West Sussex self guided walking break, England

“Two superb self-guided walks through West Sussex, with lots of history, lovely landscapes and a choice of excellent accommodation.”


Self-guided walking | two walks | route notes, maps and commentaries | Chichester Cathedral | Bosham | Itchenor | Kingley Vale | Stoughton | choice of accommodation

Description of West Sussex self guided walking break, England

Experience a weekend of wonderfully contrasting walks on this West Sussex self guided walking break, England, featuring picturesque Chichester Harbour and the stunning South Downs near Goodwood. These carefully crafted walks are self-guided allowing for complete flexibility. You'll be based in Chichester, with plenty of time between walks to get to know this historical city. You might like to visit Pallant House Art Gallery and the church where the remains of King Harold were buried after the Battle of Hastings.

Each walk is varied, exploring different aspects of the South Downs and Chichester with detailed maps and commentaries to highlight some of the points of cultural interest along the way. The routes are suitable for the average walker with each being eight miles, and the only ascents and descents are on the downland walk. The walks are around four hours long, with a break for lunch in a country pub, and are tried and tested by us, as well as numerous walkers.

Accommodation is in a recently refurbished and widely recommended hotel or an elegant bed and breakfast.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:We recommend our self-guided tour of this historic city for an enjoyable early evening introduction to Chichester. Return to your comfortable hotel for dinner in the Ship's excellent restaurant.
Day 2:Today's walk is easy, being completely flat and totally devoid of gradients. You'll enjoy colourful coastal scenery, arguably the finest in the south, a spectacular mosaic of rich and varied habitats, a haven for plant, marine and bird life. For almost the entire day you'll be beside the sea with ever-changing vistas of boats, boatmen and wildlife. Delight in the smell of the seaweed, the taste of the salt, the sounds of gulls shrieking overhead. Passing through colourful harbour villages, each with fascinating histories, finally you will reach the sailing village of Itchenor for lunch at The Ship. The afternoon starts with a ferry ride across the harbour to Bosham (pronounced “bozzum”), one of the most picturesque villages in Sussex, beloved by boatman, artists and historians. Bosham is also steeped in history. Visit its ancient church where, amazingly, the remains of King Harold were laid to rest after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Standing beside King Harold's tomb, our commentary is guaranteed to fascinate. We recommend dining at either The Ship or at the delightful Clinchs Restaurant opposite. (8 miles, 12 km, easy walking)
Day 3:Today's walk is a complete contrast to Day 2, taking you high up on a remote landscape of the South Downs. Beautiful Kingley Vale is unique and quite remarkable, sheltering ancient yew trees which are amongst the oldest living things in Britain. You'll follow silent forest tracks culminating at one of the finest viewpoints on the South Downs. From here you will enjoy stunning views to distant Chichester Cathedral and the extensive watery channels of Chichester Harbour and its sprawling mudflats. On a clear day, it is even possible to see the distant Isle of Wight. The springy rich downland turf resembles a tapestry of flower and butterfly. Lunch today is at the 17th-century Hare & Hounds, tucked away in a fold of the downs in the secluded flinty village of Stoughton. After lunch, our path meanders through beech woods to more stunning viewpoints and ancient barrows before you descend to your transport for a short drive back to Chichester. (8 miles, 12 km, moderate walking)

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip is self-guided and so can depart throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: West Sussex self guided walking break, England


Walking is the least carbon intensive way to travel and ensures that the environmental impact of our walking groups is kept to a minimum. Where it is necessary to travel by means other than on foot, we encourage the use of public transport. We aim to balance the environmental impact of travelling with the benefits that sustainable tourism brings to the local rural economy. On this holiday, our hotel and the restaurants, pubs and tea rooms we use all employ local people and use in their kitchens locally produced food as far as possible.

In our small home office we recycle paper, cardboard, ink cartridges and printed material to reduce the waste in landfill sites. We purchase recycled printer cartridges, paper, envelopes, labels, pens, toilet tissue, bin liners. We turn off printers, photocopiers, computers, battery chargers and transformers at the end of each day and avoid ‘screen savers’, use energy-efficient bulbs and low-energy appliances. We cut CO2 emissions by maintaining heating thermostats at the lowest comfortable setting. We do not use tumble dryers nor take disposable plastic bottles to the countryside, instead promoting the use of water bottles manufactured by companies like Sigg.

We do not print brochures, keeping customers informed electronically via email, electronic newsletters and our website. We encourage clients to remit their payments electronically via PayPal or by bank transfer.


For walkers on this break, we suggest a visit to the famous cathedral, an opportunity for people to buy souvenirs to support this venerable establishment. In Chichester itself the St Martin's Tea Rooms, which we recommend at the end of the weekend, is widely recognised for its home-baked produce and it employs local people as well as being a venue for local projects. It also acts as a venue for various local projects. Also in Chichester is the Pallant Art Gallery which many of our clients enjoy visiting on their arrival day.

We include on our walks visits to local projects, craftsmen and artisans wherever possible. One of the most popular places in Chichester Harbour our clients like visiting is the Dell Quay Yacht Yard where boat repairs can be seen being carried out at first hand by skilled craftsmen. This gives our clients the opportunity to get into conversation with local people who appreciate the interest shown. This gives added significance to the commentary we give our group on the history of Del Quay. We patronise The Ship Inn at Itchenor for lunch. Over the years we have developed a good relationship with the Itchenor ferryboat people who perform the very important job of ferrying people across the water to the beach to continue the walk to Bosham.

On the second day of the walking weekend on the wonderful Kingley Vale, half way through the walk we recommend The Hare and Hounds in the small village of Stoughton. We also recommend visisting two churches originating from Saxon times, one at Stoughton and one at Bosham. Our clients frequently buy church literature or leave donations to support the fragile structures of these ancient buildings. Following the Chichester Harbour walk we suggest tea in the village of Bosham and a visit to the craft shops there.

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