Best beaches in Sussex
Famous for its lively cities, elegant stately homes, impressive castles, colourful gardens and cultural connections, Sussex ticks many boxes of the perfect UK holiday. As if that wasn’t enough, there are also a large number of wonderful beaches lining the South Coast.
From fashionable Brighton to the resort classic seaside resort town of Bognor Regis, many of Sussex’s bustling towns are renowned for their pebbly beaches. There are also wonderful stretches of sand at quieter seaside towns such as Worthing and Chichester. Wherever you end up visiting in Sussex, there’ll be the perfect beach for you. Here’s our guide to the best beaches in Sussex to help you find the perfect slice of South Coast sun-drenched bliss for you.
Bognor Regis Beach, Bognor Regis
Bognor Regis is home to a fantastic beach that’s popular with people from all around the county, who are looking to try a South Coast location that isn’t Brighton. The beach is exceptionally clean looking and patrolled by lifeguards meaning that it’s a great spot for a swim. While it may not be a classic sandy beach, the crunch and sliding of pebbles beneath your feet will give you that quintessentially English seaside feel.
The beach is not huge by any means, but this means it’s easy to keep an eye on your kids and there are plenty of attractions to keep them entertained. You won’t be short of places to eat and drink, not to mention the ample toilets dotted around the place, Bognor Regis is well equipped to keep visitors’ needs met! There are little shops, donut stands and coffee bistros on the promenade to help you while away the summer days on the seafront.
Worthing Beach, Worthing
This long beach in the lovely seaside town of Worthing stretches for miles. Partly sandy, but mostly grit and pebbles, Worthing beach is full of traditional seaside cheers with deckchairs for hire, swimming and sandcastle building all options. Another popular pastime to have an ice cream whilst strolling on the promenade or historic pier with views out over the Channel on one side and the magnificent architecture of Worthing on the other.
Worthing is already renowned for being a family-friendly town with plenty to do to keep the young ones busy. All in all, this is a lovely beach to take the family with clear blue waters, backed by plenty of places to shop and eat, that’s why we rank it among our best beaches in Sussex.
Brighton Beach, Brighton
The trendy city of Brighton is famous for its pebble beach which runs along both sides of the pier. You have all you could need at your fingertips on Brighton Beach with plenty of activities and refreshments available at the pier and along the promenade including entertainment, arcades, and rides, as well as great restaurants and fish & chip shops. There is even a miniature railway that runs from the Aquarium Station to the Marina to help you get about.
Brighton can get very crowded on fine weather days in the summer, but due to its size, you will hopefully find space on the large beach if you are willing to stretch your legs a little. We do however recommend that you plan your parking in advance and have more than one option as the car parks fill up quickly.
Camber Sands, Camber
Part of the only sand dune system in East Sussex, Camber Sands is a popular sandy beach that makes for a great outing for the family. These lovely dunes backing the beach offer a bit of privacy for beachgoers and are a great place for a picnic. Just along from the 'sunbathing' beach is a separate area favoured by windsurfers and kite boarders. It’s also safe to swim at Camber Sands but be aware of the fast-rising tides at the beach. Otherwise, simply take a scenic walk to the sound of the water and birds, collect shells, and admire the beautiful landscape.
There’s plenty of parking and lots of space to spread out on the beach itself. Please note that you have to walk over a big sand dune to access the beach so it can be tricky for wheelchair users and prams.
West Wittering, Sussex
West Wittering offers one of the best locations of any beach in the UK. The beach stands where Chichester Harbour meets the English Channel, with the long stretch of stand extending as far as East Head – a National Trust Site. From here, visitors enjoy fantastic views of the peaceful Hayling Island, a barrier between the quiet West Wittering and bustling Portsmouth across the border in Hampshire. It’s no surprise that this stunning area is another on the Outstanding Natural Beauty List. The western end of the sand is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Spacious and serene, the beach is great for basking in the sun and is in what is one of the UK’s warmer places.
The tide gives way to shallow puddles that are ideal for a paddle, and there are grassy dunes for all to explore. An abundance of facilities makes the beach one for an extended day out, with locally produced seafood available steps away. Additional amenities are on hand during the busy months too. Deck chairs add comfort and lifeguards add assurance to any swimming. If you fancy stretching your legs, take a walk down to East Wittering, home to an even greater range of restaurants. When it comes to peace and convenience, West Wittering strikes the perfect balance.
Pagham Beach, Pagham
Pagham Beach is a delightful expanse of shingle and sand that stretches from Bognor Regis to Pagham Harbour, a World Heritage bird sanctuary. The beach is a lovely spot for a swim but be sure to bring decent shoes if you plan on doing a lot of walking as it is quite stony underfoot.
There are shops, a nice little café serving local fish & chips, an ice cream place, and a small amusement arcade close at hand. Maybe the most interesting feature of Pagham Beach, especially for the history buffs, is the remains of a World War Two Mulberry Harbour platform that are visible a mile out to sea. You can park in the carpark here all day for a small fee, find a side street to park in for free or otherwise simply walk down the road if you’re staying with us at our Church Farm Holiday Park.
Aldwick Beach, Bognor Regis
Aldwick Beach is a quieter place to spend the day if you wish to escape the crowds at the ever-popular Bognor Regis. The beach is all pebbles at high tide, but as the sea rolls back, a lovely sandy strip is revealed. Your kids will love playing on the sand and looking for marine life hiding under the groynes. If fishing is your thing, then Aldwick offers a variety of fish that can be caught on the shore or from a Kayak.
Aldwick Beach is also close to the pretty Marine Park Gardens which are well worth strolling through. It has parking on the doorstep and a refreshments café right by the beach. There are also public toilets nearby at West Park.
Bulverhythe Beach, Hastings
Nestled between the railway line and the sea at Hastings, Bulverhythe boasts one of the best beaches in Sussex in a scenic area of pebbles, and sand. It is the perfect place for a hot summer’s day with the breeze playing off the waves and the soft, welcoming sand and highly swimmable sea.
This is another great beach for those with an interest in history as there are a couple of interesting attractions here. The first is the 1749 wreck of a Dutch merchant ship that’s exposed on very long tides and can be visited on organised tours arranged by the Hastings Shipwreck Museum who are custodians of the wreck. The second is the evidence of a prehistoric forest that can be seen protruding out of the sand but be careful when wandering around the beach as some of the sand is not as firm as it appears. Even if history isn’t your thing, it’s well worth crossing the railway line and making the 20-minute walk from Combe Haven Holiday Park just to view the picturesque coastal panoramas that round off each end of the beach.
Bexhill Beach, Bexhill
This pebbly beach is divided by groynes which offer some shade from the sun and a sea breeze that is typical for this stretch of the south coast. However, Bexhill is unusually empty and tranquil, considering its prime location. The beach has a lifeguard for half the year and swimming is controlled by safety flags, but it’s still not suitable for younger ones to attempt swimming the sea here.
Bexhill also welcomes dogs on its shores meaning it’s a great place for a walk against the background of an ever-changing sea and sky. There’s a well-maintained promenade with public toilets nearby and various kiosks and food establishments to keep everyone fed. We recommend Sovereign Light Café, made famous by the Keane song, and De la Warr Pavilion as both are great options for sit-down meals.
Hastings Beach, Hastings
After the infamous battle of 1066, Hastings is perhaps best known for its wonderful beach made from pebbles and soft sands. Its beach runs all way along the town centre, from the fishing quarter and the Old Town in the East. It is a great spot for beach sports, making sandcastles and swimming which is made possible by the lifeguards on duty by the shore. Alternatively, you can simply sit back and bask in the sunshine (deck chairs and windbreakers are available for hire).
Being close to the town centre, Hastings has one of the best equipped beaches in Sussex, in terms of its facilities. There’s a car park, toilets, and several food outlets nearby. The promenade is great for strolling on if you don’t fancy walking on the pebbles and there is an amusement area at the rear of the beach as well as a charming Victorian pier to explore.