9 of the best villages to consider around Chichester, West Sussex

Posted 10 January 2016 by Helen Christie

The ancient city of Chichester is steeped in history dating back to the Roman invasion of 43AD, and today continues to provide a focus for many of the rural villages in West Sussex.

At the heart of Chichester is the magnificent cathedral, which for nearly 1,000 years has towered over the busy streets and commercial areas of this compact city.

Chichester is set on the River Lavant, and benefits from easy access to the M27 motorway and mainline rail services to London, Brighton, Gatwick airport, Portsmouth and Southampton.

The city holds markets three or four times a week, and visitors flock to the beaches for bathing in the summer, while Chichester harbour and its numerous marinas are busy year-round; famous worldwide as a base for sailing in the waters off the south coast.

Here are some of the best villages in the area around Chichester that should be on your property radar:


The coastal village of Bosham sits on a small inlet three miles to the west of the city along the A259, with Bosham station providing regular rail services taking six minutes to Chichester and around one hour 45 minutes to central London. Bosham Sailing Club was formed in 1907 and sailing continues to provide leisure and employment to many in the area. The village offers a mix of red brick, flint and thatched properties. Up the hill and away from the shore, more modern homes sit alongside the local primary school while The Berkeley Arms offers a log fire and good food.


Funtington is a rural village five miles west of Chichester. The parish also contains the villages of East Ashling, West Ashling and West Stoke, and the Kingsley Vale National Nature Reserve. The parish church of St Mary's dates back to the 1300s and is home to a growing youth choir. The Funtington Players and Funtington Music groups add to the home-grown performing traditions of the village. The mainly flint and bricked lines lanes have seen little new development in recent years and the village, compete with its stores, remains a quiet and peaceful place to live.

Mid Lavant, East Lavant and West Lavant

These three villages take their name from the River Lavant which runs from nearby East Dean to Chichester Harbour. Situated just outside the city boundary the villages retain their rural roots, surrounded by working farms. The Royal Oak pub and restaurant sits among the traditional Sussex houses in Pook Lane, and the village hall offers a base for many local organisations and clubs. A mile to the east of Lavant is Goodwood House, seat of the Duke of Richmond. The house, set in 12,000 acres, is home to Goodwood motor racing circuit, horseracing, a golf course and country club.


On the A286 road to Midhurst, north of Chichester, is the pretty village of Singleton. The village, which nestles in the beautiful Lavant Valley, has remained largely unchanged for centuries, with the Partridge Inn and a number of bed and breakfast hotels offering a welcome to the many visitors to the area. Locals can enjoy cricket in the summer at Singleton Cricket Club, at the western edge of the village and the village school provides a good education children from Singleton and surrounding villages.


Three miles southwest of Chichester is the picturesque village of Birdham. Many desirable houses are situated on the waterfront and the man-made marina at Birdham Pool is the largest in the area and home to many of the yachts that regularly sail the harbour. The village offers peace and quiet, with wide leafy residential areas of large white and brick houses and bungalows. The village is popular with walkers exploring Manhood Peninsular, the large area of flat lands between Chichester and the open sea at Selsea Bill.

West Itchenor

Another village on the shores of Chichester Harbour, and only four miles from the city, West Itchenor is home to around 450 people. Village life centres around the sailing club, St Nicholas Church and the Ship Inn. Surrounded by internationally important wetlands and protected areas for birds, the village is popular with walkers and ornithologists keen to view the wading birds and wintering wildfowl. The Itchenor Ferry runs a service across the mouth of the harbour to Smugglers Hard at Bosham.


Now home to around 1,000 people, the village, three miles northeast of Chichester, was once the site of one of the first settlements in the British Isles and home to Boxgrove Man, evidence of early Stone-Age inhabitants dating back some 500,000 years discovered in 1993. Today, village life centres around the ancient parish church and former priory dating back to 1115, and the village stores and post office. The traditional flint and brick homes in The Street are now joined by newer estates to the southern end of the village near the A27 and in Crouch Cross Lane.

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