Sandy beaches in Sussex

Penned on the 21st April 2023

Sandy beaches in Sussex

The stunning Sussex coastline boasts rugged cliff terrains, turquoise waters idyllic for swimming and an abundance of shingle and sea-smoothed pebble beaches. If it’s long days lazing on the sand or building sandcastles that you’re after, we have put together a selection of our favourite sandy beaches in the county. From family-favourite beaches offering a variety of seaside amusements and watersports, or secluded havens perfect for relaxing in the sun, there's a spot just for you…

Camber Sands

Wide stretch of golden sand and wooden sand groyne at Camber Sands

The ever-popular Camber Sands is a dream come true for those seeking long beach days soaking up the sunshine. This stunning blue flag beach is part of the only sand dunes in east Sussex, making it a real stand out amongst its neighbouring shingle beaches. Boasting 5 miles of glorious golden sand, this stretch has something for everyone. Watersport enthusiasts will love wind and kite surfing here, little ones will never tire of building sandcastles and wild swimmers have the choice of swimming amongst the waves or taking a dip in a tidal pool. Alternatively, why not have some moments of solitude by the water and simply admire the beautiful landscape. Camber Sands is also great for beachcombing; take a scenic walk, collect shells and see what treasures you may discover. 

Your four-legged friends are welcome at Camber Sands all year round, but are restricted to a section of the beach during summer. The beach is also lifeguarded in summer, it’s a safe place to swim but please be aware of its fast-rising tides. Be sure to visit the charming, historical town of Rye, just 10 minutes away, for pretty cobbled streets and lovely independent shops. 

Where to stay: You’ll find Jessie nestled amongst cherry trees in the east Sussex countryside, an idyllic bolthole crafted perfectly for two (and four-legged friends!)


Broomhill Sands

Kitesufing over turquoise waters at Broomhill Sands

If you’re looking for something a little quieter, head along to Broomhill Sands just east of Camber Sands. When the tide is out, a large expanse of sand is revealed, making it great for a day of beach activities; rounders, frisbee and even sand buggies are popular here! It’s also another hub for kitesurfing - you can hire equipment and book lessons at the Kitesurf Center on the beach - while when the wind is calm, Broomhill makes an idyllic spot for paddleboarding. Your furry friends are welcome in the cooler months, or on a lead in marked zones during summer. Be sure to grab a treat from the ice cream van and enjoy the glorious Sussex sunshine… bliss!



A large expanse of golden white sand at Middleton-on-Sea

With a large stretch of coastline, Bognor Regis boasts a variety of sand and shingle beaches. You’ll find East and West Beach close to the town centre with a number of activities and refreshments close by, and Pagham Beach, home to the Pagham Harbour nature reserve. Our favourite has to be Middleton-On-Sea, which is much quieter than its neighbouring beaches. This sunny little spot oozes peace and tranquillity, mostly used by local dog walkers. There are fewer access points and no facilities on the beach, which only  adds to its beauty, making it a true hidden gem! Dogs are welcomed all year round and the beach is lined with a lush grass area, should you wish to pitch up here for an afternoon picnic looking out towards the glistening sea. Please note, Middleton-On-Sea is not lifeguarded, so be aware of the tide or head to one of Bognor Regis’ many beaches that offer a lifeguard service. 

Where to stay: Nestled down a quiet country lane in west Sussex, Kenny’s Hut offers lots of  luxuries, including a dreamy wood-fired hot tub.


West Wittering Beach

Colourful beach huts at West Wittering Beach

Another blue flag beach on our favourites list is West Wittering Beach, a family favourite and designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Situated where Chichester Harbour meets the English Channel, this long stretch of golden sand is lined with colourful beach huts. Not only does West Wittering offer tropical sea views out towards the Isle of Wight but also the South Downs National Park. Surrounded by natural grassland and marshland, you can spot a variety of wildlife here. The tide goes out and gives way to shallow pools perfect for paddling. There are also plenty of idyllic walks nearby, so why not break up your day and stroll around the East Head? Once you’ve built up an appetite, head to the Crab & Lobster, on the edge of Pagham Harbour, for some delicious locally sourced crab. West Wittering offers the perfect balance of amenities whilst still being largely unspoilt, with lifeguards during summer, deck chair hire, surf lessons and a café available. There are dog free zones in place during the summer months.


Littlehampton Beach

A bank of pebbles and sand leading to calm turquoise waters at Littlehampton West

Littlehampton consists of two beaches; East and West and although just across the River Arun, these two beaches are worlds apart! East Beach offers lots of seaside activities and amusements, including boat trips and mini golf. It is a popular seaside resort for families, with endless activities to enjoy and is home to the UK’s longest bench at 1,000ft long! For a more laidback atmosphere head over to West Beach. This peaceful spot boasts stunning white sand dunes and is a Site of Specific Scientific Interest. There are no amusements on this side of the beach, so pack up some sandwiches and soak up the tranquillity. On a clear day, marvel across the ocean to the Isle of Wight and neighbouring Bognor Regis. The beach itself consists of a bank of pebbles which gives way to expanses of sand as the tide recedes. Enjoy a walk through the dunes or head out for a spot of lunch at the award-winning West Beach Café. And what’s more, dogs are warmly welcomed all year round at West Beach! West Beach is not lifeguarded, so please stick to East Beach if this is something you’re looking for. 


Pelham Beach

Blue and white striped beach huts at Pelham Beach, Hastings

Mainly made up of sea-smoothed pebbles, you’ll need to check the tide and plan your visit just right if it’s golden sand you’re after. Either way, this beach in Hastings is simply stunning and when the waves recede there is plenty of sand to enjoy! Boasting magnificent views over the English Channel and rugged cliffs, the beach is situated between Hastings Pier and the East Cliffs. Wander towards the pier for family friendly activities or find a quiet spot on the beach and get lost in a good read. Pelham Beach sits in front of the charming Old Town Hastings, wander the vintage and antique shops or stop at one of its lovely pubs whilst you’re in the area. There are seasonal lifeguards, but please note dogs are banned on this beach during summer. 


Climping Beach 

Golden orange sunset over Climping Beach

Hidden between Littlehampton and Bognor Regis is where you will find this secluded paradise. If you wish to escape to somewhere a little more tranquil, add Climping Beach to your itinerary. It is largely undisturbed and offers a combination of both sand, shingle and pebbles held in place by wooden groynes. It is idyllic for a peaceful afternoon soaking up the Sussex sunshine before cooling off with a dip in the sea. The beach is backed by pretty sand dunes and fields, much of which are protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. This unspoilt beach is simply gorgeous, you’ll find yourself wanting to stay until the sun disappears beyond the horizon. It’s the perfect spot for practising some mindfulness in nature, listening to the soothing sound of waves hitting the shore. Dogs are warmly welcomed all year round and it makes a beautiful place to visit in winter too - with wintering birds such as sandlings roaming the sand. If we had to choose a favourite, Climping would definitely be near the top of our list! Please note, this beach is not lifeguarded. 

Where to stay: The Baker’s Hut sits amongst magical woodland, tucked away in tranquil seclusion, just 30 minutes from the picturesque Sussex coastline. 


Thorney Island 

Coastal path overlooking the water at Thorney Island

Last, but in no means least is Thorney Island. Although named an island, it is actually a peninsula, partially separated from the mainland. Thorney Island is virtually an untouched slice of wildness, perfect if you are seeking a peaceful day out with barely a soul around. There is a 9-mile circular walking route along the shoreline of the island, where you will find unspoilt scenery, a variety of wildlife and hidden beaches. Soak up your surroundings without any distractions and be sure to pack some snacks and water to fuel your day's adventures! Head to the southerly tip of the island to discover the secluded beaches which are perfect for a paddle. Here, you will also find a variety of bird species including curlews, skylarks, shelduck, egrets and even osprey. Thorney Island is known for its military airbase and is owned by the Ministry of Defence, so just remember to stick to the marked path that circles the shoreline. There are no lifeguards and dogs must be kept under control.



Shepherd's hut nestled amongst the trees in the east Sussex countryside

If our guide has you longing for beach days in beautiful Sussex, browse our wonderful collection of Sussex hideaways here - perfect for exploring the county, taking a day trip to Brighton or spending sun soaked days at the beach. 



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