Canoe Days Out

Sussex - Chichester Harbour (tidal) - Bosham to East Head (& return)

This page was submitted by David and Rhoda Wilson (E-mail this submitter)
How to get there - Turn off A259 (may be shown as A27 on older maps) at roundabout 6km west of Chichester. Follow signs for Old Bosham / Quay.

For those with SatNav the postcode is PO18 8HR.

Get a map with driving directions to start (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)

Suggested Launch Site - The hard at Bosham Quay at any state of tide; or from the Shore Road hard at high water (the latter is muddy at low water). Parking in Shore Road is free BUT FLOODS AT HIGH TIDE (photo), otherwise pay-and-display 200m. from Quay (drop canoe off, then park)

General Description - Sheltered tidal creek and best at high tide (nearly same time as Portsmouth). Pleasantly wooded banks, much bird life and the occasional harbour seal. Bosham is where King Canute defied the tide. His daughter is buried in the churchyard.

A side creek, the Thorney Channel, allows landing at West Thorney church, where war graves of both Allied and German forces can be seen. Note that the rest of Thorney Island is a restricted military zone and/or bird sanctuary - no landing elsewhere.

8 mile round trip to East Head (see map), which can be done on the ebb, returning with the flow. Similar to trip starting from Dell Quay, but shorter. East Head makes a good destination for a full day out, with picnic and sandy beach for bathing (safe at slack tide, strong currents otherwise). The trip can be halved by turning back at Itchenor, though this usually involves some paddling against the tide.

Beyond Itchenor the Harbour is wide and unsuitable for inexperienced canoeists if wind is above force 3.

Chichester Harbour Conservancy may levy dues on canoes longer than 3m.

Comments on this trip

Vicky Owen
15 Aug 2021
Cost for 21/22 is 13.01 for any vessel under 3m.

Vicky Owen
15 Aug 2021
You should pay harbour dues for kayaks under 3m as well (we have one under and one over the price varies by size) but the annual fee is quite modest.

14 Aug 2017
Excellent, many thanks for sharing this.


Chichester Harbour Conservancy
Bosham Village

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The last trip loaded was Great Haywood to Great Haywood (Circular Route) on the River Trent / Trent & Mersey Canal by Peter Robinson