The Solent

Chichester Portsmouth Cowes Southampton Beaulieu Yarmouth


Chichester is very popular and, as a result, can be rather crowded. Much of the harbour and most of the marinas are very tidal. There is not a great deal to see once ashore - the area is best described as 'scenic'.

The entrance is straightforward to find, and is usually relatively easy, but it deserves a few warnings. Firstly, the bar can be difficult or dangerous on a strong ebb with any swell running. Secondly, you really do need to follow the bouyage very carefully - there are several sandbanks which can be treacherous when the tide is high.

Begin by finding West Pole:

chichester west pole

It is not a good idea to cut any corners here unless you have local knowledge. After West Pole you find the Bar Beacon:

chichester bar beacon

Now you come to the rather narrow harbour entrance. It can be busy, and you may have fun dodging people coming out.

Do NOT be tempted to take short cuts - this shows a sand bank awash at mid tide. The banks are very steep to - you may find yourself in 10 metres of water with a sand bank not much more than 20 or 30 metres away.


East Head is a very popular anchorage, and crowded in the summer and at weekends.

chichester east head

The moorings at Itchenor - there are several visitors' buoys clearly marked, although you may have to raft up. There is a water taxi to the pub.

chichester itchenor

And, finally, the entrance to Chichester Marina. There is a lock with a waiting pontoon. Near High Water there is usually free flow.

chichester marina

All photographs copyright CNH. Please ask if you wish to use them and please acknowledge the source.