Last month I saw Half a Sixpence at the Chichester Festival Theatre (a charming new musical version by Downton Abbey-creator Julian Fellowes with music from British composing duo George Stiles and Anthony Drewe) and while Chichester is quite easily accessible from London by train, my friend decided to drive there so we could do some sightseeing along the way. We stopped at various scenic points in South Downs National Park until eventually we hit the idyllic village of Bosham with its beautiful church and quay.
Bosham is the epitome of a picturesque English seaside destination. In the 8th century it was the 6th most important town in Sussex but over the years it has grown much quieter, making it the perfect location for a Sunday afternoon stroll and summer's picnic.
As soon as you've parked your car in the large pay & display car park (do use this for safety reasons, as several of the roads close to the quay flood every day during high tide), you'll see a row of cute shops, which of course belong to a seaside destination. In addition to the more typical wares of postcards and quirky gifts, however, they also house art and antiques, making them well worth a browse.
Right next door the shops is the Holy Trinity Church, which dates back to Anglo-Saxon times. It's a beautiful example of an old English town church and the gardens have several benches which allow visitors to take a break in the shade (I spent some time reading here, it was lovely).
As you head on, the end of the path running alongside the church goes straight to the quay, which is the most iconic location within Bosham, and rightfully so. Located just a few miles away from the city of Chichester, Bosham Quay is one of the inlets of Chichester Harbour and with the tide changing every day, if you visit during low tide you can walk on the parts that are usually under water.
These areas were green and slimy though and I don't advice walking on them unless you have appropriate footwear, but there was a small pier which was a little more kept and easier to navigate. Walk to the end and turn around to get the most beautiful view over the quay and harbour with the church in the background. Make sure you bring a picnic rug with you as well, as there is a large grassy field just in front of the harbour and it's lovely to just take a moment there for a picnic and watch the boats go by.
Bosham is really rather small and besides the handful of shops, the church and quay there isn't much more to see or do for visitors. However, if you're in the area for something else (such as a theatre trip in Chichester or a visit to one of the landmarks in South Downs National Park), it's well worth stopping by for a few hours on a sunny day for a 99 Flake and soaking up the seaside atmosphere.