Image credits: Holly Barber
2000 years ago the Romans founded the market town of Noviomagnus Reginorum. Today we know it as Chichester. As with countless other important settlements across the country, the Romans built walls around the town for protection and to display civic pride. Today the walls still survive and are one of the most intact circuits of Roman defences in the south of England. This walk takes you along and on top of those walls.
We’re starting our walk in the centre of Chichester, at the Market Cross. From here we head west, along the appropriately named West Street, with Chichester Cathedral to our left.
For a slight detour you may wish to perhaps step inside the Cathedral for a moment of quiet contemplation (you can also do this at the end of the walk) or take a right turn up Tower Street to visit The Novium – Chichester’s museum where you can learn of the rich history of the area. Entry to the museum is free (although donations are welcomed).
Continuing along West Street, we turn right onto North Walls and follow the path as it goes up onto the walls themselves. Walking along here you will feel like you’re walking in the treetops, often forgetting that you’re in a city centre!
The path slopes down and you cross North Street and continue straight ahead of you onto Priory Lane. Here you’ll see a gate in the corner that you can go through into Priory Park and, to your left, go back up onto the walls again. If you’re a wheelchair user or have a pushchair, you may find it easier to continue around Priory Lane and use a different entrance into Priory Park and then double back on yourself to pick up the wall walk.
This section of the walls offers beautiful views across Priory Park and the cricket pitch with the cathedral in the background. If you have children with you – they may welcome a pause in the walk for time out in the playground.
You come back down from the walls where you cross Priory Road. Wheelchair users and those with a pushchair will need to follow the next section of the walls from ground level as there are only steps up here. It’s only a short section of wall walk – before you come back down again at East Street.
Crossing over the road, turning right along East Street and then taking the next left on to St Johns Street. Follow the road to the end and then turn right and into the car park in front of the Chichester District Council Offices. In the car park, turn left and in the corner you’ll see the entrance back onto the walls once more. This is just a short section of walls, coming out of the park and across into Theatre Lane until you reach South Street. Cross over the road, turn left and then take the right turn where you see the Chichester City Walls Walk pavement marker under your feet. Continue into the park and see the River Lavant to your right with the Walls on the opposite bank. Keep walking through the park until you reach the road (Avenue de Chartes). Here you turn right. Over the other side of the bridge we’re continuing up, past the walls and turning right into the Bishop’s Palace Gardens. This is a beautiful space with award winning gardens. Walking through the gardens, or perhaps sitting for a while to just watch the world go by and rest, we come through into Cannon Lane. From here you can either walk through to visit the Cathedral or continue along the lane, through the archway onto South Street. A left turn here brings us back to the Market Cross where we started.
Nearest Train (or tube) Station(s):
Chichester (0.5 miles)