West Wittering Beach

West Wittering Beach, West Sussex PO20 8AJ

Sussex isn’t known for its beaches – most are toe-stubbing, pebbly affairs – but West Wittering is a wonderful exception. This beautiful stretch of dune-backed sand was within a whisker of becoming a Butlin’s holiday camp back in the 1950s, until a bunch of locals clubbed together to buy the land. The happy result today is a beach that, operated as a conservation company, is entirely unblighted by development: behind the beach there’s a row of candy-coloured beach huts, a large field that serves as the car park, a couple of kiosks housing a small café and a watersports’ outfit … and that’s about it. The best time to come is low tide, when there’s a wide swathe of sand – perfect for beach cricket and football – and large tidal lagoons that get (almost) warm on a hot summer’s day; there are plenty of smaller pools, too, that are perfect for small children to splash about it. To the west of the main beach, connected by a narrow strip of land, is National-Trust managed East Head, a salt and shingle spit criss-crossed by boardwalks, with grassy dunes and a crabbing pool – the stuff of happy childhood memories. It’s not surprising that West Wittering is incredibly popular at weekends in summer and the access road gets jammed with cars; get here early, or prepare to queue … and queue...  and queue ….

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