The Best Beach Dog Walks in West Sussex

The Best Beach Dog Walks in West Sussex

If you want a family day at the seaside in West Sussex, and you're happy to go with the crowds on a sunny bank holiday then chances are you'll know the hot spots. But the beaches along our coastline can be beautiful destinations all year round and if you know where to go, and when to go there's some amazing beach dog walks to be had.

Most beaches are pebbles for the main part, but have great sandy expanses too and my one main tip for any beach dog walk in West Sussex is go at low tide. Hank is as unimpressed at having to trudge over pebbles as I am, but he loves the soft sand and always goes a bit nuts when he first steps paw on it!

Another thing it's best to check is seasonal permissions - most beaches will have restrictions on when and where dogs are allowed on beaches. In summer month's they may have to be on leads, or in busier pedestrian areas not allowed at all. I have, when Hank was a puppy been completely oblivious to this and had a quad bike zooming up to me which ruined our day out!!

This list is in no particular order and I have focussed on sandy beaches with space to run and roam. There are however some other fantastic coastal destinations with beautiful sea views around harbours and marinas, nature reserves and cliffs so look out for a coastal walks list soon too!

The tide times are listed on individual walks, it does vary by just under an hour from one side of the county to the other but here is a quick display based on Littlehampton for reference.

Added By:
Paul & Hank
April 15, 2024

West Beach

Open to dogs all year round which is a bonus here!

From the car park (which isn't huge in truth especially at peak times!), with the harbour and views of the busy fairground and Littlehampton seaside the other side of the mouth of the River Arun you walk over the dunes onto the beach, and you can walk up towards Bognor Regis or just to find your own space to launch a ball for your dog!

It's a vast beach with no groynes or major obstacles which make for a picturesque scene at low tide and sunset, and you can also make a loop and come back via fields if you want a change of scenery for your walk too.

At the car park there is also toilets, and the little West Beach Cafe - open seasonally though so if going for that then have a search to find opening times (sorry, no website found for that to recommend here!).

(At time of writing in April 24, about a week ago the river burst it's banks here flooding Rope Walk so check current status if planning to visit!)


West Wittering Beach

Probably the most popular beach on this list, this beach is a favourite for families and sun worshippers so if you want some peace and quiet on a hot summers day this may not be ideal!

There are some seasonal restrictions too for dogs, the following is from the website:

Are dogs allowed on the beach?

From the 1st May to mid-September dogs are excluded from the Blue Flag bathing zone between groynes numbered 14a to 18, which corresponds to the area in front of the beach huts (if in doubt, look for signs at the entrances to the beach) - they are welcome elsewhere. From mid-September to April dogs are welcome everywhere.

If you want to go in busy times whatever then check that website, as you even have to prep-book parking and can often get sold out!!

Me and Hank are not ones for crowds anyway oin truth so we've never tried to go at too much of a peak time, and never had any trouble. We've managed to find plenty of space the further we get from the main areas and the long shallow sandy beach at low tide with its undulating surface and pools make for a fantastic fun beach walk!

Plenty of food and drink places, and toilets too which can make a difference to a planned day out especially if travelling far.


Hayling Island Beach

The beach here goes all the way across Hayling Island and the walk featured on the site here is just the Western section. It's very similar to West Wittering in that the shallow sands go on for seemingly miles, and there is an awful lot of space.

I've only been once and visited in March, it was fairly busy with other walkers and there was plenty going on from pony treks to kite surfers so can only assume this is another busy spot in summer - especially with the fairground and promenade nearby so definitely plan your journey. Even more summer restrictions too to be aware of, with the following taken from:

Between May 1st and September 30th dogs must be kept on a lead on any part of the beach or promenade. Dogs are not allowed on the areas of beach shown in red below between these dates.

So check that website for the map - essentially the busier areas clearly used for people, but there are still plenty of other areas to go although as stated you'll have to be content with keeping on lead.


Climping Beach

This beach holds a little warm spot in my heart as definitely the one we've been to most, and particularly when Hank was a puppy. It's not a pristine clear beach, it has huge rocks and old concrete sea defences seemingly littered around the place but that makes it a bit more unique, and  again at low tide there is still some great sandy plains to run in and splash in the sea between the decaying old groynes! A quick google review search will reveal it's quite polarising here which I understand, if it's a more traditional beach walk you want with just sand and dunes then go down the road to West Beach.

At time of writing I haven't been for a few weeks, and last time I went there was lots of construction going on - not sure if they're bumping up the sea defences as has had recent history of issues or clearing the car park ready for the summer, or both, but did leave quite limited parking only. There used to be a cafe with toilets in the car park but I've never seen it open!

Not selling it really I know, but we just really like it here particulaly on a blustery grey day where it's not that busy! No seasonal restrictions here either 👍


Medmerry Nature Reserve and Beach

It's the best part of a 3km walk to even get to the beach on this walk, but in my humble opinion it's well worth it!

Being a bit more tricky to get to means the beach is quiter and ther'es lots of space to run and play on the sand. You can see towards the Spinnaker Tower on a clear day and it just feels like it has lots of character with the huge old weathered groynes and huge rock coastal defences.

And although as I said it is a fair walk to get there, it is theough an RSPB nature reserve which in itself is a lovely walk with stunnign landcapes and lots of wildlife!

Any views or opinions stated in article do not form those of Pup & A Way Ltd. All information provided is correct to the best of our knowledge at time of publishing, but we always recommend researching anywhere yourself for latest information.

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