Oh we do like to be by the seaside: the best beaches in Sussex
With award-winning beaches, unspoilt national parks, historic sites and plenty of good old bucket and spade nostalgia all to be found within easy reach of London, the 80 odd miles of Sussex coastline offer a bit of something for everyone to enjoy, whatever the season.
Here’s a guide to just a few of our favourite seaside hotspots in Sussex- and of course, a selection of our stunning handpicked holiday properties for you to call home while you explore.
With glorious white sands stretching as far as the eye can see it’s easy to see why Camber Sands is often chosen by photographers and film makers as a local stand in for far more exotic climes. Kids (and big kids at heart) will love scrambling up and down the rolling sand dunes and this part of the coast is also great for trying out various water sports, especially kite-surfing. The beach’s size means that even in peak season you’ll never have to fight for your own patch of sand, but Camber Sands is just as special when the crowds disappear, with plenty of secluded spots to stop, take a moment and just breathe in the view.
Stay: The super stylish Camber Sands Cottage is a stone’s throw from the beach, with its garden backing directly onto the dunes. Oozing Hamptons-esque laid back chic (think white wood, crisp white bedding, big windows and lots of light) and offering airy and spacious open plan living, it’s the most idyllic seaside retreat.
Or stay just down the road in the charming town of Rye and combine trips to the beach with some pottering and antique hunting along the cobbles. West Street Cottage, with its walled garden and Insta-worthy decor, is the perfect base to come home to.
Warning: on a warm day, the crowds in the know will flock here, blessed as it is with a great sweeping expanse of clean flat golden sand and views across the Solent and Chichester harbour. So in the summer months it pays to get here early to avoid the traffic and bag a prime spot in the carpark. But boy, is it worth it. The more active members of your group will be kept happy, as West Wittering is popular with surfers, wind surfers and stand-up paddleboarders alike (you can book lessons or hire equipment here if you fancy giving it a try). Otherwise pack your swimmers, a picnic and the bucket and spade and enjoy the feeling of the sand between your toes. And in the winter months you can’t beat a long bracing beach walk to truly experience the natural beauty of the area.
Stay: After a day spent sandcastle building and with the saltwater still drying in your hair, what could be better than coming home and settling down on your own private decking to enjoy a sundowner or two with a sea view? Situated right on the beach in the tranquil Pagham Harbour RSPB nature reserve The Bolthole on Pagham Beach is a stylishly quirky and beautifully designed property that will ensure you have a truly ‘first-class’ stay (literally, it is based around an old Victorian railway carriage).
Another option is Hollies House, located just a short drive inland in historic Chichester. Spacious and stunningly decorated throughout, it’s perfect for families with young children (they’ll love the bunk beds and summer house, and there are toys galore) or group gatherings.
Located about halfway between Littlehampton and Bognor Regis, Climping is a beautifully rural shingle beach that feels a million miles away from the sticks of rock and fun fairs that characterise the more built up areas of this stretch of coast. The unspoilt beauty of Climping has made it popular with walkers (dogs are welcome on the beach too), and at low tide there is a long expanse of sand just waiting to be explored by rock poolers big and small, while the shallow waters make it perfect for paddling.
Stay: A couple of miles along the coast east of Climping Beach is the village of Middleton-on-Sea, where the very special Flagstones beach house is located. Sleeping up to 10 people and with direct access to the beach, sea views and even your own cedar hot tub, the only danger is you may never want to leave.
Or base yourself in the historic market town of Arundel, just up the road. Maltravers Cottage offers oodles of rustic period charm right in the heart of the town, with Arundel’s fantastic independent boutiques, cafés, pubs and restaurants right on your doorstep.
For more seaside inspiration and to help you choose the perfect holiday home for your Sussex escape, check out our full collection of stylish stays by the sea.