Theatre and has a beautiful cathedral. The Romans founded Chichester in Ad 43 not long after their invasion and it is the county town of West Sussex. The circular Walls Walk is an interesting amble you can just seep up the two thousand years of heritage and get some really classic sights of the city. The cathedrals spire can be seen from miles away it was built in 1108 and is the site of the shrine of St Richard. Well worth a visit the stained-glassed windows are something to be seen. The Tudor Market Cross stands at the centre of the four main shopping streets it is a very famous landmark and quite impressive with the Georgian style Streets around it. Chichester District Museum Is an interesting afternoon out. Here you can see the local history through displays and hands on activities. It starts with fossils and early people, and goes on to exploring life in Medieval Chichester. It has a good display of Chichester during the Civil War and shows the city from Georgian times right up through to the present. Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5.30pm and admission is free. A quick point that is worth mentioning though, wheel chair access is only available on the ground floor of the museum. The Festival Theatre Offers a variety of entertainment. Plays and musicals are shown in the summer months and ballet concerts and drama in the winter. To get a copy of the theatres brochure tel: 01243 781312 or you can visit their web site www.cft.org.ul There are so many historical places to visit, Fishborne Roman Palace with its mosaics and lovely gardens. Stansted House where you can see how the servants lived in the old days. Tangmere Military Aviation Museu
              m, you can see a lot of memorabilia from the Battle of Britain. I must not forget to mention one of my favourite spots, Goodwood Race Course to the North of Chichester. Shopping is good here, there are the large well-known stores in the city and of course loads of antique shops and second hand book establishments. Restaurants are plentiful and the choice is extremely good. Accommodation is very good from the five star hotels to the good old family bed and breakfast and of course there are numerous camping sites around the area. Chichester Tourist Information Centre can furnish you with a list of accommodation and prices Tel:01243 775888 or you can email them at chitic@chichester.gov.uk A good site to visit for any further information on this wonderful city is www.chichesterweb.co.uk I have spent a few holidays in this city and will definitely go again because there is so much that I have not seen yet. If you are planning a few days away think about visiting this lovely city you will not be disappointed.

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