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Things to do in West Wittering, West Sussex

View of East Head
View of East Head © Jeanette Cox

The delightful village of West Wittering lies in a beautiful part of West Sussex, close to endless stretches of untamed beach and windblown sand dunes.

Located just down river from historic Chichester, West Wittering has a glorious backdrop of the South Downs on one side, and the Solent waters and distant glimpses of the Isle of Wight on the other.

Its sheltered coastal position at the mouth of Chichester Harbour allows for some great views of passing ships, yachts and other watercraft which enter and leave this natural inlet.

East Head
East Head © Jeanette Cox

Like much of the south coast of England, West Wittering comes alive in the summer months with many visitors. However, the beach is big enough for everyone to find a space to do as they please.

The natural tidal lagoon is ideal for beginners learning to windsurf and the grassy areas are perfect for picnics and ball games. The lifeguard and beach shop are the only concessions to commercialism.

In the Dunes
In the Dunes © Jeanette Cox

The very existence of this public area is thanks to a group of determined locals, who pooled their resources in 1952 and bought the beach and surrounding land to save it from developers.

West Wittering is a popular destination for families. The beach provides many happy hours of relaxation when the weather is warm.

There are lots of quaint waterside pubs and restaurants in the area, making West Wittering a great place for dining out.

Those seeking a livelier nightlife generally head further east to the bright lights of Brighton.

West Wittering also has plenty to offer during other seasons with many walks and cultural attractions nearby.

Sailing © Jeanette Cox

Portsmouth is almost within sight of West Wittering, at least as the crow flies, but it is a pleasant 24-mile detour inland through Fishbourne, Emsworth and Drayton to reach it by car.

The historic port of Portsmouth is the historic home to the Royal Navy and offers plenty of attractions for an enjoyable day trip.

The Portsmouth Historic Dockyard includes HMS Victory, Nelson's flagship and the oldest commissioned warship, and the 1860 HMS Warrior warship.

The recovered remains of Henry VIII's warship, the Mary Rose are preserved and on display here.

More up-to-date action can be enjoyed with a boat trip around Portsmouth harbour to see which naval vessels are currently docked.

The Royal Naval Museum captures the stories of some of the greatest battles throughout British history.

Early Summer
Early summer © Jeanette Cox

Just beyond the port is Southsea Castle, built by Henry VIII in 1544 to protect Portsmouth from French invaders.

In active service until 1960, it is a fascinating castle to visit with an underground tunnel and gun positions still in evidence.

Closer to home, Chichester is a delightful market town to stroll and shop.

Its four main streets intersect at the beautifully ornate market cross which dates back to 1501.

Just off the main street is Chichester Cathedral, down a lane which time has passed by.

Best known for its Chagall stained glass windows, this beautiful cathedral, with its landmark spire, has been accommodating visitors for over 900 years.

Solitude © Jeanette Cox

The area surrounding West Wittering is one of outstanding natural beauty.

Explore the South Downs on foot (on the South Downs Way) or by car and discover idyllic villages and peaceful rural landscapes.

The nearby Royal Forest of Bere, once a royal hunting ground is now enjoyed by cyclists, walkers and horse riders.

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