Lodsworth – West Sussex

 

The pandemic has without a doubt reinforced the joys of living in a village. Offering beauty, peace, clean air, simplicity, charm, natural surroundings and close local communities to name a few, I feel very blessed to have been living in one myself over the last year. When we’ve been trapped in our homes, having access to stunning surroundings and beautiful walks around fields, woodlands and rivers has been a saving grace. And now that we are able to see people again, just walking around my own village reminds me how close knit all the neighbours are with each other. It’s a completely different experience to living in a city or busy town.

More and more people are now choosing this way of life over urban, seeking a more relaxed and gentle pace that makes life far more enjoyable. This is the busiest year I have ever had with property buyers, with over 60% of clients now from London, most of whom are choosing villages over towns. My local town clients are also seeking a more rural life to enjoy their retirement.

There are many well-known villages in and around Chichester to choose from, but there are also some awe-inspiring hidden gems where you literally step back in time. If you’re the type of home-owner keen to explore off the beaten track villages, yet still be close to daily necessities, excellent schools and a variety of activities, you may wish to consider these rural wonders…

 

East Dean

A lovely sleepy village part of the Upper Lavant Valley, offering a traditional village pond setting with fabulous walks on its doorstep. There’s also a very good pub called the Star and Garter. If you pop across to the next village in Charlton, there’s another called The Fox Goes Free.

 

Chilgrove

Gin and vodka lovers will know this picturesque village is home to Chilgrove Spirits, which is not only sold in local shops but also the likes of Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and Majestics. Most people don’t actually realise Chilgrove is where it is as it’s quite hidden to passers by, but located at the foot of the south downs, there are some super walking trails that take you up to Kingley Vale Nature Reserve or the South Downs Way. There’s also a superb 18th Century inn, The White Horse that’s definitely worth a visit for lunch in between your property viewings.

 

West Stoke

Ideal for those who love their watersports as well as their country walks and cycling, this is a highly regarded South Downs village very close to the waters of Chichester Harbour, Bosham and the Witterings, as well as Goodwood, Kingley Vale Nature Reserve and the South Downs. There’s also a village hall and Wellies Tea Rooms which serves lovely lunches, coffees and teas. For such a small village, it has a lot going for it!

 

North Marden

Another village you may miss on your travels if you didn’t know it was there is North Marden. In the heart of the South Downs National Park, it boasts a stunning 12th Century church with farms and cottages scattered around commanding far reaching views. It’s very much one for those who are looking for a ‘sleepy’ tiny village. There aren’t any shops or a pub, but Chichester is just 7.5 miles away whilst the surrounding villages have some exceptional pubs and shops to enjoy. There are plenty of bridle and foot paths in North Marden however, with easy access to local golf courses, the coast and good schools too.

 

Church Norton

Houses rarely come up for sale in Church Norton as there aren’t many, but its fabulous beach, walking routes and church make it one of my favourite hidden villages. This attractive hamlet sits on the edge of Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve, with nearby Selsey providing all the local shops and facilities you need.

 

Sidlesham

Sidlesham is a large parish which boasts a great pub (Crab & Lobster), church and a primary school. There are wonderful walks, views and also sitting on the edge of the nature reserve, it’s really popular with bird watchers.

 

The South Downs – West Sussex

 

Venturing out between Midhurst and Petworth, you will find some more truly stunning English villages. Still within the South Downs National Park, these in particular have proved more popular with my clients over the last twelve months than they have in fifteen years!

 

Graffham

Graffham offers plenty of walks, cycling routes, two pubs (I highly recommend the White Horse Graffham), church, recreational ground, an outstanding Ofsted rated primary school, and one of the best village shops around that stores everything you could possibly wish for.

  

Lodsworth

It’s not often you can say a small village is home to an excellent pub (The Hollist Arms), award winning shop, church, brewery (Langham), croquet club, tennis courts, hall, a recreational ground, an outdoor gym, playground and a cricket team! Not to mention a vineyard next door (Upperton), with the Cowdray Estate just a five minute’s drive away where you will find a golf club, café and farmshop. But that’s exactly what Lodsworth has to offer – plus plenty of cycling and walking routes on your door step, as well as homes brimming with character.

 

Lurgashall

This is a very pretty English village setting centred around a traditional village green where you will find the ever popular, Noahs Ark Inn, located. There’s also a village shop and post office with a wide range of shops nearby in Midhurst or Petworth.

 

There really are so many lovely hidden village gems in this part of West Sussex, with other favourites of mine including Heyshott, Selham, Lickfold, Boxgrove and The Mardens. For any questions about finding your dream village home in any of these locations, please do get in touch with myself, Jennie Hancock, via e-mail (jh@propertyacquisitions.co.uk), phone (+44 7776452128), or LinkedIn.

The waterside villages in and around Chichester are hugely popular with walkers, cyclists, families and those who enjoy sailing, paddleboarding, kite surfing and so on. However, it’s not just a playground for holidaymakers…

 

Half of the enquiries I have received at Property Acquisitions since the global pandemic began have been from those seeking these waterside locations. Many of them have been cooped up in their homes during the last twelve months – whether working or home schooling (even both!) – so Covid-19 has fuelled the desire even further for a gentler pace of life on a more permanent basis.

 

Various evidence suggests living by the sea can actually have a positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing, and with many stretches of water in and around Chichester, there are plenty of spots to relax and unwind. Without a doubt, living here taps into our basic senses, creating a feeling of tranquillity and escapism for anybody… from watching gentle waves rolling into shore or hearing the wind chiming concerts of ropes clinking against sailing boat masts, to enjoying the smell of fresh clean sea air.

 

As a result, property buyers are prepared to pay a premium, especially in the more popular locations with the focus very much being around having a good sea view or direct access to the water, rather than square footage. There are a variety of properties to suit all budgets however, from as low as half a million up into the millions.

 

Here are some of my favourite waterside hotspots for buyers… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Witterings

East and West Wittering are home to stunning unspoilt coastline. West Wittering is notorious for its long golden sandy beach, popular with runners and dogs walkers as well as those just wanting to lay down and relax by the sea. On calm days, you’ll find the beautiful blue waters dotted with paddle boarders, kayaks and families splashing about in the shallow waters, whilst kite surfers and wind surfers flock when the wind picks up. It’s also incredibly clean being a Blue Flag beach, views are to die for whether the tide is in or out and in the carpark there is The Beach Café which has a superb reputation for its food, drinks and staff. Meanwhile East Wittering has a thriving local community and offers residents a variety of independent shops cafés, and a pretty shingle beach.

The most sought after properties are the large-detached houses dotted along East Strand and West Strand, which rarely come up for sale because they tend to go from generation to generation. Generally, the original owners would have bought these in the 1950’s most likely for under £50,000. Commanding panoramic views over the Solent with direct access to the beach in front, and being so rare, these sell for around £3-£5m if not more now.

 

Itchenor

Itchenor is a very pretty sailing village famed for its yachting facilities, the world renowned Itchenor Sailing Club, and its harbour. A popular hotspot is The Quarterdeck Café behind The Street, which a lot of the locals use when they sail, whilst Andy at the Itchenor Ferry is also a key part of the village. He runs his ferry and water taxi services regularly, linking Itchenor to the footpaths over at Bosham, or he will take you to your boat on the moorings.

In terms of the housing market, there are many picturesque Sussex cottages, but there tends to be a huge premium on the plot value with views and water access all high priority. For example, I recently went to sealed bids on a £3.5million property which was being sold off-market on one of the village’s most sought after waterside addresses. It came with a jetty and stunning water views but needed updating, and all of the interested parties were cash buyers. All represented by buying agents, the property sold well over the asking price. If you have a lower budget however, then it is possible to buy houses close to the water on The Street in Itchenor. These tend to be terraced houses ranging from £900,000 for something that needs some work, up to £1.5million.

 

Bosham

The waters of Bosham sit between two tidal creeks and are very popular with sailors, migrating wildfowl, as well as those who enjoy their sunsets and walks too. Many feel Bosham still has an enchanting old world feel to it, and it is arguably one of the prettiest Harbour villages. There are some excellent tea rooms and some great independent shops within Bosham Walk. One of my favourite pubs is The Anchor Bleu – a 300 year old building which overlooks the water and offers an exquisite alfresco dining setting. This area has become a very popular place for people to live, in fact, one of our colleagues is building a house here now as we speak!

The main coastal address is Bosham Hoe. A large proportion of people are permanent residents, but there are still small cottages occupied by weekenders from London, which cost between £800,000 – £1million. You can also find lower prices further down the lane in a quiet cul de sac called Tuffs Hard. Here there are semi and detached 1950’s houses with nice gardens, garages and water views for around £950,000/£1million. These rarely come to market however and are like gold dust for weekenders in particular, as they’re ripe for renovation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Church Norton

Church Norton is a secluded spot that’s a part of Pagham Harbour, offering a quieter pace of life and better value per square foot when purchasing property. People like it here because there’s a lot less traffic, plus it boasts a quiet shingle beach and a small church enriched in history which is thoroughly enjoyed by walkers and birdwatchers due to its rural peaceful setting.

Properties rarely come to market in Church Norton, so buyers will pay a premium to live here. Typically, homes vary from a farm cottage and a modern 80’s home to a stunning Georgian house, so there is something for everyone. Prices start from approximately £500,000 and can go up into the millions.

 

Birdham

Birdham is another popular sailing village, where you will find a number of boats moored at Chichester Yacht Basin and Birdham Pool – the largest purpose built marina in Chichester Harbour. There are some lovely walks on the Manhood Peninsula whilst the village boasts a cricket club (Stirlands), Birdham Animal Feeds which specialises in raw dog food and natural treats, and Birdham Stores.

On the way into the village is Church Lane there are a variety of 1950’s, 1980’s and period houses, with prices starting from around half a million. Lock Lane and Martins Lane are closer to the water where you’re probably looking at around £1million plus for a property, whilst Westlands Estate sit right on the water, comprising of small bungalows ripe for renovation up to large detached houses. Depending on what you are buying, homes here could cost anything from £1million -£3million plus.

 

Dell Quay 

Dell Quay is a very quiet and tiny village nestled deep within Chichester Harbour. It has a great sailing club offering a relaxed, friendly feel as well as the Crown and Anchor pub which sits right on the water’s edge and is renowned for producing exceptional food. Dell Quay is often a pit stop for walkers due to its surrounding footpaths, as well as those crabbing from the quay at high tide.

 

For any questions about finding your dream rural or coastal home in and around Chichester with Property Acquisitions, please do get in touch with Jennie Hancock via e-mail (jh@propertyacquisitions.co.uk), phone (+44 7776452128), or LinkedIn.

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