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Sussex’s Best Beaches

Aren’t we the lucky ones here in Sussex? Among the UK’s incredible range of beaches, the Sussex coast boasts some of the very best. Our lovely beaches are where people choose to enjoy their summer holidays and they flock here in their thousands, and, thanks to some spectacular scenery together with excellent amenities, those long, carefree holidays are still enjoyed today. Sussex’s beaches never get old, they never get boring, and they always welcome both newcomers and return visitors with equal pleasure.

Brighton Beach // Brighton // Sat Nav Postcode: BN2 1TW

credit: Joe Goldberg

credit: Joe Goldberg

Despite being rather pebbly, Brighton Beach is one of the most popular beaches in all of Sussex. Perhaps even in all of the south east. This is because of the vast array of amenities and activities that take place here. Nearby attractions include the recently refurbished and world-famous Brighton Pier, funfairs, arcades, cafes, and shops – and since everything is just a short stroll away from the shingle and sea itself, it makes this an easy, relaxing day out. Swimming and bathing is encouraged, as are a huge variety of watersports such as surfing, body boarding, windsurfing and more. Even the pier itself is open (and has been since 1899) and is packed with fun games, bars and places to buy treats including, of course, Brighton rock!

Brighton Beach is an easy one to get to by car, or train, making it one of the more popular destinations for those who live slightly further away from the coast. This can make is extremely busy on hot, summer days (or even on not so hot ones), but this long, wide expanse of beach can happily accommodate everyone without too much fuss.

East Beach // Bognor // Sat Nav Postcode: PO21 1JN

East Beach Bognor

East Beach in Bognor Regis is a hugely popular place; and that’s just as it should be. Since it’s so close to the town centre – it’s actually the closest beach to Bognor proper – people often just pop down on a whim, grabbing a picnic on the way. Although, if a picnic’s not your thing, there are a number of different cafes and restaurants that can be tried and are all within walking distance to the beach as well.

During the summer months, East Beach is particularly well catered for. You can hire deckchairs and windbreaks to ensure you have the most comfortable time you can, plus there are showers and drinking-water fountains on hand to keep everyone clean and hydrated.

East Beach has plenty of facilities including nearby car parks, refreshments, toilets, and even lifeguards on duty every day until September.

Climping Beach // Littlehampton // Sat Nav Postcode: BN17 5NL

credit: Andrew Whitman

credit: Andrew Whitman

Climping Beach – also known as Atherington Beach – is a lovely place to spend the day. As it is more off the beaten track than some of the other beaches in the area, it tends to be much quieter, but don’t let that fool you; a quiet beach is certainly not a boring one. With pebbles and wooden groynes making up the majority of the beach at high tide, and hard-packed, dark sand appearing at low tide, it’s possible to enjoy a variety of different activities here within the space of just a few hours. It is a particularly good spot for those who love kitesurfing and windsurfing.

The area around Climping Beach is a site of Special Scientific Interest, and some of it makes up a wonderful nature reserve. Because of this, some of the impressive dunes are fenced off to protect them. Being as exposed as it is, coastal erosion is a big problem here, and the beach is slowly but surely disappearing.

At high tide, Climping Beach is a beautiful spot to go for a coastal walk – head east to go to Littlehampton, or west to Felpham. Facilities at Climping include car parking, a café with outdoor seating, a pub close by, toilets, and a shower. Dogs are allowed on the beach as long as they are on a lead.

Pevensey Bay // Bexhill // Sat Nav Postcode: BN24 6HX

credit: SouthEastern Star

credit: SouthEastern Star

Pevensey Bay is a small shingle beach near Bexhill-on-Sea in East Sussex. The beach itself offers a wide range of excellent activities such as kayaking and canoeing, jet skiing, sailing, and windsurfing, and the area is particularly good for deep-sea and beach fishing. Although its amenities (a café and toilets) may not be as plentiful as other beaches in Sussex, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it – it really is a stunning place to visit and spend the day. And really, what more do you need?

Pevensey Bay has a long and interesting history of being a popular spot for families to spend some time together; it rose up out of the water – literally, since it was created thanks to the constant erosion of Beachy Head in Eastbourne – which allowed the pebbles to build up. Because of this, the area around is marshy and often floods, which isn’t a totally bad thing actually, as it makes it a haven for birds and wildlife, many of which can be seen by those with a keen eye.

West Wittering // Chichester // Sat Nav Postcode: PO20 8AJ

credit: Karen Tyler

credit: Karen Tyler

The image of a gorgeous, unspoilt sandy beach that also has the most spectacular view out across both Chichester Harbour and the South Downs is an amazing one. And, luckily for us, it’s also one that exists. It’s West Wittering Beach, a place that has been a firm family favourite for beach days out in Sussex for many decades. It’s not just the views and the sand – a bit of a rarity in this county – that makes it so popular either; the water is of a great quality too, plus there are excellent facilities here, which is why West Wittering is the proud owner of a Blue Flag. It’s safe, it’s clean, and it’s fun; no one could ask for more from a beach.

But, you do in fact get more at West Wittering. There are large swathes of well-kempt lawn, which means you can have your picnic without the addition of sand, plus, if you get there early enough, you can park there too, so you don’t have to lug your bags and towels, and buckets and spades too far. If it’s watersports you like, you can engage in many of them here including kitesurfing and windsurfing. Nature lovers can rejoice too – there are all sorts of birds and wildlife in this area.

The Beach Café here isn’t just a café either – it offers great coffee, takeaway food, ice cream, and it sells beach goods too, so if you do forget something essential, you can likely pick it up there.

Camber Sands // Camber // Sat Nav Postcode: TN31 7RT

credit: Sam Kelly

credit: Sam Kelly

It is the fantastic dunes of the beach at Camber that give it its name – Camber Sands – and they have been attracting visitors who are keen for a day out for generations. With a café, various nearby restaurants, shops, toilets, and even a campsite and specific ‘lost child centre’, the people of Camber really do seem to have thought of everything and everyone.

Looking for something to do other than sit on the sand and build castles? Why not go for a swim, try windsurfing, ride a donkey? There is a watersports area that is specially cordoned off, so those looking for more adrenalin-fuelled activities can keep clear of those who would rather spend the day relaxing and vice versa.

There is no lifeguard on duty at Camber Sands, but the beach is cleaned daily by the District Council, and there are dog waste bins and litter bins around to help keep it clean, which all seems to work together to create a pleasant place to spend some time. Speaking of dogs, they are allowed on the beach between May and September as long as they are on a lead and stay within the zones set out for them.  

Seaford Head // Seaford // Sat Nav Postcode: BN25 1BW

credit: Berit Watkin

credit: Berit Watkin

Seaford Head is a dramatic sort of beach with an outlook that is considered by many to be almost moody in its beauty. It’s a small cove that has a jetty and is set back against the large chalk cliffs of the Seaford Head Nature Reserve. This small strip of shingle is particularly good for fossil hunting, but beware – the chalk cliffs are constantly eroding and large chunks of them can fall at any time. To get to the beach you will need to traverse some rather steep steps from the nature reserve above (which is where the free parking is as well), but it’s worth it. This really is a very special spot indeed. And because it doesn’t have the facilities that some of the larger, more easily accessible beaches have, it tends to stay pretty quiet.

Great activities at Seaford Head – apart from fossil hunting – including diving and snorkelling, swimming, and excellent fishing.

Littlehampton Beach // Littlehampton // Sat Nav Postcode: BN17 5LH

credit: Pete Edgeler

credit: Pete Edgeler

There are two beaches at Littlehampton – East and West – and both are gorgeous. East Beach is an award-winning sandy beach with plenty of beachside attractions to keep everyone busy, including the amusements at Harbour Park, the wonderful East Beach Café, and the lovely beach huts that are available to hire. As for West Beach, this is more secluded, and is designated as a place of Special Scientific Interest due to the dunes in which protected wildlife thrive. This beach is shingle, and the activities are more sedate and natural, especially the lovely walks along the coastal paths.

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