I used to spend a lot of time in Chichester (or Chi as the locals call it) because my grandma (or Seaside Nana as we called her) used to live in nearby Bracklesham Bay (or Brack as the locals call it).
My sister and I loved most things about our holidays in Bracklesham Bay, including the (grey sand) beach, the gift shop selling shell ornaments, the duck pond, the donkey and the fish and chip shop. We were also fascinated by my grandma’s blue rinse, squeaky orthopaedic shoes, acid-coloured neck scarves, bottomless bowl of Quality Street, liberal use of swizzle sticks and lunchtime tipple of sherry (‘liquid sunshine!’). We were alarmed and thrilled in equal measure by her rather dodgy cooking (she once accidentally made a chocolate cake with salt instead of sugar) and the not-entirely-legitimate apple scrumping forays that she used to take us on.
As a treat we’d go into Chichester. When I went back there last month after about 20 years, I couldn’t remember a thing about it, apart from the cathedral, which you can’t miss. The alms cottages in its grounds are postcard perfect. I don’t think I could handle gardening with tourists traipsing past all the time, but the residents obviously do, as the gardens are beautifully tended.