Sussex is surprisingly well served by some great beaches, some that are not well known, so can be a great discovery – all good for getting outdoors. The beaches are often matched by some very good consistent weather to add to the enjoyment. If you like visiting a beach, then here are a few of the best beaches in Sussex:-
Camber Beach – (postcode TN31 7RT) – starting with a favourite any time of year for walking, land yachting, sunbathing and our favorite kite flying. This is a large, open, sandy beach, with the only sand dunes in Sussex. Plenty of safe open space and dunes are great shelter. This beach is popular with windsurfers, land surfers and kite flyers. Great for a beach barbecue, especially on a warm summer evening (but do remember to take your rubbish home with you!). Dogs are allowed subject to some restrictions i.e. kept on a lead at certain times, etc – see http://www.thebeachguide.co.uk/south-east-england/east-sussex/camber.htm for details. As this is flat beach the tide comes in fairly fast so make sure you key an eye on the tide for safety. Facilities include: Cafe/restaurant, Toilets, Disabled facilities, First aid point, Lost Child centre and Shop.
St. Leonard’s Beach – (postcode TN38 0BH) – this is a very popular shingle beach to the west of Hastings. The beach is backed by a promenade and there are plenty of facilities nearby. Respectful well behaved dogs and owners are permitted. Great for sunbathing and relaxing.
Hastings Beach – (postcode TN34 1PF) – Hastings is an established seaside resort that has suffered from under investment. However, if you care to look beneath the surface Hasting offers a surprising amount of economic fun places of interest and things to do. The beach is sand and shingle with plenty of local facilities and entertainment. Parking can be difficult at peak times so plan accordingly. Well worth the trip if you like old fashioned British beach fun. A bit of trivia – the area around the old town has been the back-drop to the hit series “Foyles War”.
Fairlight Beach – (postcode TN35 4AD) – sand & shingle beach. Lifeguard at certain times of year. The beach is cleaned during the season. Facilities include cafe/restaurant, toilets, first aid point, lost child centre, Shop, deck chair hire, promenade and pier, dependent on season. Nearby Fairlight Glen Beach caters for naturists at Covehurst Bay.
Pevensey Bay – Pevensey is a historical fishing village that boasts a rural shingle beach. In history it is known as the landing place for William the Conqueror in 1066 followed by the battle that would shape British history. The beach does not have a lifeguard service but does have a local café and disabled facilities. The beach is used for a range of activities including kayaking/canoeing, fishing, sailing, windsurfing, and dog walking.
West Quay Beach – this beach is further along towards Eastbourne. The sand & shingle beach lies within the breakwater. To the western side of the breakwater the beach is shingle backed by cliffs. Well behaved dogs welcome. Good for kayaking/canoeing, diving & snorkeling, beach fishing, swimming/bathing, windsurfing, walking and taking in the fresh air.
Winchelsea Beach – (postcode TN36 4NG) – shingle beach. Dog restrictions do apply to the beach but you can walk dogs off the beach. It is a very long beach, great for walking, with a pub at the Pett Level end. Facilities include cafe/restaurant, toilets and disabled facilities.
Birling Gap Beach – this beach is situated at the base of the chalk cliffs called the Seven Sisters. The substrate is shingle giving way to sand with areas of rock pools and chalk from the cliffs. It is a voluntary marine nature reserve.
Dungeness Beach – is the second largest shingle formation in the world, and a nature reserve. A visually dramatic beach with great views, but entering the water is not advised due to strong currents. Definitely for exploring and hiking rather than lounging or swimming. There are a couple of pubs and a cafe at the miniature steam train station (which has public toilets in the station). The train runs to Dungeness from Hythe. At Dungeness the Old Lighthouse is open to visitors, for details 01797 321300.
Seaford Beach (postcode BN25 1BW) – shingle beach. Swimming is good here, but please note there’s a steep drop not far out into the bay, so exercise some caution beyond paddling. No lifeguard cover. Locally there are a nature reserve and an old fort to explore, and immediate facilities include toilets, kiosks, a cafe and first aid post.
Brighton Palace Pier Beach – a shingle and sand beach right at the centre of one of Britain’s most famous and popular seaside resorts. Attractions include the recently refurbished pier, funfairs, arcades, cafes, shops and a host of other attractions. www.brightonpier.co.uk
Eastbourne Beach – The beach is a favourite for all the family. It is a shingle beach with sandy stretches at mid to low tide. Local features include the pier (sadly recently damaged by fire), a bandstand, promenade, sports centre / swimming pool and floral Gardens, which all form part of its resort heritage. Eastbourne offers some old fashioned fun by the seaside including a pier. Can be reached via the coastal train from Hastings.
Bring on the sunshine.