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Top places to live in Sussex Chichester

Bright lights, cathedral city. The administrative capital of West Sussex is pastoral and quaint with fine dining galore and indie HQ Draper's Yard. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.

WHY?

The cathedral city and administrative capital of West Sussex is steeped in history and culture, whilst being neatly sandwiched between Chichester Harbour and the rolling South Downs. It’s hardly the edgiest of Sussex’s cities but it’s without a doubt the loveliest and most pastoral, a blend of Roman walls and Georgian architecture, alongside some surprisingly high quality postwar buildings.

EAT

Head to the Chichester Harbour Hotel for fine dining and fresh seafood at The Ship restaurant. If you want pub grub, go slightly out of town to the Lavants, host to the Royal Oak and the Earl of March. The former in particular is a genuine destination pub for its seasonal modern British food. For more beachy vibes try Drift-In Surf Cafe at nearby East Wittering which serves great coffee alongside surf accessories. Oooh and The Ivy is set to open on East Street in Summer 2022 – watch this space!

SHOP

There’s a good mix of high-street faves and indies; Draper’s Yard is a great spot for quirky independents including Paint Pot which upcycles furniture and Paulo Sussex, with his own brand of small batch jams and chutneys. Boutiques like Little London Boutique, sit alongside Muddy’s Jeweller of the Year Timothy Roe and high street hits Mint Velvet and Hobbs. For homewares and gifts we love Rosie Rose and florist Bunch always has a stunning window display. For a beauty pamper head to Beauty Secrets Spa, who opened a gorgeous fourth Sussex branch here in Spring 2022 offering head to toe treatments and tweakments all under one roof.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

The city is home to its own Festival Theatre and independent New Park Cinema and of course, there’s the gothic-style 12th-century cathedral itself. Nearby are the stunning West Dean Gardens, Fontwell Racecourse in the rolling Downs, and the wide sandy beaches of West Wittering. Step back in time at the Weald and Downland Living Museum.

HOT PROPERTY

Chocolate box pretty six bedroom beauty on with Strutt & Parker for £1.7m

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE

A respectable £414,806. The majority of sales in the past year have been terraced properties (£393,010). Detached go for an average of £393,010 and semi-detached are £396,899.

SCHOOLS

The state primaries in Chichester are decent. Parklands Community Primary School is rated good by Ofsted, as are Fishbourne C of E Primary, Kingsham Primary, St Richards Catholic and Jessie Younghusband Primary. For state secondaries, it’s more good ratings for Chichester High School while Bishop’s Luffa is outstanding.

In terms of indies, Prebendal is a small co-ed prep with a family feel, that’s also a choir school for the cathedral. Unsurprisingly in that case, music is a speciality. There’s also Westbourne House and Oakwood Prep. Seaford College has day and boarding options.

BEST KEPT SECRET

Bishop’s Palace Gardens, just a short walk from the cathedral, are relatively undiscovered by locals and visitors.

COMMUTE

You can be at London Victoria within 90 minutes although the average journey time is slightly longer. Season tickets from £5,112. Good rail links also to Portsmouth and Southampton.

View the full Top 200 Places to Live

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Lindfield

With some stunning historic buildings, a pretty and bustling village centre, great schools and heaps to do on your doorstep, Lindfield is a worthy candidate for the best village in Sussex - officially!.

Hove

Looking to live in a vibrant, exciting and cultural haven by the sea but avoid the student and tourist hoards? Welcome to Hove.

Hassocks

So good it's where the influencers choose to live! Hassocks sits within some of the best countryside in Sussex, with great links up to London and heaps of Muddy Award-winning businesses.

Eastbourne

Chalky cliffs, beautiful beaches, super schools, a pretty pier and a relaxed and healthy life all await at the sunniest place in the UK.

Midhurst

Consistently voted one of the best places to live in the entire UK by the Sunday Times, Midhurst has character, a Royal heritage, and more indies than anywhere else in Sussex.

Chichester

Bright lights, cathedral city.

Wadhurst

Live the cottage dream in this affluent market town on the borders of Kent and East Sussex.

Worthing

Like to be beside the seaside? With a sizzling foodie scene, indie arts and culture hotspots and an Art Deco pier, Worthing's a small, chic and let's face it, less megabucks Sussex coastal choice.

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