One of the best things about having travel-obsessed friends all over the UK and the world, is that you not only get tipped off about amazing places, you get to go and spend time with those friends in their backyards. My overnighter to Chichester was one such trip – and I had two local guides taking me to all of the best places.
I’d slipped down to Chichester before for an afternoon in the Tinwood Estate winery, but hadn’t actually had the chance to spend more time exploring locally, oh, and I’d attended a Ladies Day at the Goodwood races, not to mention threw a BMW around a corner of the Goodwood racing track in a defensive driving course.
There’s no good reason for not spending more time in Chichester, except that I hadn’t uncovered the hidden gems in the local area. And I call myself an adventuring travel blogger…
It’s an easy train journey from London, but once you’re there, you’ll definitely do better with a car to explore. Luckily, I was met at the station by Amy (fellow freelancer, travel and dim sum addict) and the best canine tour guide in the southwest (guaranteed.)
I decided to stay at the Goodwood Hotel, a golf hotel tucked down country roads – but definitely more on that in a later post.
We started at the beach, somehow clocking up thousands of steps as we wandering through the sandy dunes, following the nose of the Queen of the Sheebs, and along the soft sand of West Wittering. It was so lovely to simply natter in the soft sunshine, dipping our toes in and out of the tide washing softly in.
We shot over to Arundel, for a late lunch and to play at being princesses, only to foiled by an early closed. Instead, we wandered around the pretty village centre, then around to the nearby Swanbourne Lake. The lake is in a stunning location close to Arundel Castle in the adjoining Castle Park, with wonderful walks and scenery – not to mention pleasure boats I was too chicken to brave.
With a quick Instagram stop at the majestic Boxgrove Priory ruins…
…we made our way to a 400-hundred year old Inn called the Fox Goes Free.
Not only do they have an epic gin selection, their pub gardens overlook hilly pastures. It was lush. So lush that our half hour drink turned into a leisurely couple of hours pitstop with dinner (which was pretty excellent.)
The next morning we explored the Goodwood Hotel golf course, taking a rambly wander around the grounds, then snuck onto Goodwood House for a quick explore.
…and stared longingly at this classic VW van.
Before I returned to London, we decided to walk up to the windmill that inspired the Tinwood Estate winery logo. And you know I love a windmill. It’s no ordinary windmill crowning this hill, the top of Halnaker Hill is a Scheduled Ancient Monument as it is the location of a Neolithic earthwork structure known as a ’causewayed enclosure’.
Not only that, it’s a wicked uphill walk that definitely clears out the city cobwebs, with gorgeous 360′ views of the countryside patchwork.
As a fantastic bonus, the walk takes you down a gorgeous ‘Tunnel of Trees’ there and back.
There’s a lovely walk you can do called the Windmill Trail.
I definitely need a revisit for Goodwood Revival. One day, one day! Looking for more UK staycation inspiration? Check out Tweet Your Trip’s 15 staycation suggestions, and Mum in the Mad House’s Best North Yorkshire beaches.
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