Explore Chichester’s secret waterway by walking the beautiful towpath
The towpath is a gentle 4 mile walk stretching from the Canal Basin in Chichester to Chichester Marina.
Chichester Canal passes through 4 miles of open farmland from the Basin to Chichester Harbour at Birdham. The route takes you through a mixture of open farmland with benches available so you can rest, appreciate the tranquillity and admire an abundance of wildlife. Please note that dogs should be kept on a lead at all times and should be discouraged from entering the water. We must do all we can to protect wildlife.
Historic remains of original features, including the Poyntz Bridge, close to the canal basin, can still be seen – information boards are available to help you to learn more.
By stopping at the Hunston Bridge you can look back and enjoy the view of the canal against a backdrop of Chichester Cathedral and the Downs – the same view painted by JMW Turner in 1828.
You can buy refreshments at each end of towpath from the Canal Cafe at the Basin or the Boathouse at the Marina. Perfect to refuel so you’re ready for the walk back.
If you prefer, it is possible to walk one way. There is limited free parking at the Canal Basin and plenty of free parking at Chichester Marina. A regular bus service connects both Hunston and Chichester Marina with the bus station in Chichester – just a few minutes walk from the basin. Look out for the 51 on Selsey Road at Hunston or the 52 or 53 on Birdham Road by the Marina. All of these buses run c every 15 minutes.
Teeming with wildlife, if you keep your eyes open you will be richly rewarded. It is common to see waterfowl such as moorhens, coots, mallards, swans sharing the water with birds including the heron, kingfisher, whitethroat, common sandpiper, spotted flycatcher and woodpecker. A family of foxes lives in a field before the Selsey Tramway. You can often see them sunning themselves on a bright day.