10 of the best beaches in Sussex

Beaches, Coastal, The Great British Outdoors

Posted by Kate W on 7th August 2020

10 of the best beaches in Sussex

Enchanting attractions, wild reserves, and historic beauty spots can be found throughout the beaches of the stunning Sussex coastline. As part of our Great British Coast series we are seeking out unforgettable beaches all across the UK, and in this blog, we are bringing to light the best beaches in Sussex.

Get to know this beautiful county where sand and shingle shores offer traditional ‘British days at the beach’ for holidaymakers who return again and again, and pebble beaches provide rock pools bursting with critters washed up from the depths of the sea. There are many places along the Sussex coastline where you can escape to seaside resorts overrun with excitement and intrigue, or to sleepy hamlets where you can relax far from the worries of the world.

Read on to uncover a few of the best beaches in Sussex or begin planning a stay in one of our seaside cottages below; we have a wide selection of holiday lets with luxury interiors, water views and even special extras like hot tubs. Find your ideal retreat in our portfolio of coastal cottages in Sussex.

Sussex coastal cottages


Best beaches in East Sussex

Eastbourne Seafront and Pier

Eastbourne Seafront and Pier

The Victorian resort town of Eastbourne boasts everything you could need for a family holiday by the sea. With a host of exciting activities in town, serene seafront gardens and an impressive pier bursting with foodie places to eat and intriguing old amusements, you’ll be spoilt for choice during your day out to this East Sussex beach. Pick up fresh fish and chips and walk down to the shingle beach to watch the waves as you tuck in.  

Dogs: Summer restrictions apply. 

Lifeguard: Yes, during the summer months.

Local information: Shops, places to eat, toilets, deckchairs and beach huts for hire, Eastbourne Pier amusements.

Stay nearby: Pier Lookout, Eastbourne | sleeps 2


Cuckmere Haven Beach

Cuckmere Haven Beach

Offering a very different seaside escape, Cuckmere Haven Beach is the place to go if you want to escape it all during your Sussex holiday. It’s a peaceful pebble beach, but the real reason everyone visits is to take in the towering White Sisters chalk cliffs that tower over this shoreline. This East Sussex beach sits at the mouth of the Cuckmere River, part of the wider Cuckmere Nature Reserve hiding a wealth of wildlife for you to look out for during your trip. Wander through the reserve before cooling your toes with a paddle in the sea.

Dogs: Dogs are welcome all year!

Lifeguard: No lifeguard service.

Local information: Parking, visitor centre, toilets, walking trails.

Stay nearby: Cuckmere Lodge, Eastbourne | sleeps 5 and 1 dog


Camber Sands

Camber Sands

One of the most renowned sandy beaches in East Sussex, Camber Sands has a fantastic system of sand dunes just waiting to be explored – the only dunes in East Sussex! A series of wooden groynes hold the sand of the main beach together where sandcastle building is a must. It’s nearly 5 miles long and if you’re a water sports enthusiast you’ll be intrigued to hear it’s a hot spot for windsurfing. Bring the bucket and spade along on your adventure to this fantastic family-friendly beach.

Dogs: Welcome all year but restricted to part of the beach during the summer. 

Lifeguard: Yes, during the summer.

Local information: Parking, cafes and restaurants, toilets. There’s a kitesurfing centre where you could treat yourself to a lesson.

Stay nearby: 4 Marine Cottages, Camber | sleeps 5


Hastings Beach

Hastings Beach

This sand and shingle beach is backed by grand Edwardian hotels and a range of activities and eateries throughout town so you are well-placed to enjoy a morning on the beach before getting to know the shops and attractions of Hastings. There is a Victorian pleasure pier with a restaurant, food kiosks, and amusements to explore while here. Near the seafront, the beach is mainly shingle, but as the tide goes out, an expanse of sand is revealed ideal for beach games and sandcastle building.

Dogs: Welcome all year but with summer restrictions on parts. 

Lifeguard: Yes, a summertime lifeguard service.

Local information: Shops, restaurants, pubs and cafes in town, toilets, and parking.

Stay nearby: Smugglers View, Hastings | sleeps 4


Pevensey Bay

Pevensey Bay

Within 5 miles of bustling Eastbourne, yet retaining an atmosphere of escape and tranquillity all of its own, Pevensey Bay is a shingle beach backed by a quiet fishing village of the same name. It’s a curious stretch of shoreline which only exists due to the pebbles which are eroded from Eastbourne’s Beachy Head and washed up here; during the Norman invasion, this landscape was underwater. Pevensey Levels is a flat, marshy landscape with wonderful birdlife to look out for.

Dogs: Dog-friendly beach all year round. 

Lifeguard: No lifeguard service

Local information: There is a water sports school to the west of the beach and a couple of places to eat in the village.

Stay nearby: Bay View - Pevensey Bay, Pevensey Bay | sleeps 4 and 1 dogs


Great British Coast


Best beaches in West Sussex

West Wittering Beach

West Wittering Beach

A wonderful sandy beach ideal for building sand sculptures, soaking up the sun or taking in scenic surroundings on a beach walk. The idyllic East Head Nature Reserve, cared for by the National Trust, is less than half a mile from this West Sussex beach so you could break up your day with a stroll to this beauty spot, while there are a couple of cafes over in East Wittering for dining with sea views. Grassy areas behind this sandy beach in West Sussex provide a delightful space for picnicking or for playing games.

Dogs: Welcome on part of the beach all year. 

Lifeguard: Yes, during the summer months.

Local information: Parking, toilets, ice cream hut in summer, more foodie stops in East Wittering.

Stay nearby: Seaview Cottage - Selsey, Sesley | sleeps 8


Pagham Beach

Pagham Beach

A village-backed shingle stretch of shoreline with wide-open spaces that will blow the cobwebs away, on Pagham Beach sit a couple of historical points of interest: World War II Mulberry Harbour platform, and beach huts made from railway carriages. The real gem of this destination has to be the Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve and Site of Scientific Interest where wetlands and lagoons create habitats for birdlife to thrive.

Dogs: Dog-friendly beach all year round. 

Lifeguard: No lifeguard service.

Local information: Parking, toilets, beach shop and café, and vintage amusements.

Stay nearby: Little Bridges, Chichester | sleeps 2


Bognor Regis Beach

Bognor Regis Beach

Less than 5 miles down the road from Pagham Beach sits Bognor Regis, known for being a seaside resort full of exciting attractions alongside its beautiful beach. Hotham Park is a 10-acre parkland boasting a miniature railway and boating lake in the heart of town, perfect for a visit during your trip to this stretch of coastline. On the beach itself, there’s a promenade overflowing with places to eat while a sandpit provides a great place for kids when the tide is in. While shingle lines the beach at high tide, when the tide goes out it becomes one of the most popular sandy beaches in West Sussex.

Dogs: Dogs are welcome out of season but there are summer restrictions.  

Lifeguard: Yes, summer lifeguard service on hand.

Local information: Parking, shops, food and drink, toilets, promenade and a giant sandpit.

Stay nearby: The Beach Huts, Chichester | sleeps 4


Worthing Beach

Worthing Beach

The large seaside town is set on the edge of the South Downs and is home to a vibrant hub of attractions, activities, and places to eat and drink. A sand and shingle beach provides an excellent place for rock pooling when the tide is out – see what kind of underwater critters you and your family can spot! There’s a café to stop by on the pier and an end-of-pier theatre too, while one of the oldest cinemas in the UK, The Dome, sits by the seafront and is a great way to end your big day out to this wonderful West Sussex beach.

Dogs: There are summer restrictions. 

Lifeguard: No lifeguard service.

Local information: Shops, food and drink, toilets, parking, and a pier with café and theatre.

Stay nearby: Downs Gate, Worthing | sleeps 2 and 1 dog


Littlehampton Beach

Littlehampton Beach

Escape to this quaint holiday destination for a beach day with young kids as the many attractions provide enough entertainment for a fun-filled few days away. Oyster Pond is a wonderful place to hire boats, Harbour Park is an amusement park with traditional rides, and there are seafront gardens complete with crazy golf and a miniature railway. The River Arum runs along the west of the beach and across the river, you can spot Littlehampton Old Fort, while large grassy picnic areas, shops and cafes ensure you’ll be well fed during your beach adventure.

Dogs: East Beach has summer restrictions but West Beach is dog friendly all year round. 

Lifeguard: Summertime lifeguard service.

Local information: Amusements and attractions, beach café and more shops and pubs in town, picnic areas, toilets, parking.

Stay nearby: East Chenies, Middleton on Sea | sleeps 8 and 1 dog


A map of 10 of the best beaches in Sussex


Keep exploring:

If you loved all of these exquisite Sussex beaches, you’ll enjoy discovering more wonderful beaches and places to visit across Sussex and the UK. With everything from wide sandy shores where surfers flock, to secret forest escapes to get away from it all, you’ll soon find a remarkable destination perfect for you and your travel companions.


Stay by the beach in Sussex

You've discovered a few classic British beaches bursting with amusements and ice cream stands, a dog-friendly beach where you and your canine companion can roam, or a nature reserve hiding a wealth of wildlife. Which of these spectacular beaches will you visit next?

Now you’ve found your ideal seaside destination, it’s time to begin planning your exciting getaway to Sussex. Find a cosy cottage, sea-view retreat or rural hideaway where you can relax on a Sussex coastal holiday.

Sussex coastal cottages



Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.