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Crowds are drawn to West Wittering's beaches during the summer

© Creative Commons / tristanf

West Wittering beaches, Sussex

The Sussex village of West Wittering lies close to the gorgeous emptiness of wide open sands, with views of Chichester Harbour and the South Downs beyond. It's quiet in winter and thronged in summer, but the beach is big enough for everyone to find a quiet spot. In 1952 a group of locals bought the beach and surrounding grasslands to protect it from developers, and, thanks to them, West Wittering has remained unspoilt, beautiful and wild.


With gently sloping, clean, sugar-white sands, calm waters and a balmy microclimate, West Wittering is an uncommercial family paradise, sheltered by the Isle of Wight and the South Downs. There are no buildings other than a beach shop and cafe. Lifeguards patrol the beach in summer and it can get pertty packed on a sunny day.

Beyond the beach

Nearby Chichester is a handsome Georgian market town with a fine medieval cathedral (check out the Chagall stained-glass window) and a renowned summer theatre festival (

Family fun

Paddling, swimming, crabbing, kite surfing and windsurfing are all great ways to have fun here. You can even indulge in kite buggying ( The tidal lagoon is an ideal place to learn windsurfing, and areas of mown grass are perfect for barbecues and games.

Exploring further

West Wittering is well situated for exploring the Meon Valley in the South Downs ( - an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The area is a haven of peaceful landscapes and unspoilt villages, the ancient Royal Forest of Bere and vast stretches of trails for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

Splashing out

The Crab and Lobster (, a converted 16th-century thatch-roofed pub overlooking the gorgeous Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve, has a delectable menu focussing on, you guessed it, crab and lobster. Book the cosy, stylish Crab Cottage if you fancy self-catering (with the option of a cooked breakfast from the restaurant).

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