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Chichester Harbour and Canal

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Chichester Harbour and Canal
Author: mike evans, Published: 09 Jun 2018 Walk Rating:star1 Chichester Harbour and Canal, West Sussex Walkng Guidestar1 Chichester Harbour and Canal, West Sussex Walkng Guidestar1 Chichester Harbour and Canal, West Sussex Walkng Guidestar0 Chichester Harbour and Canal, West Sussex Walkng Guidestar0 Chichester Harbour and Canal, West Sussex Walkng Guide
West Sussex, Chichester
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Chichester Harbour and Canal
Length: 8 miles,  Difficulty: boot Chichester Harbour and Canal, West Sussex Walkng Guide boot Chichester Harbour and Canal, West Sussex Walkng Guide boot Chichester Harbour and Canal, West Sussex Walkng Guide
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An 8 mile circular walk from Chichester Marina in West Sussex. Eight miles is quite a bit for us these days, but this walk is worth it. There is interest all the way. Starting at Chichester Marina and travelling cross country to Dell Quay, the route continues walking by the side of Chichester Harbour before turning inland to reach the southern edge of Chichester. The return route follows the Chichester Canal back to the marina. The walk is essentially flat. There were no sheep or cattle encountered on the walk. There are both kissing gates and stiles to negotiate. A word of warning! The section between leaving the harbour's edge and reaching the A27 is not for the feint hearted. Not exactly Shackleton and South Georgia but a challenge non the less. So be warned. The walk is somewhat boggy through the early part of this section (particularly in winter) and overgrown in places in the later part. We managed it in early May with walking boots without getting our feet wet, although some judicious route selection was required. In winter I would imagine only wellies would get you through. There are a few road crossings, including the A27, that need particular care. All in all this was an epic walk though and well worth the challenge. Allow 4 hours.

Chichester Marina is off the A286 Chichester to Wittering road. From the Stockbridge roundabout on the A27 just south of Chichester, take the A286 towards Bracklesham Bay and Wittering. Travel for two miles going south. The entrance to the marina is a wide drive on the right signed Premier Marinas - Chichester. Turn right onto the drive and travel down it for half a mile being careful of the speed humps. The visitor parking is clearly signed on the right. The nearest postcode is PO20 7EJ. The latitude and longitude of the parking is 50.802908,-0.815102.

The Chichester to Wittering bus service is served by the number 52 bus. The bus stop is at the entrance to the marina on the A286. The bus stop is on the route at the end of the walk so there will be no additional walking involved. Simply walk the half mile to the visitor parking and start the walk as described. If you are coming by train, Chichester rail station is just a short walk from the Canal Basin (Waypoint 6) so you can adjust the walk to start from this point.

Walk Sections

Start to Wood
Start to Wood

Start point: 50.8028 lat, -0.8156 long
End point: 50.8063 lat, -0.8247 long

Start by exiting the visitor parking back onto the access road and turn right. Walk for 700 metres or so with the marina on your right and the canal on your left. There is a walkway to the right of the road for most of the distance. Follow the roadway as it turns to the right. The gravel car park of Chichester Yacht club is in front of you. Walk for 100 metres past a number of shops on your right including the Boat House Cafe to reach a point where the tarmac drive ends and a red paved path starts. Walk on the red path for 30 metres to reach a building. Continue on a narrower red path which goes to the right of the building. You will see a sign saying 'Danger no public access'. This is your route! However the sign refers to the way directly ahead. Your route is to walk up to the sign and turn right. You may be delayed at this point as you are about to walk over the lock gates at the entrance to the marina and they may be open in order to allow boats in or out. When you can, walk ahead on the walkway over the gates. See associated image.

Walk now with the sea on your left and the marina on your right for 120 metres towards the edge of a wood. Follow the path to enter the wood.

Wood to Dell Quay
Wood to Dell Quay

Start point: 50.8063 lat, -0.8247 long
End point: 50.8194 lat, -0.8158 long

On entering the wood you are immediately presented with a Y-junction. Take the right-hand option to follow Salterns Way. Walk through the wood to emerge after 200 metres into an arable field. Continue on Salterns Way, now to the right of the arable field. Follow the wide hardcore track which after 600 metres reaches a farm on the right and becomes a tarmac drive. Stay on the drive as it bears left (do NOT take the right turning by the farm) and walk for one kilometre.

You will have a lovely view of Chichester Cathedral with the backdrop of the South Downs.

Towards the end you will see an information board which explains that the field on your left was a temporary airfield during the later days of World War Two where it was home to three squadrens of Typhoons. Also that a B17 bomber made an emergency landing there which included Clarke Gable who was one of the crew. It is said (apparently) that he attended some local dances in Chichester whilst waiting for his aircraft to be repaired, much to the delight of the local ladies. If true, I'll bet!

Anyway at the end of the one kilometre, the driveway terminates at a T-junction with a narrow road. Turn left onto the road. Walk some 500 metres to the end of the road and, as you pass the Crown and Anchor (originally built in the 16th century) on your left, turn right to walk along the foreshore (probably past a couple of wheelie bins). A few paces along you will see a footpath fingerpost on the right.

Dell Quay to Seat
Dell Quay to Seat

Start point: 50.8194 lat, -0.8158 long
End point: 50.8223 lat, -0.8121 long

Dell Quay has a long history and was a major trading port in the 14th and 15th century when large amounts of wool and material passed through it. It is also thought that this was one of the ports though which the plague was introduced to the country.

Follow the path as it makes its way along the foreshore. After a short distance the path reaches some trees. At the entrance to the trees there is a kissing gate. Pass through this and in 50 metres or you will see a very convenient seat on the left facing the sea. I couldn't resist sitting here for a while and enjoying a coffee.

If you stopped, then before moving on stroll through the trees and down to the foreshore. A short distance to the right you will see the remains of a building. Firstly this must have been a fabulous place to live and secondly, some dire events took place in this building in the fictitious novel by the author Kate Moss in her book 'The Taxidermist's Daughter'. Kate Moss lived close to the head of this channel and wrote the book very much based in this area.

Seat to Gate
Seat to Gate

Start point: 50.8223 lat, -0.8121 long
End point: 50.8259 lat, -0.8103 long

From the seat, continue ahead on the same path for some 150 metres to exit the wood through a further kissing gate. Carry on and after a short distance you will reach a three-way fingerpost and gate. The right-hand option would take you 300 metres to the charming church of Saint Mary the Virgin. This is NOT your route but you might like to take a detour to visit it.

Your route is straight ahead though, staying with the path close to the shore line. Walk ahead for 170 metres to a fairly ancient gate with a three-way fingerpost to the left of it.

Gate to Bridge
Gate to Bridge

Start point: 50.8259 lat, -0.8103 long
End point: 50.829 lat, -0.7944 long

Turn right before the gate. Care is needed here to avoid a mistake so follow the directions (and GPS map) carefully. After turning right into a meadow, half a dozen paces brings you to an opening into a meadow on the left. There is a galvanised five bar gate 'hanging' to an old gate post on the left of the opening. Go through the opening. The direction ahead, which is indistinct, is at an angle of about 25 degrees to the left of the hedge line which you have just passed through (standing with your back to the hedge gap, you need to walk at about 2 o'clock - see associated image). The distance across the field is 535 metres. Just to emphasize the point; once through the opening there is a farm track on your right which runs parallel to the hedge on the right. It is tempting to follow this, as it more obvious than the correct track. You can do so, but be conscious of your target at the end of the meadow and do not follow the track into the next field. Rather, as the farm track leaves the meadow (to enter the next field) turn left to follow the hedge line, staying in the meadow until you reach the stile in the hedge. Towards the end of the field the ground gets pretty boggy so you will need to pick your way. Personally, I found the ground to the left to be the best, despite this being closer to the River Lavant.

When you reach the end of the field, cross over a stile (there was no cross member when we crossed), go across a road (Appledram Lane) and pick up the path opposite (actually a few paces to the right of where you exited onto the road). It is just to the left of a 'bend in the road' sign.

Cross a bridge made of two planks and another stile and onto a grass path. Almost immediately you reach a hardcore path crossing from left to right. Go straight across this to continue on a grass path. Walk on the grass path for 120 metres with shrubs on both sides to reach a wooden bridge which crosses the River Lavant. There is a two way fingerpost on the far side of the bridge. Cross the bridge and turn right. Walk now to the right of an arable field with the River Lavant on your right. Walk for 500 metres to the end of the field and bear left to still follow the edge of the field for a further short distance. As the field edge turns left again look out for a bridge over the River Lavant on your right. The bridge is somewhat hidden by trees, so keep a sharp lookout.

Bridge to Canal Basin
Bridge to Canal Basin

Start point: 50.829 lat, -0.7944 long
End point: 50.8308 lat, -0.782 long

After the bridge, follow the fairly indistinct path for a short distance to reach an arable field. Once at the field your job (and mine!) become somewhat simpler. Stay by the left-hand side of the field for approximately 150 metres, noting the WW2 tank on the opposite side of the Lavant on your left. Stay to the left of the field and aim for a very large road sign which is on the A27. Pass through a gap in the hedge immediately behind the sign and onto the edge of the A27. Now with GREAT care cross the A27.

There is a footpath directly ahead once you reach the far side. At the time of writing the path was closed due to building works, so take one to the following two options (the footpath is expected to be re-opened on 1 August 2018, so before then you will need take option 2):

1 - if the path is open, follow it for 150 metres or so to reach Terminus Road. Turn right along the road for 300 metres to reach Chandlers Road on the right and cross it.

2 - if the path is closed, after you have crossed the A27, turn right and walk along the verge for 200 metres to a footpath on the left. This is marked by a green footpath sign. Turn left onto the footpath, walk for 70 metres to reach Chandlers Road, walk a further 80 metres to Terminus Road and turn right.

Both options are now at the same place. Walk the 450 metres to the end of Terminus Road to reach Stockbridge Road at a T-junction. Carefully cross Stockbridge Road and turn left. Walk for 40 metres and turn right into Canal Wharf and past the side of the Richmond pub. Turn right again when you reach the back of the pub. Walk ahead at the head of the basin, now with the back of the pub on your right and the canal basin on your left (see image).

Canal Basin to End
Canal Basin to End

Start point: 50.8308 lat, -0.782 long
End point: 50.8137 lat, -0.7737 long

The canal (originally part of the Portsmouth and Arundel Canal) was opened in 1822.

Walk along the end of the basin and turn left. Follow the water's edge and turn right when you meet the canal proper. The route from here on is quite simple as it is a matter of following the canal right back to your starting point. Initially walk alongside the canal for two kilometres to Hunston. The path leaves the canal via a small wooden bridge to take you onto the B2145 Chichester to Selsey road. As you cross the bridge look to your left and you will see a nice view of Chichester Cathedral. The painter Turner had the same thought and painted what he saw from this very spot. On reaching the road, turn right and stay on the same side. Walk a few metres and you will see the access path back to the canal on your right.

Continue, now on the left of the canal for a further one kilometre to reach another road. Here the way ahead is obvious, so carefully cross the road and continue on your journey. After a further 1.4km you will reach the A286 from which you entered the marina access road. If you arrived by bus you will see the stop nearby. Otherwise carefully cross the road and continue to the left of the marina access road to return to your starting point in another 600 metres or so.

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network Chichester Harbour and Canal, West Sussex Walkng Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2018 by iFootpath and the author seekin and may not be reproduced without permission.

2 Comments for: "Chichester Harbour and Canal"

There is a section of about 1 mile where you cross the A27, (nightmare!! not for the feinted hearted!). You then have to walk through factories/ industrial estate which is horrible before final getting to the canal. Definitely a walk of 2 halves with the begin and end being lovely and the middle being horrible

By shirleyhemst on 30 Dec 2018

An easy flat walk that doesn’t feel like 8 miles. Very pretty for the most part but we did struggle for a while in the fields before crossing the main road. Walked last week after several weeks of hot dry weather, the fields had lost their paths so we struggled through cut crops (knee length) then could not find the bridge as very overgrown with nettles. We managed to beat these back with a stick but legs were scraped and stung. Apart from that would highly recommend this walk with lovely views

By Wendyann1962 on 04 Aug 2018

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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