Dog Walks – Selsey – Brackelsham Bay – East and West Wittering – East Head Beach

West Wittering Beach

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Beautiful walks along coastal routes and sandy beaches

West Wittering Beach
West Wittering Beach

Selsey, Bracklesham Bay, West and East Wittering and East Head Beach are situated in West Sussex, on the south coast of England, just at the estuary of Chichester Harbour, overlooking the English Channel.

East Head beach is part of a sand spit located by the entrance into the Chichester Harbour estuary and is gorgeous and sandy with some shingle whilst its back shore leading onto sandy dunes and salt marshes, called The Hinge, is an area renowned for the habitat of wild birds which is part of the National Trust that hugs the estuary river, an area designated as of National Outstanding Beauty.

To access one needs to park at West Wittering and walk along the signed footpath from the car park, however, dog walking is best kept to the beach area by accessing West Wittering beach so your dog does not get distracted by the bountiful wildlife.

There’s plenty of yachting activity from the harbour to watch as you walk and views towards The Isle Of Wight.

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There are relatively few beach locations to hire for a weekend break, staycation and holiday breaks along these beaches.

Sykes have a fabulous holiday let suitable for a well-behaved dog and owners with great reviews left. King Fishers is opposite Selsey beach and has its own pool. Makes a perfect location for seeking out the beaches with West Wittering being about 7 miles away. Check out properties in West Sussex. The picture features Selsey beach.


West Wittering has a lovely sandy beach that uses the groyne system. There are rows of fun coloured beach huts on an almost flat beach with access through the sand dunes.

This is a perfect beach for children and families to spend the day here during the summer. The beach is often rated as one of the best beaches in the UK and becomes packed during the summer months with visitors and possibly best to avoid for a serious dog walk.

This popular beach operates with lifeguards during the summer and there are a few amenities with parking, cafe and toilet. Parking charges can be quite high unless you stay for the whole day.

However this beach makes a fabulous walk and day out for your dog out of season.

From here you can either walk west towards East Head Beach or east towards East Wittering, along the beaches.

East Wittering is just about 1.5 miles further down the coast from West Wittering and less than 1 mile away is Bracklesham Bay and both are similar to many Sussex beaches which are pebbly and shingle but when the tide starts going out, slope and become noticeably more sandy separated by the groyne system.

East Wittering is easy to access through sand dunes to the main beach and is less busy than West Wittering, popular for sailing and water sports. Brackelsham Bay has good access with the village looking onto the beach and with car parking and selected cafe and shops close by. The beach can be busy most times of the year with water sport activity and swimming and is famed as a beach for finding fossils with many local organisation interests.

The best times for dog walking are when the tide goes out and especially low tide when sandy and mudflats are exposed.

Selsey is located at the point of the bay, about 4 miles from Bracklesham Bay beach and similar with shingle upper shore beach and sand and mudflats exposed at low tide. The small village backs onto the beaches with shops.

All 4 beaches are dog-friendly however there are restrictions during Easter time and 1 May to 30 September. If travelling especially for a day out, do check local social media for any restrictions and all beaches have notices.

Brackelsham Bay Beach
Brackelsham Bay Beach

These beaches attract many bird watchers due to the huge numbers of migratory birds that rest here during the migratory seasons. Dogs need to be watched not to disturb the wildlife. We all know how much they love chasing them!

You can feel safe by the water knowing that Hayling Island has a lifeboat station closeby. The RNLI have a website with helpful advice to remind yourself about sea and beach safety.

Three veterinary practices are available in the area about 5 miles or less, should you require them in case of emergencies.

The biggest doggie tips are to remember to take lots of fresh water and a collapsible bowl for your thirsty dog and old towels to dry your dog if they’ve been swimming and to help clean off the sand before going home! Please remember to take your rubbish home with you. You may need to use a short or long dog lead and take a muzzle if you prefer your dog to wear one on busier beaches.

Never leave your dog unattended in your car.

Before you travel you may like to use our useful checklists, guides and tips available on the Pet Holidays and Pets Travelling pages. You may like to read our blog about keeping safe when beach dog walking.

Beach images courtesy Visit Chichester and Sussex. Prices and information correct at the time of writing.

Pet Check UK participates in selected affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites which help to keep our site free.

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