Walking Route: Pagham Harbour and Sidlesham Quay

A 2-mile easy access circular walk exploring the Pagham Harbour local nature reserve, just south of Chichester. If you are looking for refreshments, the RSPB visitor centre (at the start of the walk) sells hot drinks and there is a high-end restaurant (specialising in local seafood) in Sidlesham Quay at the halfway point. Alternatively, if you are looking for the middle ground, you could drive 2 miles south to Selsey Bill where there are lots of pub and cafe options including The Lifeboat Inn.

The walk starts and finishes at the RSPB Pagham Harbour visitor centre. The centre has its own car park that can be used for a voluntary donation. If you are visiting by public transport, there are bus stops directly outside the visitor centre with direct links from Chichester and Selsey.

Postcode: PO20 7NE

2 miles – Circular – 1 Hour – Easy Terrain

Access notes

  • The walk is entirely flat and follows compacted stone or stone and grass paths for the whole length.
  • The paths are well-maintained but in between verge cuttings, they can become quite narrow in part due to encroaching tall grasses.
  • There are no stiles or steps on the route, but you will need to negotiate one single gate. With all this in mind, the route would be suitable for pushchairs.
  • Dogs are welcome in the reserve but please keep them on leads.

Walk Sections

pagham harbour and sidlesham quay map

1. Start to Ferry Pool Hide

The walk starts at the RSPB Pagham Harbour visitor centre. Standing with your back to the visitor centre entrance, walk at about 10 o’clock, passing alongside a vehicle barrier to join the surfaced path. The path leads you past the fenced discovery area on your right, which you can explore should you wish (although no dogs are allowed within this area). Continue on the main surfaced path which swings right and then steadily left to reach the Ferry Pool Bird Hide on your right. This bird hide overlooks a small lake within the reserve, giving an opportunity for some bird spotting.

2. Ferry Pool Hide to Sidlesham Quay

Continue your journey along the surfaced path and just a few metres along you will come to a junction at the edge of the estuary. Turn left here, continuing on the main surfaced path with the estuary running on your right. Pass a bench on your right then bear left to join the stone and grass path which continues alongside the estuary. NOTE: The vegetation alongside this path is cut and maintained several times per year, but some sections can get a bit overgrown in between cuttings.

Simply continue ahead along the main path, ignoring all the paths signed off to the left. At the end, you will come to a T-junction with Mill Lane. Turn right along the lane, taking care of occasional traffic, passing between the estuary on your right and an old mill pond on your left. Follow the road as it bends right (passing the old Quay House on your left) and then left where you will find the Crab and Lobster restaurant (the halfway point on this walk).

3. Sidlesham Quay to End

When you have finished at Sidlesham Quay, retrace your steps following Mill Lane back across the estuary. Immediately after the estuary crossing, turn left to retrace your steps back along the stone path (signed as Cycle Route 88). Ignore the first two footpaths signed off to the right and take the third path on your right (this is immediately after crossing a sidearm of the estuary). Pass through the gate and follow the surfaced path which leads you directly back to the visitor centre where the walk began.


This walking route was walked and checked at the time of writing. We have taken care to make sure all our walks are safe for walkers of a reasonable level of experience and fitness. However, like all outdoor activities, walking carries a degree of risk and we accept no responsibility for any loss or damage to personal effects, personal accident, injury or public liability whilst following this walk. We cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies that result from changes to the routes that occur over time. Please let us know of any changes to the routes so that we can correct the information.

Walking Safety For your safety and comfort we recommend that you take the following with you on your walk: bottled water, snacks, a waterproof jacket, waterproof/sturdy boots, a woolly hat and fleece (in winter and cold weather), a fully-charged mobile phone, a whistle, a compass and an Ordnance Survey map of the area. Check the weather forecast before you leave, carry appropriate clothing and do not set out in fog or mist as these conditions can seriously affect your ability to navigate the route. Take particular care on cliff/mountain paths where steep drops can present a particular hazard. Some routes include sections along roads – take care to avoid any traffic at these points. Around farmland take care with children and dogs, particularly around machinery and livestock. If you are walking on the coast make sure you check the tide times before you set out.