In the areas surrounding Chichester, there are so many wonderful places to live that it can sometimes be hard to choose the right town or village to call home. One of the larger areas to the south of Chichester is the Manhood Peninsula, which has a number of semi-rural villages and smaller towns like Selsey within it. The name is thought to originate from the Anglo-Saxon word “maene-wudu” meaning ‘common wood’ or ‘common land’ rather than a reference to the residents’ masculinity!
The Manhood Peninsula is situated to the south of the A27 on the coast and is one of the last relatively undeveloped stretches of coastline between Newhaven and Southampton. To help you understand the best areas to live within this unique stretch of land, we have compiled an area guide to The Manhood Peninsula to assist you.
Situated at the south-western tip of the Manhood Peninsula, this traditional seaside village has an ageless charm which is incredibly popular with its residents and the thousands of sunseekers who flock here every summer. The area is known primarily for its beach and is a great location for professionals who work in the city but would prefer to spend their weekends and evenings in an idyllic coastal setting. West Wittering is also known for its rich Norman history, and its church has thirteenth-century architectural features that are hard to miss.
If you live in West Wittering, the beach is right on your doorstep, so you can benefit from walking the dogs along the coast. If you happen to get tired of spending time by the sea, you can visit one of the coffee shops in the village. Award-winning actress Kate Winslet lives in the area, so you might even bump into her!
What to do in West Wittering
- Bracklesham Bay
This predominantly shingle beach is one of the most popular beaches in the south-east and is part of the West Wittering coastline. From this Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) there is a great view of the sea, where you can easily see across the Solent towards the Isle of Wight. Fossil hunters also love spending time here, as the Bracklesham Beds are visible at low tides and filled with ancient and pre-historic relics. Bracklesham Beach continues along the shore to East Wittering Beach and eventually all the way to West Wittering.
- West Wittering Beach
This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a great place to take your family on a fun day out, and actually has the blue flag award for cleanliness and safety. You can spend time at the beach café and admire the views all year round, no matter what the weather may be. The beach area is managed by the West Wittering Private Estate, which attracts thousands of visitors in the summer. West Wittering also has its own sailing club, or you can even try out something a little more extreme at the Kite Surfing centre.
- East Head Beach
With excellent views to Goodwood, Chichester Harbour and Hayling Island, East Head beach has been designated a Special Site of Scientific Interest and is managed by The National Trust. It’s situated on the eastern side of the entrance to Chichester Harbour, and it is also considered to be one of the best beaches in the area. The wonderful dunes and salt marshes also provide a great habitat for many rare species of plant and bird life.
Known as a haven for sailors and boat owners, this small village is a great area for families and individuals who want to settle down for a life by the sea. Despite being a small parish, this village has many amenities and a great range of houses and even flats available to buy or rent. It’s known as one of the prettiest villages in Chichester Harbour, so would certainly be the perfect place to live if you are looking for a tranquil place to live.
As an area, Itchenor has a wealth of history and was believed to be established by the Romans in 43 AD and was then resettled by the South Saxons. The name Itchenor takes its name from the Saxon who laid claim to the area, ‘Icca’. The small village is so famous, it was actually featured in the Domesday book, commissioned by William the Conqueror. Later on, the Itchenor shipyard played an important role in the Napoleonic Wars, when HMS Pelorus and HMS Curacao were launched from the shipyard.
What to do in Itchenor
- Chichester Harbour Conservancy
Based on the Itchenor coast, the Chichester Harbour Conservancy runs Chichester Harbour as a nature reserve. They focus their time on a number of restorative projects, which help to maintain the coastal areas of Chichester which are known as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Thanks to the Conservancy’s effort, wildlife has been able to thrive in the area, whilst providing a recreational area enjoyed by all Itchenor’s residents.
- Itchenor Ferry
Itchenor is often known as a wonderful base from which to explore Chichester Harbour, thanks to the Itchenor to Bosham Ferry and the Harbour tours. It runs from April to the end of October and is a great way to see the harbour if you don’t own your own boat on the journey to the southern part of the Bosham peninsula. The ferry has actually been established for over 400 years, so has a lot of history to discover.
- Itchenor Sailing Club
If you have your own boat or simply love sailing, Itchenor Sailing Club has a nationwide reputation, with its annual Junior Fortnight. This event was established in 1972 and is still running to this day, being loved by both sailors and boating enthusiasts. Many members of Itchenor Sailing Club are actually London-based locals, who own a second home in the area. The maritime industry has always been at the heart of Itchenor, with shipbuilding being the biggest source of employment and economy in this wonderful village.
Birdham is on the inner reaches of Chichester Harbour, about five miles south-west of the city of Chichester. This sailing village is one of the busiest sailing ports in West Sussex and is actually only a few miles from Bracklesham Bay and West Wittering Beach. If you are looking for a tranquil and relaxing place to live, Birdham would be the perfect place for you. You can enjoy the gorgeous village which has a 14th-century church and village shop, whilst being close enough to the cathedral city of Chichester.
What to do in Birdham
- Birdham Pool Marina
With accommodation for 265 boats and yachts, Birdham Pool is the largest purpose-built marina in Chichester Harbour. With plenty of shops and bars for you to enjoy, this is an idyllic boating location which has plenty of character. The boatyard can also undertake most types of yacht maintenance, with petrol and diesel available for your Chichester harbour boating trips. As the marina is set within the estuaries’ channels, it is also completely protected from all weathers.
- Chichester Marina and Salterns Copse
If you don’t own a boat, Birdham is a great place to walk and enjoy the gorgeous Chichester marina, where you can admire the various boats and Birdham’s natural beauty. If you want to enjoy a longer walk, you can enjoy a pleasant circular walk up to Dell Quay passing through the wooded area of Salterns Copse.
Would you like to buy or rent a property on the Manhood Peninsula?
As an independent estate agent established in Chichester in 1991, at Hancock and Partners, we have extensive experience in the local property market including all areas of the Manhood Peninsula. If you are interested in buying or renting a home on The Manhood, we would be more than happy to help you. Every one of our senior team is a long-term local resident, so we can help you find the property of your dreams which suits your requirements exactly. You are welcome to call us on 01243 531111, and you can start your journey with us.