Located in West Sussex, West Wittering Beach is a long sandy beach only a 90 minute drive away and a great place for a seaside day trip from London. Beach facilities include food and drink kiosks, water sport equipment rentals, a lifeguard station and toilets with showers. We visited recently over the sunny May bank holiday weekend, and in this post, I’ll share tips for planning a day trip to West Wittering Beach.
West Wittering Beach is recognised as one of the best beaches in West Sussex and has achieved Blue Flag status, the international symbol that tells the public a beach is clean, safe and meets the highest environmental standards, as well as the international bathing water quality standards. The beautiful beach is lined with grassy sand dunes and charming, colourful beach huts.
Pre-Book Parking at the West Wittering Beach Car Park
First and foremost, remember to pre-book a parking space at the West Wittering Beach car park. At the end of this post, you’ll find further information on how to book parking. There are no other options for parking near West Wittering beach and you will be turned away at the car park entrance if you do not have a booking. This happened to a lot of people when we visited during the bank holiday weekend; just about every other car did not have a booking confirmation and had to turn around.
Rent water sport equipment or book a windsurfing lesson
West Wittering Beach is located to the east of the entrance to Chichester Harbour and is a popular spot for surfing, kite surfing, windsurfing and stand up paddle boarding. 2XS Hire is located right at the beach and offers a wide range of water sports equipment for hire by the hour, by 2 or 3 hour periods or for the full day.
2XS also offer a variety of lessons including several for kids to learn windsurfing and surfing. Look at their website for pricing on courses or to rent everything from wetsuits and buoyancy aids to surfboards and kayaks to equipment for windsurfing and kite surfing – https://www.2xs.co.uk/
Bring a picnic for a day trip to West Wittering Beach
While there are food and drink kiosks at the beach, the queues were very long when we visited, with waits possibly an hour long. I would recommend packing your own water, snacks and picnic lunch or dinner. (Note that disposable BBQs are not allowed on the beach.) The car park is very close to the beach, so you would only have to walk a few minutes with your stuff. In the photo below, the car park is just on the other side of the sand dunes.
Bring a windbreak or tent to West Wittering Beach
It’s a great spot for windsurfing and kite surfing but that also means a windbreak is highly recommended for a day at West Wittering Beach. It was very windy at times when we visited and I would bring a windbreak or pop-up beach tent next time.
I’ve included several options for windbreaks or pop up tents from Amazon below, which are handy to have when going to most of the beaches in England, including another windy spot, Camber Sands.
Day Trip to West Wittering Beach
In short, I would recommend a day trip to West Wittering Beach. It’s a huge, well kept sandy beach with on-site facilities and it is less than a 2 hour drive away from London. It was, of course, busy when we visited during the bank holiday, but restricting numbers for the car park and entrance noticeably reduced crowding.
West Wittering Beach is a wide, expansive beach and it was easy to find an area for our family and maintain social distancing, keeping plenty of space between us and other groups. Most groups also had a windbreak or tent that created a barrier. Just remember to book your parking! Scroll down for more details on the West Wittering Beach car park.
West Wittering Beach
Address: Pound Road, West Wittering, Chichester PO20 8AJ
Opening Hours: 0700 to 2030 during high season, 1st May to 30ths September. 0700 to to 2030 during mid season, April and October. 0700-1800 during low season, 1st November to 31st March
Food & Drink: The Beach Café, between the beach and the car park, consists of a coffee shop, takeaway and ice cream stand. Opening hours are 09:00 to 17:00 daily (summer) and 10:00 to 16:00 daily (winter)
Facilities: There are three toilet locations: at the car park entrance, in the middle of the car park opposite the café (includes showers) and at the far end of the car park (includes showers). Also on the beach, you’ll find a lifeguard station for first aid and emergencies, and a windsurfing and kitesurfing club for hiring equipment. Check the West Wittering interactive map for locations of their facilities.
West Wittering Parking
You will need to pre-book a parking space at the West Wittering car park via JustPark. Remember to book at least a few days in advance during high season. You will not be able to book a space on the day and you will be turned away at the entrance if you do not have a booking. There are no other car parks in the West Wittering area.
The two options for West Wittering parking are All day parking from 7:00am to 8.30pm (£8 weekdays, £9 weekends/bank holidays during high season) or Evening parking from 3:00pm to 8.30pm (£5 weekdays, £6 weekends/bank holidays during high season). Prices vary for visiting during low and mid season.
After booking a West Wittering parking space via JustPark, you will receive a text and email with the booking confirmation number that you will need to show at the West Wittering car park entrance.
Click the map below for directions to West Wittering Beach
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PIN FOR LATER – Day trip to West Wittering Beach