Chidham Coastal Path

West Sussex, England

The trail:

  • Location: West Sussex, England
  • Categories: Spring / Summer / Autumn / Winter / Marine west coast / Coastal / Marsh / Rural / Sea / River
  • Duration: 3-4 Hours
  • Distance: 7 Miles

Walking the trail:

  • Summary: A relaxing easy flat coastal path around Chidham which trails through an area of outstanding natural beauty on the south coast of England. A beautiful harbour, countryside and wildlife are waiting for walkers as well is a local pub to enjoy once finished.

Well seeing as we are in in a state of lock down, (This being written during the Corona-virus lock down of 2020) it gives me a chance to show off some fine countryside and coastal walking around where I live in the south of England. I don't feel its my place to attempt any words of wisdom on the current period of isolation for many, I just hope everyone is being positive and doing the best they can, including making the best of getting out for their daily walks/runs or cycling.

I live in Southbourne which is a coastal village situated between Portsmouth and Chichester. I moved here at beginning of 2019 to renovate an old Edwardian bungalow (one of my part time hobbies) and so far I have absolutely loved my time living in this area. To have easy access to fantastic coastal paths directly south and then the woods and fields of the countryside northwards towards the South Downs is pretty special. 

My favourite day walk from my front door has always been the coastal path route that circles around Chidham. (directly south of Nutbourne) From this path you have great views of Thorney Island, Bosham and Chichester Harbour, all areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The tip of the island is Cobnor Foreshore (a saltmarsh) which has limited access at high tide, although I believe it is only affected at the peak of high tide. There is no other path so make sure you check tide times before you attempt the walk. 

This area is great for wildlife especially birds. You can spot Curlews, Oystercatchers, Redshanks etc. I spotted barn owl a few weeks back during early evening which was awesome, unfortunately i did not have my camera on me! Deers also seem to like the fields and trees inland, i have seen them quite close to the path a few times.

The route has a bit of everything, walking through farmers fields, woods, along the sea front, past sailing clubs and marinas. Best of all its totally flat so a really simple walk for all levels of fitness. If you are looking for a relaxing day out along the coast you wont get much better especially on a spring or summers day, even better if its evening during sunset hours. The south coast around the area is always pretty amazing for sunset views. 

One of my favourite things about this walk is how quiet it is. You hardly see anyone walking the perimeter. I guess its due to limited road access in Chidham so the walk to Cobnor Foreshore from the main road may be too far for many.  Absolutely perfect for me and my currentsocial distancing exercise.

I walk this route straight from  my front door but logistically for someone travelling to walk (once lockdown is over of course) i would suggest the best place to park would be at the Bosham Inn pub (postcode PO18 8PW) which takes you straight onto the coastal path in a clockwise direction so you will have the lovely views of Bosham church and harbour at the beginning of your walk. Parking at the inn will also make sure you get that well deserved drink at the end of you walk! Its a really nice place to relax, eat and drink. If you start here the route is 6.7 miles in total.

If you want an extended coastal walk you can start from Prinsted which is a stunning little village full of thatched roof cottages just south of Southbourne. I can provide routes either way if anyone is interested. This would make the circular walk 9 miles in total.

I never get bored of walking this trail, there's always something new and interesting to see and enjoy. For now ill keep on walking and running the route enjoying whats on the doorstep. Hopefully you will be interested in visiting too soon. if so don't hesitate to ask any questions.

I will be doing a feature on another local coastal island circular trail shortly. Thorney Island, coming soon. 

Take care for now and keep safe all.