Chichester Harbour AONB
Chichester Harbour's sheltered waters are welcomed by sailors and wildlife alike and a thriving holiday trade has developed around Chichester Harbour as a result of the area's attractions.
Chichester Harbour was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1964 and is a Special Protection Area for birdlife.
Chichester Harbour bird sanctuaryThe mudflats of Chichester Harbour provide a welcoming habitat for dozens of species of sea birds.
Birds you might see, depending on the time of year, include curlews, snipes, godwits, redhsanks, oystercatchers, plovers, herons, cormorants and swans, as well as geese, ducks, gulls and terns.
Sailing - Chichester Harbour
Where to sailThousands of people enjoy sailing on Chichester Harbour each year.
You can find out more about the sailing clubs based around Chichester Harbour here.
The northern end of Chichester Harbour has silted up a great deal over the two thousand years since great ships sailed up to Fishbourne Roman Palace.
Now these the extensive mudflats revealed each low tide bring a tasty feast for sea birds and great bird watching for humans.
Attractive villages around Chichester HarbourChichester Harbour is blessed with several beautiful harbourside villages where you can enjoy a pint or pub lunch as you take the scenery on board.
Bosham is one of the most photographed villages in south east England and has a touristy feel to it in the summer months, with hordes of day trippers and visiting yachtsmen and yachtswomen.
For a quieter look at the harbour Fishbourne has two pubs and pretty views of the Harbour.
Apuldram and Dell Quay today only hint at grander times in the middle ages when they served as important sea ports serving Chichester and south-west Sussex, but the upper reaches of the Birdham Channel are one of the quietest parts of the Chichester Harbour.
Walking around Chichester HarbourThere are some fine walks around Chichester Harbour where you can enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Chichester Harbour Holidays
Where to stayYou can find a selection of Chichester Harbour holiday accommodation here.
Other good places to enjoy a walk around Chichester Harbour are the long loop around Cobnor Point from either the hamlet of Chidham or Nutbourne. This walk has the advantage of combining great views across the Bosham Channel towards Bosham with a more open section of the central Harbour where the Chichester Channel meets the Thorney Channel.
The sand spit at East Head adjoining West Wittering's famous beach is one of the most popular places for walkers and there's a lovely coastal path which runs all along the eastern shoreline of the harbour from East Head to West Itchenor - a distance of 5 miles (8km).
There's a long distance walk and cycle path called the Salterns Way which loosely follows the shoreline of the Harbour from the Cross in the middle of Chichester to West Wittering Beach. Lengthy sections of the Salterns Way run inland, but Salterns Way is suitable for cycling.
Unfortunately some of the finest parts of the Harbour shoreline are not accessible. This is because there are several chunks of land which are occupied by estates full of spectacular and highly-prized seaside homes.
This prime harbourfront real estate can only reached by private road and so can't be enjoyed by the general public - and fair enough. In particular, Bosham Hoe and large areas around Birdham are inaccessible to walkers.
More Chichester Harbour informationNature Reserves needs to be well looked after and the Conservancy does a fine job.
maintaining the harbour.
special habitat for wildlife and outstandingly beautiful place.
Yacht charteryacht for hire in and around the harbour and beyond.
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