Although having lived in Chichester for many years and walking along the Chichester Canal, I had not been on a boat cruise until just recently.
Along with a group of people we enjoyed a leisurely trip on board The Richmond’ with a cold, Christmas lunch along with mulled wine, mince pies, tea/coffee and a ‘Christmas Surprise’. It was a relaxing and enjoyable time with a great team of friendly staff to ensure you had a good time.
Boat trips vary from cream teas, to fish and chips, Father Christmas trips for children and Easter specials.
We were able to imagine what Turner must have seen in his painting of this canal with the cathedral in the background – depicting the setting sun about to touch the western horizon. His wonderful orb providing a dreamy, lemon-yellow back light for the cathedral’s spire and his spectral schooner, black and skeletal, lying anchored on the newly-completed canal.
Then, it was a highway to the sea, but now a century has gone by since the last barge brought goods to Chichester. The Chichester Canal Trust aim to maintain, preserve and improve the navigation between Chichester and the harbour and provide amenities and attractions for visitors and local people. The Trust depends on volunteers (130), who crew the boats, run the shop(bake cakes) and do restoration and maintenance.
In the last few years it has undergone a lot of work and more and more visitors are attracted, especially in the summer months.