Discover Chichester Cathedral: A Guide for Families

5th Jul 2024
News category

Our ancient Cathedral stands proudly in the heart of charming Chichester – a city where history, culture and community come together to create unforgettable experiences for the whole family. 

In our latest Summer of Discoveries featured articles, we are delighted to help you uncover not only the wonderful array of family events and activities taking place here at the Cathedral this summer but also to highlight a few other family-friendly attractions you won’t want to miss.

Family Workshops and Self-Guided Tours

This summer, we are excited to present a new self-guided tour for our younger visitors. Featuring beautiful illustrations of some of our ancient treasures, this engaging trail will keep young minds active with questions to answer and items to spot from floor to ceiling. After exploring the Cathedral, why not walk through the cloisters and enjoy some refreshments in the beautiful walled garden of Cloisters Kitchen and Garden? If you’re visiting on Wednesday 24th July, a Teddy Bear Picnic Adventure is taking place at 10.30am. Bring your favourite teddy bear and enjoy an interactive storytelling workshop with Chris North, using props, instruments, arts, and crafts to tell the story of the teddy bears' picnic. A packed lunch will be provided (booking essential).

Monumental Monarchs and Missing Treasures Workshops

We will also be hosting two family workshops this summer, designed to bring history to life through art and creativity. On Saturday 27th July, our Monumental Monarchs workshop will explore our renowned Tudor panel paintings by Lambert Barnard, featuring none other than the turbulent Tudor king, Henry VIII. The interactive session offers an array of arts and crafts, including adding embellishments to Henry’s robes and trying out portraiture skills by drawing the missing Kings and Queens from the panels, which were damaged during the English Civil War and when the Cathedral spire fell in 1861! Participants are invited to come dressed in their royal finery, and we will also have some costumes available to try on.

Then, on Saturday 10th August, we invite you to become a history detective at our Missing Treasures and The Civil War workshop. Throughout the session, we will explore the damage inflicted upon our Cathedral during the Siege of Chichester amidst the English Civil War, with activities including brass rubbing and reimagining the lost treasures.

Both workshops have two sessions at 10.00am and 11.00am. Booking is advised, and a small fee is requested for the 10th August workshop to cover the cost of materials.

 Magical Evenings at Chichester Cathedral

In a city famous for its theatre, we are thrilled to be holding two magical family-friendly outdoor theatre evenings in our beautiful Paradise garden. On Wednesday 31st July, enjoy a side-splitting, slapstick performance of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor by the Pantaloons, and on Sunday 4th August, Illyria Theatre will bring the magical Adventures of Dr Doolittle to the stage.

The Cathedral as seen from Paradise, the green space in the cathedral Cloisters

Discover The Big Hoot

Any visitor to Chichester this summer will not fail to notice the incredible owl sculptures dotted around our city, thanks to The Big Hoot Chichester and Arundel organised by Chestnut Tree House. We are delighted to be hosting an owl here within the Cathedral grounds, and there are a further nine owls within the city walls. Each owl is uniquely designed by a talented artist, giving it its own character and name. There are 30 owls to discover across the district from now until 1st September.

Exploring Chichester

Chichester boasts an array of charming shops and eateries to enjoy. On South Street, two memory-making independent toy shops, Kids Stuff and Whirligig, will make eyes and smiles grow wide. Also on South Street is Shake-A-Delic, offering delicious milkshakes and smoothies! Chichester BID has created an independent business directory for those looking to ensure their time in Chichester is unique and supports local businesses.

Shops in the city centre

Green Spaces

Once you’ve had your fill of the city, there are plenty of green spaces nearby where you can enjoy a picnic and run off some energy. For a tranquil picnic spot visit our picturesque Bishop's Palace Gardens or for the more adventurous there is Priory Park off North Street, which boasts a large playground. Alternatively, wander down South Street towards Chichester Canal, where you can take a boat trip, hire a rowing boat, or simply enjoy a lovely stroll, taking in the buzz of wildlife along the canal. 

Cathedral seen from the Bishop's Palace Gardens

Visit our What’s on page for full details on dates and timings for our events and to book your tickets.

You can find out more about family events and activities taking place across the district from the Chichester Family Arts Network here>>

5th Jul 2024
News category