We live about an hour's drive from the South coast, but our nearest beach is very pebbly and crowded so whenever we can, we drive an extra 20 minutes or so to spend a day on the most beautiful beaches of East and West Wittering and Bracklesham Bay in West Sussex with our two pooches Taffy and Reina
The day before we usually check the tides to make sure we catch a low tide to benefit from the wide expanse of sandy beach. We'll double check the weather forecast too, although a little rain doesn't usually dampen our enthusiasm for a trip to the beach.
This is our usual check list for our beach trips to The Witterings:
Don't forget something for the pooches to sit on too, especially during high tide when there are only pebbles for a beach.
Reina loves her beach ball and we always bring a ball thrower too. There's just so much space that it's usually safe to launch a ball as far as it will fly.
We usually drive to West Wittering and park in the huge Pay & Display car park which is right by the beach at East Head. It's well signposted, so you can't miss it. The car park charges will vary depending on the season and the time of day you arrive.
There are also car parks at East Wittering and Bracklesham Bay, so you're spoilt for choice.
There is a Beach Cafe at West Wittering car park selling the obligatory fish 'n' chips and ice cream during the warmer months. There's also a small coffee shop right on the beach which seems to be open all year round, or at least every time we've been there.
There are toilet blocks every few hundred yards along the beach that you can access from the car park at these are very well maintained and clean. You will also find standpipes with fresh running water every 50 yards or so in the car park at West Wittering which is handy for filling the dogs' water bowls and rinsing feet...and paws. When the standpipes are shut off over the Winter months, you can get fresh water from the toilet blocks.
East Wittering and Bracklesham Bay are small seaside towns with a selection of cafes, restaurants and other stores that you would expect to find by the beach. On a sunny day you will have plenty of opportunity to eat outside and most places are happy for your dogs to sit quietly with you while you eat.
The beach at The Witterings is dog friendly but there are restrictions which you should be aware of. During the warmer months of May to September, dogs are not allowed AT ALL on the beach between groynes numbered 14a to 18, which broadly corresponds to the area in front of the line of beach huts - you can't missed them, they're so colourful. But everywhere else is accessible by dogs and in reality, this is a lot of beach!
During the remainder of the year there are no restrictions in place and dogs can access the entire beach.
As ever, owners are requested to keep their dogs under control and pick up after them! There are plenty of poo bins provided along the beach.
From the West Wittering car park at East Head, we usually head West and walk all the way around the huge sandy spit. It's a lovely walk that can take a couple of hours if you take the time to go paddling in the sea, searching for mussels or doing a bit of bird spotting in the shallows and dunes. In the distance you can see the Isle of Wight across the Solent and Hayling Island looks close enough to almost walk to at low tide. This circular walk takes you back to the car park and from there you can then walk East along the beach towards East Wittering and Bracklesham Bay.
The beach is sectioned by groynes and if you fancy a go at a bit of agility with your dog, this is your opportunity. Reina flies over them fearlessly.
We just love it here and so do Taffy and Reina. At low tide the beauty of the beach simply takes your breath away. The sea is very shallow and perfect for your dogs to play in relative safety, although obviously keep a close eye on them and don't let them in the sea if the red flag is up and the currents are strong. The water disappears to leave a vast expanse of level sand which seems to go on as far as the eye can see.
We don't mind a little rain as generally the beach is quieter. Be warned that in the Summer months and on a sunny day, the beach can be very busy.
You will find lots more information to help you plan your day trip with your dogs by taking at look at the West Wittering Beach website
No review would be complete without a few snaps to capture the moment. These were all taken at different times of the year which just goes to show that The Witterings beach is an all year round playground for you and your dog.
Reina and Taffy love to stretch their legs here and blow away the cobwebs...
If you visit the beach at The Witterings, please let us know what you think and send us some pictures.
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We love taking our dogs to the beach for some fun in the sun and a splash in the sea. We usually go to the beautiful West Wittering in West Sussex, but decided to try Camber Sands next door in East Sussex and check out the beach with the pooches.
It got a very definite paws up from Reina and Taffy who both had the best time there and slept all the way home. Read more about our day trip to Camber Sands with the pooches and maybe go and take a visit there yourself.
Everyone must have heard of Box Hill! Popular for school field trips, nature lovers, National Trust members and more recently cycling enthusiasts, as it was the venue for the more arduous stretch of the cycling road race in the 2012 London Olympics.
But for us it's one of our favourite places to bring the dogs for a good hearty walk, to pump some blood round your veins and give your lungs a good workout. Once you've climbed to the very top, you will feel like you're on top of the world!
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