- Keep your dog on a lead where specified
- Respect zones that are classed as ‘no dog’ areas
- If fouling cannot be avoided, be sure to bag dog poo quickly and bin it!
There’s no shortage of beautiful beaches to enjoy in West Sussex, whether you’re keen to take a dip, hop on a paddleboard or simply wander the coastline and take in the stunning natural surroundings and wildlife.
With so many of us now taking our canine companions along on adventures, it’s a good idea to keep a list handy of the dog-friendly beaches and areas that you can visit.
Whilst some of our beaches have seasonal restrictions in place for the peak spring and summer seasons, there are plenty of stretches that will gladly welcome your pup year-round.
The good news is, we’ve done the hard part for you and listed out West Sussex’s dog friendly beaches below!
L-R: East Head, West Witterings, Bracklesham Bay
A stunning example of wild and natural coastline in West Sussex, this National Trust protected sand-dune habitat welcomes dogs (and their owners) year-round, although dogs must be kept on a lead to protect the wildlife.
The unspoilt sands of West Wittering make the perfect beach getaway for families, solo travellers and couples alike, with plenty of space for sandcastles and picnics. Although the main swimming areas (14a – 18) restrict four-legged visitors during peak months, there are still plenty of stretches you can all enjoy, and dogs are welcome on all parts of West Wittering Beach throughout October-April.
Just two miles along from sandy West Wittering, you’ll find the quieter, pebbled shores of East Wittering Beach. The main stretches of the beach also have seasonal restrictions in place between May and September, but there are dedicated areas for you and your dog to enjoy together.
If you keep heading east, you’ll emerge onto the shingle shoreline of Bracklesham Bay, a popular destination for families and watersports enthusiasts alike thanks to popular draws such as Billy’s on the Beach and Get Kiteboarding. The central part of the beach, in front of the café and car park, has seasonal restrictions in place for dogs – however, just a short walk to the groynes either side of these areas will take you to dog-friendly shores.
The popular holidaying destination of Selsey makes a great spot if you’re adventuring with pup in tow! On family beaches Selsey Beach and East Beach, there are seasonal restrictions in place between May and September, but you will find other areas of beach to welcome your dog. Selsey is also blessed with plenty of greenery and picnic spots, as well as playgrounds and a skate park, so an ideal base for your next family seaside trip.
L-R: Pagham Harbour, Pagham Beach (via geograph.org) and Bognor Regis
The quiet, stony shores of Pagham beach are a haven for dog-lovers as they are fortunately welcome year-round. Nature and wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy the serene surroundings of Pagham Harbour nature reserve, whose wetlands, saltmarsh and lagoons are home to a variety of birds, animals and insects. Dogs are welcome around all public footpaths and bridleways but should be kept on leads to avoid disturbing sensitive wildlife.
Bognor’s central beaches, East Beach and West Beach, have restrictions in place throughout the summer, however there are small areas to the far east and west where you can still visit with your dog – highlighted on this map. As a lively summer holiday destination, the sunny promenade makes a lovely long dog-walk that can be enjoyed at all times.
L-R: Climping beach, West Beach (via geograph) and East Beach
At low tide, vast areas of soft, wet sand appear at Climping Beach, a quiet neighbour to Littlehampton. It’s dog-friendly all year and just a stone’s throw from nearby Bailiffscourt Hotel and Spa, where you can indulge in a luxurious doggy spa package for the both of you!
Divided by the River Arun are West Beach and East Beach. West Beach, a tranquil Site of Specific Scientific Interest, is a flat expanse of sand dunes and shingle surrounded by greenery and open to your four-legged family member year-round!
Across the river, East Beach is a popular destination for sunbathing and swimming, which means there are restrictions in place over the peak months. However, if you head further east to the area past Norfolk Road, you’ll find dog-friendly stretches of beach here. Plus, it’s super close to the wonderful East Beach Café!
Far east of the lively seaside town, Rustington Beach offers a much quieter retreat that’s popular with locals and dog walkers. You can visit Rustington all year-round with your pooch by your side.
Goring beachfront is a largely dog-friendly area, with a pleasant expanse of greenery on one side of the promenade. However, there are sections of the beach marked with restrictions for the May – September period between the two boat launching ramps.
The bustling seaside town of Worthing has become a popular British seaside resort in recent years. As such, the main section of Worthing Beach, from the bottom of Heene Road to Splashpoint Leisure Centre, has restrictions in place between May and September, but you can still stroll the promenade with your dog on a lead.
Lancing Beach and huge beach green adjacent, with its popular playground and skate park, makes a great day out for visitors and dogs of all ages. Whether you want to flop down on the green, kick a ball around, or relax on the shore, you can rest assured that your dog is welcome on all parts of Lancing Beach! Don’t forget to pay a visit to The Perch and enjoy the sunny terrace whilst you’re there.
There is plenty to take in with a visit to Shoreham-by-Sea and its beachfront. Whilst its Local Nature Reserve status means you can’t barbeque on the beach, you can certainly visit with your hound any time you please. Its modern boardwalk surface creates a flat and accessible way for everyone to enjoy the scenery, so you can stroll all the way along to the old fort.