Glorious Gardens

Here in Britain, we’re a nation of garden lovers – fact.

With spring now in full swing, and the flowers out in force, there’s never been a better time to get exploring some of the best gardens Britain has to offer.

Chichester and the surrounding areas are renowned for their beautiful parks and gardens. And with this in mind, here we thought we’d take a closer look at the glorious gardens, located within easy reach of Chichester, that are well worth exploring.

So from rolling parklands to picturesque kitchen gardens, read on as we look at some of our favourites – enjoy!

 

 

West Dean Gardens

West Dean Gardens is a haven of tranquillity located in the heart of the rolling South Downs. It’s quite simply one of the best gardens in all of England. And the great thing is that it’s open to the public too.

With over 90 acres to explore, the gardens here are full of inspiration, whether you’re an avid gardener or not.

The grounds here include a wonderful walled kitchen garden that is one of the finest examples of its kind.

The kitchen garden features an array of exotic blooms and is brimming with a selection of fragrant flowers too. But it’s the huge variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables that take centre stage.

The garden is laid out according to a classic Victorian design. Step through its walls and you will feel almost as though you have been transported back to this bygone era.

 

 

West Dean Gardens is also home to some of the finest glasshouses in the country.

Make sure to explore the garden’s enchanting 300ft Edwardian pergola too. This stunning structure is covered in an array of striking climbing roses and honeysuckle.

The beautiful sunken garden – which was the 2014 winner of the Sussex Heritage Trusts’ Garden and Landscape Award – also recently reopened after undergoing a 6 year restoration project. This area of the gardens is more intimate and sheltered, and is an idyllic sport for enjoying a little peace and quiet.

 

Bishop Palace Gardens

Nestled behind Chichester’s charming cathedral is the Bishop Palace garden. This garden is a real hidden treasure and you’d be hard pressed to find another like it.

The garden is an oasis of calm in the midst of the city and includes everything from wildlife areas to water features.

It has an intriguing history too, and you can find out more about this by perusing the various boards scattered throughout its grounds.

The garden’s beautiful, meandering pathways are perfect for enjoying a leisurely stroll, as you take in all this resplendent garden has to offer.

 

 

Petworth House and Park

The magnificence of this fine stately home is matched only by the undeniable splendour of its gardens.

This 18th century park was designed by acclaimed landscape architect Lancelot Brown. He transformed the garden from a small fruit and vegetable patch into the glorious garden it is today.

The park is an ideal spot for walkers and garden lovers alike. And from here you can enjoy far-reaching views across the South Downs.

The park has provided the inspiration for many an artist, and has even been immortalised in the paintings of Turner!

 

 

The garden is particularly spectacular during the spring, when an array of seasonal blooms, including daffodils, are out in full force.

These grounds are steeped in history too and feature a number of ancient trees, some of which have been standing for nearly a thousand years. Pretty incredible right?!

The estate also features a deer park and is home to a magnificent herd of approximately 900 fallow deer.

According to the National Trust, the herd is thought to be the oldest in England too. So make sure to try and catch a glimpse of these graceful creatures for yourself.

 

 

These are just a selection of the fantastic gardens located near Chichester.

Fancy exploring these floral wonderlands for yourself, and looking for the ideal place to stay during your trip? Then here at the Crouchers Hotel we can help. As one of the best Chichester hotels, we’re the perfect option.

For more information, simply contact us today by giving us a call on 01243 784 995 and a member of our friendly team will be happy to help you with your enquiries.

Posted in Chichester, Things To Do in Chichester | Comments Off

What’s on in Chichester? May Edition!

What’s on in Chichester? May Edition.

We think Chichester is a pretty versatile place. There’s a little bit of something for everyone, and with the summer season fast approaching, starting from next month with the May bank holiday, we thought we’d compile a concise list of some of the exciting things going on in the area.

Farmers’ Market

When and Where?

1st May 2015 in the City Centre 9am-2pm

Our monthly farmers’ market returns to kick off the bank holiday weekend. With stall holders required to rear, bake and/or preserve all the produce they will be selling within a 30 mile radius of Chichester, you can guarantee that the products you will receive will be the best locally sourced items that Chichester has to offer.

We think the local producers need more praise for their fantastic work, so come on down and take a look at their wares and help promote local production!

Address

City Centre
Chichester
West Sussex
PO19 1TY

Chichester Cathedral Peregrines

When and Where?

11th April-05th July at the RSPB Marquee 10am-5pm (4pm Sundays)

A pair of Peregrine Falcons nest in our Cathedral’s south eastern turret every year. From April until mid June, the parents and the little chicks can be viewed in the RSPB marquee located just off the Cloisters Cafe. From June until the 5th of July, the birds will be visible to visitors through telescopes located in the Cathedral Grounds.

This is a free event, so make sure to have this as one of the “must see” items on your itinerary, as the RSPB are reporting only 1,500 breeding pairs in the UK.

Museums at Night – A Night at the Novium

When and Where?

15th May at the Novium Museum 7.30pm-11.30pm

This one is more for the adults. The Novium Museum is taking part in the National Museums at Night event. This offers people the chance to experience a completely different visit to the museum… quite literally in a different light!

With cocktails on arrival, visitors will be able to meet with experts from the museum while they explore behind the scenes. There’s a variety of activities such as wool spinning, still life drawing sessions and a little quiz to test everyone’s knowledge! The night will be rounded off with a Roman soldier biscuit decorating contest, followed by heading to the Belle Isle for a nightcap and some snacks.

This is an annual event, so make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to see the Museum in a completely fun and different way! Space is limited for this event, so make sure you book! Tickets cost £15 per person.

Address

The Novium
Tower Street
Chichester
West Sussex
PO19 1QH

Commando Action

When and Where?

28th May at the Royal Marines Museum 10am-5pm

If it’s more of a family day out you are looking for, where everyone can join in, why not take a look at the Royal Marines Museum and join them for their Commando Action Day?

This gives visitors the opportunity to become a Marine for a day, so be prepared to tackle their assault courses and explore the military vehicles. There will also be real Marines taking part in interactive displays with the “new recruits”, so don’t expect to be taking a back seat… get stuck in!

Address

Royal Marines Museum
Esplanade
Portsmouth Southsea
Hampshire
PO4 9PX

We’re hoping there’ll be something that we’ve listed to pique your interest into coming to visit Chichester. This is also only a small selection of the many events that Chichester has going on in May. If you are in need of somewhere to stay during your visit and are looking for Chichester hotels to stay in, don’t hesitate to contact us on 01243 784995 and speak to one of our friendly team members to see what we can do for you!

Posted in Things To Do in Chichester | Comments Off

How to Make a Good Holiday Great

Earlier this month, you may have read a news story about a 3750-year-old carving; a customer service complaint originating in ancient Mesopotamia. Ok, it wasn’t quite like those awful reviews on TripAdvisor that we’ve all seen, but it does serve to highlight the importance of maintaining great customer service. Even thousands of years ago, people still wanted to be treated with respect for their custom.

 

Customer service is just one aspect of a holiday that makes a good trip great. After all, receiving a poor reception at the reception is only going to blight the entire experience. You want to feel looked after, cared for, understood and your every need served by capable, knowledgeable staff.

 

As one of the finest hotels in Chichester, we like to think we know a thing or two about getting the most out of your vacation. So here are our top tips to turning a good holiday into a great one, one you’ll never forget.

 

Research and Research

Every tourist destination, from Tunisia to Torquay, has secret little spots that a lot of people don’t know about. With a little research, you can discover hitherto unknown locations to call your own. Hidden gardens, lip-smackingly delicious eateries and spiffing landscape scenery that create a holiday unique to you. All you’ve got to do is hunt them down.

 

A Fresh Perspective

 

 

If you’re returning to the same spot for your vacation, there’s a chance you’ll fall into habit and routine. Yes, that quaint little pub does offer an excellent mixed grill; those beaches are sandier than any other, but what about everything you’re not seeing by visiting the same places again and again? On your next holiday, why not pledge to see something you’ve never seen before? Embrace that spirit of adventure.

 

A New Experience

Speaking of the spirit of adventure, why not aim to do something you’ve never done too? It’s all very well seeing new things, but doing new things will only serve to enhance your holiday. Once you’ve researched where you’re going, cook up a list of things you’d like to try but never have. Maybe that’s horse-riding, maybe it’s hang-gliding, or simply walking a certain stretch of this green and pleasant land. Whatever it is, try it!

 

Bond with Loved Ones

Ok, so far we’ve talked about things to do – but that’s not all holidays are. It’s a time to spend with the family, building quality bonds. So when planning activities, make sure it’s something the whole family can enjoy! If there’s something you really, really wish to do that isn’t family-friendly, balance that out by doing something that’s kid-centric too.

 

Create a Tradition

Traditions are great for holidays – it gives everybody something to look forward to. If you don’t have a tradition already, now’s the chance to create one that’s unique for you and your loved ones. Perhaps you could collect postcards of the area, or take a family photograph at an iconic location (or pulling the silliest face!) or even make a holiday cocktail. Whatever it is, it’ll bring you and your loved ones together, and helps put your own stamp on a holiday.

 

Relax

Look, vacations can be manic. You work so hard to squeeze every last drop out of your holiday that you end up forgetting why you went away in the first place. So on at least one day, stop, take a deep breath, and just relax. Enjoy the countryside, soak up the sun, read that book you’ve always meant to but never got ‘round to reading. Having a little you time is precisely what a holiday is about.

 

Where better to relax than at a charming country hotel like Crouchers, nestled in the countryside, close to the historic city of Chichester? We’d be absolutely delighted to meet you and help craft the holiday you deserve. For more information, simply contact us on 01243 784 995 and our cheerful staff will be happy to assist with your enquiries.

Posted in Chichester | Comments Off

Chichester: The Destination of Choice

English Tourism Week is almost upon us. This week-long celebration is designed to showcase all that this green and pleasant land has to offer, highlighting the vibrancy and quality of the visitor experiences provided by the English tourism industry.

This year, English Tourism Week will be held between the 14th and 22nd of March. The event will see a number of exciting activities take place across the country, kick-starting the tourism season in style.

Inspired by this, and in honour of English Tourism Week, here we give a guide to why the city of Chichester is the ultimate English holiday destination.

Beautiful Countryside

Chichester is surrounded by some truly breathtaking countryside, and is a haven for walking enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. So why not lose yourself in the beauty of the West Sussex countryside by exploring one of its many scenic walking routes?

One of the best walks in the area has got to be the South Downs Way. Take a ramble along some of the most spectacular landscapes in southern England.

Amazing Culture

Chichester is a city of culture; from flagship theatres to world renowned galleries, the city really does have it all.

Highlights include the Pallant House Gallery, which is home to one of the best collections of modern British art in the world.

The Chichester Festival Theatre is also worth a visit, having earned itself an international reputation for the high quality of its productions.

The city of Chichester is also steeped in history. It features a number of sites of historic interest, including its famous cathedral, which has stood at the heart of Chichester for over 900 years.

 

Glorious Goodwood

The Chichester district is a sporting aficionado’s dream. Nestled at the base of the Sussex Downs, on the outskirts of Chichester, is the sporting institution that is Goodwood.

This estate is world-renowned for its spectacular range of sporting events which includes horseracing, shooting and motor racing, to name but a few.

Goodwood also holds a number of famous festivals throughout the year, such as the ‘Glorious Goodwood’ horse racing festival. This 5-day event is one of the highlights of the racing calendar, attracting some of the finest horses and jockeys in the world.

Whether or not you’re an avid racing enthusiast, this festival is one you’ll definitely remember. So why not treat yourself to a day at the races and discover the thrills of glorious Goodwood for yourself?

This year’s festival will be held between 28th of July and 1st of August, and you book tickets now.

Something a Little Different

If you’ve ever wondered what the Aurora Borealis looks like, or wanted to see Saturn’s resplendent rings, then head to the South Downs Planetarium in Chichester.

Explore the many secrets of our universe and discover the far-flung constellations that light up the night sky, all from the comfort of a theatre.

The planetarium uses a projector to display life-like images of our solar system across its spectacular domed ceiling, taking you on the trip of a lifetime through the many wonders of our universe. At times the effect is so realistic, it’s easy to forget you’re sat indoors!

The planetarium holds a number of special events throughout the year and you can find out more about upcoming shows here.

Chichester has an incredible range of activities to enjoy, making this city the ideal choice for your next getaway.

And where better to stay than right here with us at Crouchers Hotel? We’re snug in the heart of the West Sussex countryside, close to this charming city, so if you’re looking for beautiful hotels in Chichester that’ll get your heart-racing with delight, contact us today on 01243 784995, to speak to a member of our friendly team.

Posted in Chichester | Comments Off

Exploring Roman Chichester

Chichester is a beautiful and historic city, with plenty to see and do for holidaymakers of all kinds. For those who have a fascination with the past, it’s a perfect place to explore Roman history.

Noviomagus Reginorum

Shortly after the Roman conquest of AD43 began, the Romans established a winter fort in the territory of the friendly Atrebates tribe. They called it Noviomagus Reginorum, meaning new field or new clearing of the Regini, and the legion occupying it was commanded by the future Roman Emperor Vespasian.

It’s thought that this fort played an important role in the continuing Roman Conquest; archaeological work in the area has uncovered significant military storage structures near Fishbourne Roman Palace – but more on that later.

Civitas Reginorum

The Roman army only stayed for a couple of years; after they left, the fort became a civilian settlement and the capital of the Civitas Reginorum, a “client kingdom” of the Roman Empire ruled by Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus. His name is seen on an inscription found in 1723, which was dated to the first century.

In English, it reads, “To Neptune and Minerva, for the welfare of the Divine House, by the authority of Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus, great king of the Britons, the guild of smiths and those in it gave this temple at their own expense.”

Fishbourne Roman Palace

Cogidubnus was thought to have been one of the earliest residents of Fishbourne Roman Palace. Although locals had long known of Roman remains in the area, it wasn’t until 1960 that it was first excavated – and archaeologists soon realised they had something special. It is in fact the largest Roman home in Britain, and contains the largest collection of mosaics kept in place today.

Chichester City

Many features of Chichester itself indicate its importance in Roman times; Stane Street began at its east gate and connected the city to London, and the plan of the Roman city can still be seen in the layout of the modern shopping streets. The original Roman city walls were over two metres thick and, although they have been modified greatly over the centuries, can still be seen today. You can also explore the Novium museum, which houses the remains of the city’s Roman baths complex as well as other collections.

Whether it’s the history of the area, the beautiful countryside and coastline, or more modern attractions that bring you here, at Crouchers we are proud to offer one of the best Chichester hotels available. For more information, to ask about availability or to make a booking, get in touch with us on 01243 784995 today.

Posted in Chichester | Comments Off