West Sussex has some of the best kitesurfing and windsurfing destinations year-round. Yet when the winter waves start pushing up the English Channel, the conditions for surfing also come into play.
The first thing most people ask about winter watersports is the sea temperature but, as most surfers will tell you, it’s often a lot warmer than you think.
As the sea water holds its warmth for some time after the last of the summer heat and modern wetsuit technology creates new levels of comfort, the winter months make some of the best for windsurfing, kitesurfing and surfing!
The advantage of having the beach to yourself when catching a wave, with no crowds to dodge, is another big attraction for winter surfing. The West Sussex coastline is a secret haven of surf spots, especially in the Witterings to Bracklesham Bay area.
Watersports Centres such as 2XS located right on the beach at West Wittering provide hire options for windsurfing, surfing and kitesurfing. They also offer membership packages for those with their own equipment.
The Bracklesham Bay area is home to kitesurfing and paddle boarding company, Get Kiteboarding who also offer lessons. If you have your own equipment you can park on the beach at Bracklesham car park and enjoy a great post-session coffee or late lunch at Billy’s on the Beach café.
With plenty of watersports to choose from, you are truly spoilt along this coastline.
Looking to extend your seaside visit? The Beach House is a delightful bed and breakfast just a short 10-minute walk from the beach and offers a peaceful coastal stay, ideal for parties of any size.
If you live in London and have a passion for kitesurfing, you’ll be pleased to take advantage of the quieter roads without the summer queues to the beach. Both Shoreham and Lancing are coastal towns offering plenty of attractions and a direct 90-minute drive from the capital, making them a great last-minute staycation. Lancing Kitesurf School is run by a team of International Kitesurf Organization and British Kitesports-accredited instructors, providing the highest quality of kitesurfing experiences through its personalised services.
For a bite to eat, the Perch on Lancing beach is a great hotspot for your morning coffee and breakfast call. Be sure to try the salted caramel and banana pancakes and, for those with an extra sweet tooth, the toasted marshmallow and honeycomb hot chocolate is sure to keep you warm.
If you’re in need of some downtime after a day of watersports and fancy exploring, visit The Duke of Wellington in Shoreham. This traditional and friendly pub offers live music, a range of continental and English ales and a great menu to suit all tastes. Take a five-minute walk up the road to Shoreham Art Gallery, where you’ll find a gallery run solely by local artists to support Shoreham’s art community. Take home a souvenir or immerse yourself in one of its arts and crafts workshops.
Fancy a seaside staycation? West Sussex offers plenty of places to stay, from beach cottages to hotels, glamping and more.
For culture seekers seeking a rural getaway, Arundel is a great location that offers plenty of greenery to explore and just a 15-minute drive back to the ocean.
Arundel Brewery is located in the centre of town and offers an ever-changing selection of beers and bespoke tour and tastings for any size group. Alternatively, wrap up warm and hike uphill to enjoy the magnificent views across the South Downs and River Arun. Plus, if you’re visiting between November and December, this historic town provides the perfect Christmas backdrop; Arundel’s candlelight event provides the perfect Christmas warmup including a lantern parade, festive markets and plenty more.
A short drive or train hop north brings you to the historic village of Amberley and right into the heart of the South Downs National Park. It’s also close to the midway point of the 100 mile long South Downs Way, with plenty of other walking and cycling trails at your feet. Keen cyclists can rent a mountain bike, E-bike or even a trailer bike for families from Chalkpit Trails Cycle Hire, and head off into the Downs. You can arrange to pick up and drop off bikes at nearby train stations, which makes a car-free adventure much easier.