West Sussex is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, if we do say so ourselves.
Whether you’re looking for stretches of white sand, a dog friendly promenade or a more secluded bay away from the hustle and bustle, we’re pleased to say that West Sussex has it all.
This is your guide to the very best of West Sussex’s beaches, including some of the lesser known stretches of coastline and hidden gems. Starting from the westernmost parts of Chichester’s shoreline, we’ll cover all the way along to Shoreham-by-Sea.
Chichester Harbour is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, encompassing Bosham, Thorney Island and Prinsted. Visitors can enjoy strolling the pebbled shores, taking in the views of moored boats at the various marinas and spotting rare local wildlife within the creeks and marshes.
Perhaps best known for its rolling dunes and natural sandy shores, the first beach that springs to mind when you think of West Sussex is, of course, West Wittering. Popular amongst everyone from windsurfers and photographers to dog walkers and horse riders, its stunning surroundings make it the ideal staycation destination.
An hour’s walk east will take you to the quieter pebble shores of Bracklesham Bay and East Wittering. Families can enjoy hunting for fossils at Bracklesham Bay as the tide retreats, making for both an exciting and educational adventure.
At the Southernmost tip of West Sussex, Selsey sits between Chichester and Bognor. Famed for its local catches, fresh from the sea, the shingle and sandy beach also boasts stunning views out to the Channel, across the Solent and towards the Isle of Wight.
Bognor Regis beach is a lesser known gem along the West Sussex coast, having recently been awarded ‘Gold’ status amongst the best of the UK’s seaside towns by family website, Day Out with the Kids. Along with traditional beach-side amusements and a promenade to stroll along, why not take a leisurely walk westwards to the more secluded pebble shores of Aldwick Beach?
West of the Bognor area is the popular holidaying spot of Pagham, with a mix of both pebble shores and sandy beach, as well as a nature reserve and lagoon to explore. Its many surrounding holiday and camping parks make Pagham a lively spot for a family camping trip.
Eastwards, a peaceful stroll along the traditional promenade awaits at Felpham Beach – the perfect stretch for a seaside bike ride. To the far east of Bognor Regis, dog walkers, couples and families might enjoy the quiet found at Elmer Sands, whilst the little ones will certainly love exploring the various rockpools that form at low tide!
Littlehampton comprises of two popular beaches, West Beach and East Beach. Over a mile of beach awaits you at Littlehampton’s award-winning East Beach, where you can take the weight off your feet on Britain’s longest bench and admire the view.
On the opposite end, West Beach is located just across the River Arun and surrounded by green spaces. It welcomes a calmer atmosphere and is one of three beaches in the county that have sand dune systems. It’s the perfect spot for family strolls through the dunes on wooden walkways.
Climping Beach is quieter than the beaches of Littlehampton and Bognor Regis, with its simple sounds of the ocean and emptier spaces backed by fields. With dogs allowed on the beach, it’s perfect if you’re visiting with a four-legged friend and if you’re a Doctor Who fan, you don’t want to miss it as it was used as one of the locations in the early series during the 60s and 70s.
Just along the coast from the Littlehampton beaches is the peaceful Rustington beach, home to West Sussex’s popular kitesurfing spot due to its south-westerly winds from the English Channel. As the tide goes out at this beach you’ll be greeted with beautiful, flat sands that stretch down to the water’s edge. Quieter than some of West Sussex’s other beaches, this is a good spot for families.
East Preston beach is another brilliant beach for this West Sussex coast stretch, primarily used by locals for long dog walks. For watersports enthusiasts, this coastline is also a popular sailing location and the nearby Seahorse Café serves up fantastic homemade food and drink.
The beach at Goring-by-Sea boasts a long stretch of pebbles and traditional wooden beach huts along its path. Unlike some of its louder neighbouring beaches, Goring beach is an ideal location to learn a water sport like stand-up paddleboarding, with lessons offered at Goring Gap.
West of the historic harbour, where the River Adur enters the sea, Shoreham-by-Sea is a larger beach used by windsurfers, sailors and locals looking to stretch their legs. You can also row on the coastal waters around Shoreham Bay with the Shoreham Rowing Club.
In between Shoreham-by-Sea and Worthing, Lancing beach is a popular family-friendly location that ticks all the boxes with its divided zones for watersports, a children’s play area and a skate park. Be sure to visit the Perch on Lancing Beach for its famous hot chocolates and delicious food to suit all tastes.
If you’re looking for a beach perfect for rockpooling, Worthing is just that. The gently sloping beach of sand and shingle means that at low tide, visitors can discover a whole host of creatures underneath the rocks. This vibrant coastal town also boasts the impressive 1930s pier that stands proud on the Sussex coast and was recently voted Pier of the Year 2019.