#EnglishTourismWeek19: Chichester Canal
Our series of blogs for #EnglishTourismWeek19 celebrates all that’s great about the Chichester region. Here, Dave Stares, one of the wonderful volunteers for the Chichester Canal, gives us a glimpse behind the scenes.
Just steps away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, Chichester Canal offers a unique and peaceful environment. Linking the City to the sea, with diverse resident wildlife, we’re lucky to have the stunning haven on our doorstep. At any time of year there is always something to do at the Canal; pop into the Cafe, take a stroll along the towpath or hire a rowing boat. But the Canal’s speciality is boat trips, getting you close to nature as you travel from the Canal Basin out into the countryside.
Running from February right through until November, the Canal has regular scheduled boat trips up to four times a day. Daily cruises are on Kingfisher, but for a more special occasion the Cruise and Dine package on Richmond is a fantastic experience. These trips are rather special, with a meal and a drink as part of the deal. As well as the ever-popular Fish and Chip cruise (with LA Fish), this year the Canal will also be offering a Pie and Mash cruise (featuring award winning Turner’s Pies and Caroline’s Dairy ice-cream) and a quintessentially English Afternoon Tea cruise.
There is something extra special this Easter. Those lucky enough to book tickets for the Easter Bunny boat trips on Richmond will enjoy refreshments on board, a special chocolate gift for all the children and they will have the chance to meet some Easter Bunnies on the way. Chichester Canal is certainly going from strength to strength. But this hasn't always been the case...
Originally part of the Portsmouth and Arundel Canal it was initially a success, but sadly most of the canal had fallen into disrepair by the 1840’s, with just a short stretch in use until 1906. Restoration started in the 1970’s and it is now possible to navigate to near Crosbie Bridge. It is still possible to see original canal features, such as the Poyntz Bridge which is close to the Canal Basin or you can stop at Hunston Bridge and enjoy the view that Turner painted in 1828.
Steeped as it is in history, the Canal is now accessible to all and offers a wide range of ways to explore the waterway. There is no doubt Chichester Canal has something to appeal to everyone. To find out more about all the ways to explore the Canal, visit https://chichestercanal.org.uk.
As a life-long resident of Chichester, David has many happy memories of Chichester Canal, particularly of feeding the ducks with his sister and cousins as a child, while walking the towpath to Hunston. Today he is a proud volunteer, helping with digital promotion, so the Canal be enjoyed by a new generation.
To celebrate #EnglishTourismWeek19, we’re also offering everyone who signs up to our e-newsletter the chance to win prizes from a host of top attractions across the region, including a family ticket (two adults and two children) for a scheduled trip aboard the Kingfisher. To find out more, click here.