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When in...Chichester
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When in...Chichester

Neptune Chichester, our 28th store to open, sits on the edge of this historic city, surrounded by countryside and with the beautiful South Downs National Park to its north. It’s an area we’ve been very much looking forward to exploring.

Now that we have, we wanted to tell you about a few of our favourite places nearby, so you can turn your trip to Neptune Chichester into a whole day out. Whether it be somewhere to eat or to shop, or a place to visit, you’ll find them all either in Chichester or just a short drive away.

To do

Pallant House Gallery

This art gallery is partly housed in a Grade I-listed, Queen Anne-style townhouse, and partly in a modern architectural extension. Inside is a ‘collection of collections’, made up of contemporary (and occasionally historic) pieces, donated by a group of individual contributors, each with their own personal tastes. It’s one of the things, alongside the building, that gives Pallant House its character.

Chichester Cathedral

There are few places that meld such ancient settings with contemporary art quite as successfully as Chichester Cathedral does. The artworks, dating from the 1950s onwards, only add to the magnificent building. They include a Cornish stone and beaten copper font, and a painting by Graham Sutherland (another version of which can be seen in Pallant House).

Chichester city walls trail

Extending out from the medieval market cross are four streets – simply named North, East, South and West – which divide the city into quadrants. Circling all of this are the city’s walls, built by the Romans in the third century and largely still standing today. Head out for a pleasant stroll around them (the route is just a mile and a half long), where you can take in original bastions as well as the city’s Georgian buildings.

Arundel Castle

Home to the Dukes of Norfolk for over 850 years, this 11th century castle is another of West Sussex’s historical sites that we think is well worth a visit. Less than half an hour away from Chichester, inside there’s a mahogany-panelled Regency library, an extensive armoury, and a keep which offers wide-reaching views over the Downs and to the sea. We also love the herbaceous borders, glasshouses and stumpery in the gardens.

Cass Sculpture Foundation

Goodwood might be more famous for motorsport than it is for art, but nestled on this sprawling estate is a diverse selection of modern sculpture. A visit to the grounds of the Cass Sculpture Foundation will have you wandering through beautiful countryside – and two indoor galleries – dotted with dramatic and surprising installations.

To eat

Field and Fork

If you’re looking for somewhere for supper in Chichester’s city centre, Field and Fork, with its welcoming interior and food inspired by what can be found at the market that day, is just perfect. It’s tucked away near the walled Priory Park, but is within easy walking distance of Pallant House Gallery and Chichester Festival Theatre (ideal for pre-theatre dining). We recommend taking a table in the light and bright conservatory, or beside the open fire when the weather’s a little chilly.

St Martin’s Organic Coffee House

The setting here is wonderfully traditional – think wooden beams, tapestry cushions and a rose-lined courtyard – but St Martin’s food and ethos are decidedly more with-the-times. Everything they serve, from coffee to cake to soup, is completely organic, and most likely also gluten, dairy and sugar free. Upstairs you can take time over a game of scrabble, and there’s even a piano which visitors are welcome to play.

The Hungry Guest

A short drive to the small town of Petworth will bring you to this calm place to have a spot of lunch or a leisurely breakfast. Everything served is as fresh as possible – the sausages and bacon in their breakfasts are from local farms, and all their bread and pastries come from their own bakery near Chichester every morning. After filling up in the café, head just around the corner to The Hungry Guest’s food shop. Here you can stock your pantry from their shelves of store cupboard necessities, pay a visit to the butcher’s counter, and nose your way around their cheese room.

To shop

The Country Brocante

The Country Brocante’s artisan markets have grown quite a following in recent years. They set up at Cowdray Park (just north of Chichester) several times a year, allowing makers and craftspeople to rub shoulders with vintage and antique experts. When the Brocante itself is not being held, the store in Midhurst is one of our favourite places to discover handmade pieces and finds with a sense of history.

Cowdray Farm Shop

While you’re exploring the area north of Chichester (The Country Brocante in Midhurst and The Hungry Guest in Petworth are just a quick hop across the Downs from each other), be sure to stop in on the Cowdray estate’s Farm Shop. Like The Hungry Guest, as much of their produce as possible is sourced locally, if not actually from the estate itself. We suggest calling ahead for one of their bespoke picnic hampers, which you can take away to enjoy in the glorious surrounding countryside.

Cred Jewellery

Back in Chichester, head to Cred Jewellery for ethical pieces created both in-house and by other carefully selected makers. A responsible approach to fine jewellery is what they’re known for (over the years they’ve developed partnerships with fair trade mining collectives and pride themselves on the transparency of their supply chain), but their designs are also beautifully delicate and finely crafted.

The Sweet Jar

Another must-visit for foodies. Traditional sweet shops may be commonplace in most towns and cities, but The Sweet Jar’s charming, bubblegum-pink exterior and shelves lined with over 290 jars of lollipops, bonbons and humbugs are sure to delight both children and the young-at-heart alike.

Neptune Chichester

And while you’re in town, we’d love you to stop by.

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