6 Great Coastal Walks in West Sussex

6 Great Coastal Walks in West Sussex, West Sussex is a great area for walkers but often overlooked as holidaymakers gravitate further east to the likes of East Sussex or Kent.

With the price of holidays going up, it seems more UK residents will be holidaying in the UK this year – “staycations”. So, to help you enjoy your time at the coast, here are 6 great coastal walks in West Sussex!

1)  Six Harbour Villages, Chichester – PO19 3RN 

bosham photo
Bosham Harbour photo by Martin Hesketh cc

Length of walk: 10.0 miles/16.3km

Start Point: Car Park at Fishbourne Parish Church

Level of walk:  Moderate

Description:  This is a 10-mile circular walk from Fishbourne to Bosham. You will cross the channel by ferry (there is a fee) to ltchenor and then to Birdham, Dell Quay and Apuldram, ending up back in Fishbourne. You can do this walk any time the ferry is running, which is usually daily during the summer months, from Easter to the end of September.

2) Thorney Island, Chichester – PO10 7DB

 Thorney Island photo
Thorney island photo by Leimenide cc

Length of walk: 9 miles/14.6km

Start Point: In Emsworth at the village square

Level of walk: Moderate (consult tides)

Description:  We believe this walk is lovely, taking you along the shoreline of Chichester Harbour and around Thorney Island. There are great views over the harbour and wildlife

3) Littlehampton to Climping –  BN17 5BE

littlehampton west beach photo
Littlehampton West beach photo by Bob Broglia cc

Length of walk: 5.0 miles/8.1km

Start Point:   Start from Littlehampton Rail Station (grid ref TQ025021) or West Beach car park (grid ref. TQ027012).

Level of walk: Easy for children and adults

Description: This walk is great for families as it’s easy, and there are many distractions to explore on the route, so everyone can pause and catch their breath! The best time is when the tide is mid to low, as you can then just walk along the firm sand below the pebble-high water line. Along this stretch, the wooden groynes have polished wood and demonstrate the power of the sea. You have a couple of cafes at Littlehampton West Beach and at Climping Beach.

4)  Chidham

Cobnor Point photo
Cobnor Point photo by Leimenide cc

Length of walk: 4.4 miles/7km

Start Point: The Old House at Home in Chidham

Level of walk: Easy, but this is a remote walk, so tell someone where you’re going and arrange to check in afterwards, just in case. It is recommended to check harbour tide times.

Description:  This is a beautiful remote, circular walk. This route will take you through to Cobnor Point – part of Nutbourne Marshes Local Nature Reserve – an area owned by Chichester Harbour Conservancy. This reserve area covers the northern and eastern parts of the Thorney Channel and includes the North and South Stakes. This area is so important to conservationists because of the waders that roost in the harbour and nest seabirds. Most of the area is saltmarsh and mud flats supporting vast wildfowl and waders flocks. As you return towards Bosham, you’ll enjoy the views of the South Downs and sailing boats.

5)  Sidlesham – Pagham Harbour

Pagham Harbour photo
Pagham Harbour photo by tristanf cc

Length of walk: 3.6 miles/5.8km

Start Point: The parking area at Sidlesham Quay, near the Crab and Lobster pub.

Level of walk: Easy

Description:  A flat, circular walk where you can afford to take your time and enjoy the views and the wildlife from one of the many benches along the way. On a clear day, the views towards the South Downs are superb, but it’s a good walk on any day, really.  The Visitor Centre is open most weekends, where you’ll learn more about the harbour’s history.  Best part? Dogs are allowed if on a lead.

6)  Church Norton – Pagham Harbour – Selsey – Church Norton

pagham harbour selsey photo
Pagham Harbour photo by Leimenide cc

Length of walk: 7.5 miles/12.1km

Start Point: Pagham Harbour Local Nature Reserve car park at Church Norton.

Level of walk: Easy

Description: An easy circular route beginning at Pagham Harbour Local Nature Reserve car park at Church Norton. You follow the edge of Pagham Harbour, part of Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve. Here, you see many seabirds and waders like Oystercatchers, Curlews, Little Egrets, Heron and Redshanks. It really is a birdwatcher’s paradise! Further along the path is a hide. The path then turns inland, taking you through lush farmland, with a short part of the path going through Selsey’s camping area and back towards the coast. You do no need to climb over fences on this walk, and it is easy walking for all.

If you take photos while on these walks, please send them to our Facebook page. We’d love to see which walks you do and what you experience on the way.

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