Chichester Awayday

The Road to Recovery Part 2

This is the second awayday in a series of five that I planned while lying in my hospital bed. All in May with thanks to the Great British Rail Sale!

Arrival at Chichester was a bit of a shock – dull, drizzly and a bit misty. Not a great start so I wandered around the cathedral before a cup of tea and an early lunch.

The cathedral itself is very interesting as you cut through some of the old cloisters to get to the Bishop’s Garden which is open to the public. Rather stunning gardens in fact including part of the old roman wall that you can walk on.

The did shine on the righteous as I exited Chichester along the Senturion Way – a cycle route that avoids the busy A27 as I made my way past Fishbourne Palace and on to Bosham.

The approach to Bosham is goes past a set of fields before you get to the first set of cottages alongside some more modern housing.

Bosham Harbour isn’t much to look at but Bosham was the principal home of Harold Godwinson, King of England in 1066 (him who managed to get an arrow in the eye at Hastings). This is a very popular place in the summer but in May it was pretty quiet.

The Holy Trinity Church in Bosham has a couple of claims to fame. Firstly, it is said that King Canute’s daughter is buried here. Secondly, and more relevantly, this is where our venerable and eminent club member, Stuart Grove was married.

Holy Trinity Church, Bosham

The rest of the village is a collection of beautiful little pubs and houses with a low tide short cut to the otherside of the creek that splits the town.

In a higher tide you can still (probably) use the Shore Road to get to the other side and make your way to Bosham Hoe to get the Itchenor ferry. A quiet, pretty road and there is also a gravel track with spectacular views across the meadows.

The Itchenor ferry operates daily between May and September and on weekends during the rest of the year. You basically roll up to the gravel shore and the ferry man comes over when he sees you – fast and efficient for the short crossing.

Plenty of room for bikes and passengers on the little boat

At Itchenor, you will find a set of benches to admire the view and enjoy a rest if it’s warm and sunny – providing you are righteous!

Between Itchenor and West Wittering is the Salters Way, away from traffic and on road and hard packed gravel. Enjoy the parade of endlessly beautiful houses (no doubt called Dunroaming and Joe Bloggs End) before you get to the beach at West Wittering.

Possibly the best beach on the South Coast, this is a very popular beach in the summer boasting fine sand, toilets and a nice cafe. As you can see I was privileged to have it more or less to myself!

East Wittering on the other hand is not as nice but appears to be popular with windsurfers.

Stony but with rollers at East Wittering

Travelling Eastwards towards Selsey and Littlehampton, the beaches are all stony but the views across the moors around Brackelsham bay and the Skylarks rising to release their birdsong will stay with me for a long time. I went past the Crown at Selsey which the club history notes as the setting for a famous picture of the club notables in 1909. Stuart Grove led an expedition in 2019 which I think proved that it was the nearby Fisherman’s Joy see https://anerleybc.org/70s-ride-to-selsey-26th-august-2019/

Finally I made my way back to Chichester via the canal captured on canvas by J M Turner

All in all, a fantastic day out curtesy of kind weather and a £3.50 return train ticket!

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