A guide to The Witterings
Beautiful sandy beaches, pretty coastal villages to explore, luxury self-catered holiday rentals... and all just a stone's throw from Surrey. What more could you ask for?
Located on the Manhood Peninsula, the little known name for this West Sussex coastal enclave just south of Chichester, you’ll find the twin villages of East and West Wittering. It’s affectionately nicknamed God’s Pocket by the locals due to a meteorological quirk that makes it the sunniest spot in England. No kidding!
But there’s more to The Witterings and the surrounding areas than just the sunshine – you’ll also find pretty cottages, traditional pubs and inns, a great collection of independent seaside gift shops and stores… and of course fabulous views out across the waters.
West Wittering is a pretty village lying to the east of the entrance to Chichester Harbour, best known for its blue-flag beach. With gently sloping, sugar-white sands, calm waters and a balmy microclimate, the area is an uncommercial family paradise, sheltered by the Isle of Wight and the South Downs. The waters are popular with surfers, kite surfers, windsurfers and SUPs.
A short walk east from along the beach footpath, takes you to East Wittering, a vibrant village that’s a bit bigger than its western sibling. You’ll find more restaurants here, as well as a lots of lovely traditional independent shops.
Further along the coastal path from East Wittering is Bracklesham Bay, still on the same stretch of water with views out across the Solent and towards the Isle of Wight.
WHERE TO STAY
Luxury holiday lets are in no short supply here – and our go-to is the boutique holiday rentals agency Wellies and Windbreaks. With a portfolio of more than 40 hand-picked properties, there is something for everyone.
For sea views head to Stargazer, a beautiful beach-front holiday home in East Wittering with views across the water and direct access to the beach. It’s perfect for a couple. (And if you’re hasty, there’s some last-minute availability this summer!!)
Or perhaps you have a cosy cottage in mind. Say hello to Pebbles, a family-friendly holiday home in the heart of West Wittering, just 15 minutes from the beach. It sleeps four.
The perfect place for a large gathering is Bayhurst just moments from the seafront in Bracklesham Bay. With five bedrooms it comfortably sleeps 12 people, and has plenty of living space including a fun games room.
Fido coming along too? Take a look at pet-friendly Honeys in Bracklesham Bay. It sleeps up to eight people in three bedrooms (so also good for big or extended family stays), and it located at the quiet end of the beach – so there will be times you’ll have it all to yourself.
Planning a getaway with friends or another family? Cirrus is for you. Sleeping up to eight people in four bedrooms, it’s modern and stylish and (the best bit!) just moments from the beach.
THINGS TO DO
Head to the beach! West Wittering Beach is a blue flag beach which means it’s a great beach for swimming with excellent facilities. There are lifeguards here in the summer months (mid May to mid September). East Wittering Beach is shingle, but is lovely and sandy at low tide.
If you fancy trying your hand at water sports, you can hire equipment or take lessons. 2XS in West Wittering offers hire and tuition for kids and grown-ups in windsurfing, kite surfing, surfing and SUP. Shore in East Wittering has surf board, kayaks and SUPs for hire.
For energetic types, there are lots of lovely walks in the area – long and short, and plenty that include a pub pit-stop along the way. Find a great selection here.
WHERE TO EAT
Foodies should head to the smart gastropub The Wittering in West Wittering where the menu mixes classics with creativity and there’s an emphasis on showcasing produce from local suppliers.
For a relaxed beachy vibe, head to Drifters in East Wittering, a family-run restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s just a stone’s throw from the beach and there’s a shaded terrace for those who want to escape the rays. The menu includes small plates (think lemon pepper squid and mezze), burgers, nachos, fish and chips and salads.
In Bracklesham Bay, Billy’s on the Beach is a fab beach cafe with a good choice of seafood on the menu as well as burgers and daily specials. They also do takeaway.
A great pub that welcomes kids (there’s a play area) and dogs, is The Lamb Inn in West Wittering. You’ll find a menu of pub classics, including an imaginative burger selection.
Keep your eyes peeled. The Witterings are home to several A-listers including Kate Winslet who has lived in West Wittering since 2015 when she traded the Hollywood Hills for the beauty of the Sussex coast. The Rolling Stones rocker Keith Richards has a home in West Wittering since the 1960s, and Only Fools and Horses actor Nicholas Lyndhurst grew up in East Wittering and now lives in West Wittering. The singer Michael Ball also calls West Wittering home.