Coast and Countryside

The South of England offers visitors a wide variety of stunning landscapes; visitors to Chichester are especially blessed, as our location puts you within easy reach of both coast and countryside. Here is a short guide to some of the astounding natural attractions that you will find within easy reach of Crouchers Country Hotel.

Coast

One of the most striking geographical features is Chichester Harbour; this is a large natural harbour which is one England’s few remaining undeveloped coastal areas. It is, therefore, a major haven for local wildlife as well as being a very beautiful area. Ecologically, the mudflats and saltings are of great significance, with rich plant life and a multitude of tiny invertebrates providing a vital food source for thousands of wildfowl and wading birds.

For visitors, one of the most popular areas around Chicester Harbour is West Wittering; this little village boasts beautiful beaches, and is set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – as we’ve written about before. Best of all, it’s just a short drive away from us here at Crouchers.

Countryside

The South Downs National Park is the newest in the country; it became fully operational in 2011 and encompasses a total of 628 square miles of beautiful, unspoilt countryside. The rolling chalk hills of the South Downs give way to the open heathland and woodland of the Western Weald, and almost the entire park is within an hour’s drive of Chichester.

One particularly beautiful area to visit is Kingley Vale, a National Nature Reserve which includes a group of ancient yew trees which are amongst the oldest living things in the entirety of Britain. The yew forest here is one of the finest in Europe, and although the nature trail here is steep and difficult in places, you’ll find it a very rewarding walk. Kingley Vale is just over half an hour’s drive from Crouchers Country Hotel.

If you are looking for hotels in Chichester from which to explore these sights and many more, here at Crouchers we would be happy to welcome you. We offer comfortable, luxurious rooms, a stylish bar and a wonderful restaurant with an excellent menu, all with a warm and friendly atmosphere. For more information, simply get in touch.

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Peregrines at the Cathedral

Whilst in our previous blog we suggested bird watching at Chichester Harbour, it is by no means the only place to see some stunning wildlife. Right now, one of the most exciting places for ornithologists in the city is the cathedral, as it’s home to a pair of breeding peregrine falcons.

The cathedral has long been a breeding place for peregrine falcons; whilst their natural breeding places are usually in sheer cliffs, the tall spire is a perfect manmade alternative. However this year has seen something of a change, as the long-lived female who has been seen over the last thirteen breeding seasons didn’t return with the spring. Instead, there is a new peregrine female, who had three males vying for her attention over the last few weeks.

Having made her choice, last week it was confirmed that the first egg had been laid, to the delight of observers including the Sussex Ornithological Society, who supplied the nest box.  According to experts, peregrines can lay up to four eggs, but at the time of writing only one has been seen. Both parents will help to hatch and nurture the chick, which is expected to hatch around the beginning of May.

Visitors to Chichester will be able to follow the peregrine family at the Cathedral’s Cloisters Café, with live footage beamed to a screen and a host of well-placed telescopes as part of the RSPB’s Date with Nature project, which runs until the 6th July.

You can also view the peregrines on a webcam at the RSPB’s website, which is focussed on the nestbox so that you can see the parents protecting their egg and keeping it warm.

Peregrine Falcon

The peregrine falcon is a bird of prey renowned for its speed; its high speed hunting dives reach 200 miles per hour, making it the fastest member of the animal kingdom. They suffered a population crash in the 1960s and were endangered or extinct in many parts of the world, however thanks to conservation and protection work their population has bounced back in Britain. They are wonderful birds to watch, and we will be keeping an eager eye on their progress!

The peregrines are just one of many attractions in the city and surrounding area this spring and summer, making it a wonderful time to visit. If you are looking for Chichester hotels for your stay, here at the Crouchers Country Hotel we would be very happy to welcome you!

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Embrace the Environment: Outdoor Activities in Chichester

Chichester is gorgeous place to visit, whether you’re after a relaxing getaway or you’re looking to explore the countryside this English paradise can offer you everything. One thing that we love about Chichester is the truly spectacular environment, so we’re going to share all of the exciting outdoor activities that you can take advantage of in Chichester and the surrounding areas.

Bird Watching

Chichester Harbour is an excellent place to enjoy a spot of bird watching, the great thing about this activity is that everyone and anyone can take part. More than 55,000 birds live and migrate to this area each year, so you are certainly likely to see an array of beautiful birds when you visit the harbour. You could see anything from an oystercatcher to a grey heron! This certainly is an incredibly exciting activity. Find out more about the bird watching in Chichester by visiting the Chichester Harbour Conservancy.

Sailing

With Chichester Harbour right on your doorstep and the Chichester Ship Canal, a trip to this part of England isn’t complete without stepping off dry land on onto the water.  You can take advantage of an array of water tours from Chichester Harbour Water Tours, where you can simply sit back, relax and enjoy the stunning West Sussex scenery. This is the perfect way to enjoy a warm English summer day or even if it’s raining!

Ballooning 

For any thrill seekers out there you needn’t stay on land or water, you can take to the air in an amazing balloon safari. This is an absolutely fabulous way to see the breathtaking beauty of Chichester and the surrounding areas from the sky! If you’re travelling with your partner this truly is a romantic activity that you will certainly remember for the rest of your life.

Whether it is excitement or relaxation that you’re after West Sussex has it all, this is just a taste what amazing activities Chichester has to offer. For hotels in Chichester look no further than Crouchers Hotel. We can provide you with a luxurious, homely setting where you can relax in style after a day out exploring this wonderful part of England. For more information in regards to our accommodation or to book with us please don’t hesitate to get in contact, our friendly team are always happy to help!

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Amazing Attractions to Enhance Your Stay in West Sussex

The city of Chichester perfectly blends old and new; with winding medieval streets and the impressive 900 year old Cathedral complemented with boutique shops, a great selection of restaurants and varied nightlife. To the north of Chichester are the rolling South Downs, which offer tranquillity, breathtaking scenery and wildlife, and to the south there is the Chichester seascape; offering beaches and charming fishing villages like Bognor Regis. There really is something to offer everyone in the Chichester area, and if you’re tempted to stay here then Croucher’s is one of the leading Chichester hotels, offering comfort, luxury and the perfect location to reach the best attractions.

Chichester Cathedral

This impressive cathedral has stood at the heart of Chichester for 900 years. It displays a combination of architectural features from the original Norman sections and a Victorian spire. The cathedral is also famous for its art work, some of which dates back hundreds of years; such as the 12th century Lazarus Reliefs and the Lambert Barnard paintings. There are also more modern works; including a window by Marc Chagall, a tapestry by John Piper and a painting by Graham Sutherland.

 

Arundel Castle

If you are staying in West Sussex there is no way you can miss Arundel Castle, which is only a half an hour drive from our hotel. This is one of the best preserved castles in England, and has been in the family of the Earl of Norfolk for nearly 1000 years. A lot of the original features of the fortress survive, such as the Norman keep, gatehouse and barbican, however the house itself was completely rebuilt in the late 19th century. Visitors are able to explore the grounds and gardens, or for a higher admission price you can also discover the keep and castle rooms. There are regular special events taking place, such as a “Normans and Crusaders” battle during Easter, and in July they will host an authentic 15th century jousting competition.

 

Drover’s Estate

Drover’s Estate is a 20 minute drive from the hotel, north of Chichester and nestled in the undulating South Downs hills. This is a gorgeous estate for walking, relaxing and observing wildlife. This estate, which is managed by the National Trust, has been described as a tapestry which combines farmland, grassland, woods and hedgerows. Wander through the pastures, which are punctuated with stone barns, or climb Hat Hill to experience the stunning views across to Chichester. There are often organised bat walks at Drover’s, as the old train tunnel is home to 12 different species of bat; some of which are extremely rare.

 

Fishbourne Roman Palace and Museum
Just up the road from Croucher’s Country hotel is the charming village of Fishbourne. Set on the Fishbourne channel, this village has a rich history which includes smugglers, invasions and Roman settlers. Here you will find the Fishbourne Roman Palace and Museum, which houses the remains of the largest Roman home in Britain. Discover the largest and oldest collection of mosaics in Britain which were laid more than 2000 years ago. You can also wander around the country’s oldest gardens which make up the centrepiece of the building. This fascinating piece of history is not to be missed!

 

There is so much to see in and do in this beautiful and varied part of the country. Chichester provides a cosmopolitan base for shopping and entertainment, but further afield you will find stunning countryside and surprising cultural places. 

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Wonderful West Wittering

Whilst there’s plenty to see and do in Chichester all year round, many of our visitors like to explore the surrounding area too, and the pretty village of West Wittering – just a few miles away – is a very popular destination. Getting there is very easy – it’s just a few minutes’ drive, or a short bus journey from the stop just outside the hotel.

West Wittering Beach

One of the biggest attractions of the area is the beach – a beautiful sandy beach with excellent water quality and a Blue Flag Award for safety and cleanliness. It’s patrolled by lifeguards in the summer months, making it perfect for family days out. Be aware that dogs are not allowed on a large section of the beach between May and September, and that windsurfing and kitesurfing is often restricted to members of the local windsurfing club.

RSPB Nature Reserves

West Wittering is set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so you will find stunning scenery and plenty of flora and fauna throughout the area. The RSPB are due to open a new nature reserve nearby at Medmerry this year, in addition to the reserve at Pagham Harbour, giving visitors to the area even more access to this beautiful landscape.

East Head

The East Head, the sand dune spit to the east of the entrance to Chichester Harbour, is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and the wetlands here are considered to be of international importance. Managed by the National Trust, it’s a popular site for birdwatchers in the winter and a wonderful place for a walk at any time of the year – dogs are allowed on the East Head. If you’re lucky, you may even see a seal basking on the mudflats.

Here at Croucher’s Country Hotel, we offer luxurious accommodation to guests looking for a Wittering hotel, providing a perfect place to stay which is within easy reach of both city and coast. Whether you look forward to a long day lazing in the sunshine, a cycle ride through the nature reserves, or a walk through beautiful coastal scenery spotting seals, we look forward to welcoming you.

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