For the start of a one day tour, we suggest starting in Midhurst, an ancient Saxon trading centre now home to a huge selection of independent shops and cafes. Why not start the day with breakfast at the Spread Eagle Hotel and then wander to Knockhundred Row, where the Midhurst Museum can be found.
A stopover in Midhurst isn’t complete without a visit to Cowdray Ruins visited by Elizabeth I, Henry VIII and home to an intriguing history including the Gunpowder Plot and a curse onthe male heirs ‘by fire and water’! As you travel around Midhurst notice that a lot of houses have bright yellow windows and doors, these belong to the Cowdray Estate.
After a pleasant morning, take lunch in one of the great cafes or pubs in the area then follow the A272 to Petworth, showcasing incredible views of the South Downs along the way. As you approach Petworth you’ll catch glimpses of the famous Petworth House on the left, which houses the National Trust’s best art collection with works by Joshua Reynolds, Van Dyck, J.M.W. Turner, William Blake and Grinling Gibbons. Petworth Park, the 700 acre park that surrounds it, was designed by Capability Brown and is well worth an explore.
Why not finish your day with a wander throughthe narrow streets of Petworth Town and marvel at the amazing range of antique shops. Wind down and enjoy a delicious end to the day with a meal at The New Street Bar in Petworth. There are plenty of hotels and B&Bs in Petworth, or head to Chichester (less than half an hour from Petworth) ready for day two.
Starting a second day in the City of Chichester will be like immersing yourself in a 3D history book! Our historic yet contemporary City has something to offer everyone.
If you’re up bright and early, take a leisurely walk along the City Walls which surround the City and date back to Roman times. Grab breakfast in one of the many independent cafes in the town, before heading to the Novium Museum. The museum is built over the remains of a vast Roman bath house, which can be seen from the ground floor. From the lookout platform on the top floor of the museum, you’ll spot Chichester Cathedral and its huge spire. Head there after the museum, it’s free to visit and will reveal a treasure trove of historical and artistic artefacts.
Wandering back into the centre of town, you’ll notice that the Roman influence is also reflectedin the main street pattern, leading to some people calling Chichester a ‘hot cross bun’ City (from the Market Cross you’ll see why). Standing here, you’ll also notice the retail delights on offer in the City, and you’ll soon see why it’s a shoppers paradise. Take a couple of hours out of your schedule to explore the array of independent and high street brands on offer, or kick back and relax in one of the many bars and restaurants.
A trip to the City wouldn’t be complete without an afternoon at the internationally recognised Pallant House Gallery, an outstanding gallery of contemporary art. Follow this with an evening meal at one of our many restaurants including The Giggling Squid. If you’re staying for the evening, head to the nationally important Chichester Festival Theatre for some of the finest theatre around.